Sunday, January 01, 2006

The enneagram and the Christian Right

The enneagram is a map of nine personality types, their passions (sins) and virtues, and how to go beyond personality.
In this system, One is the perfectionist, the moralist, the Puritan. Three is the doer, the winner. America as a nation is a combination of the puritan and the winner, two types that do not harmonize with each other easily.
Fundamentalist Christianity was originally a One phenomenon. "The world at large is a wicked and sinful place. Live apart from it for the reward in the next world." The focus was inward to avoid being caught up in the temptations of the world.
In recent decades, fundamentalism has shifted to become more and more a Three phenomenon. "Live right and Jesus will reward you." Mega-churches provide relationship counseling and job and social networking. The focus is outward.
But the inner puritan is still alive. So moral short-comings are projected onto non-believers. This allows the believers to not see just how worldly their religion is becoming.
More generally, it is important to see what role right-wing Christianity serves for its followers. And not to take for granted that this role is primarily religious.


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