Why is Fundamental religion in any form associated with so much negativity?
(I hope you meant Fundamental Religion and not the 5 fundamentals of the christian faith.) Typically Fundamental Religion involves an authoritative God (or Lord) that is the supreme ruler of everything, that includes you. How many of us like to be told what to do? Also, this God is the source of absolute truth. If God says for example that "the thought of foolishness is sin" and that all sin is rebellion against God, then everyone gets pissed offed, because everyone is in rebellion against God. If this God also says that "the wages of sin is death", then people really get angry. Now everyone is going to suffer in the eternal lake of fire, and that's not a pleasant thought. When that God says repent (a change of heart and mind) of your sins, people really don't like being told to stop doing what they enjoy doing. Even if the repentance is for our own good! The simple fact of the matter is that we don't want to submit to divine authority, and therefore fundamental religion is viewed VERY NEGATIVELY!
Fundamental religion allows people to have an easy answer to every question. Instead of repeatable testable ideas, one merely need to insert god into every hole where knowledge is lacking. This is not all together a bad thing. Our world is terrifically complicated and many times people need something to hang onto. Fundamental religion fills this void with seeming certainty. However, This brings with it the zeal of castigating everything that is against an ideology as evil (i.e. liberal media). In its extreme practice, fundamental religion produces things like the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, it is very easy for fundamental religion to get a bad wrap because it many times deserves one.
Because fanaticism is rigidity, and rigidity is an attribute of death. There is no rigidity in anything living.
The big problem with some religion is that it requires the blind acceptance of anonymous writings that often state things that do not necessarily gel with reality as we see it. In any society religion sees its heyday under conditions where its leaders are able to persecute those that object to their ideas. Inevitably if education and knowledge are introduced to the ordinary man many of these ideas alienate thinking people.
I would say it involves the various teachings and our collective refusal to take a moment to determine what the actual truth is. Religion minus the truth equals confusion of all kinds.
From Dictionary.com, "A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism."
People tend to view Fundamentalists negatively because no one likes to be told they are wrong. If a Fundamentalist (of any religion) tells me I am going to hell because I do not share their exact beliefs, that's pretty upsetting. When so many religions are supposed to be based on love and forgiveness of others, the strict belief system of a Fundamentalist can make them appear hypocritical, which is not exactly a desired trait.
"Why is Fundamental religion in any form associated with so much negativity?"
In my opinion it is the element of people drawn into the religion.
After my personal experiences I developed a great hatred and disdain for the people and their religion. Something very odd and abnormal happens to the mind of people in religion.
These people would not let it sink in that I wanted absolutely nothing to do with them as a people or fellowship with them or their religion.
Their concept of life and what is acceptable human interaction was odd for me and very uncomfortable. Plus, I would never go along with the sexist role for women. I had preferred a quiet private married life only to suffer attempts to force me into the public eye and involve me in topics and debates I sincerely have no interest in. They kept trying to convert me into something I do not believe in, do not need in my life or ever really believed in.
I believe it is because they teach that we are unworthy. When persons see themselves as unworthy, they look for the unworthiness in others. The way I see it is that our worthiness was never in question because we inherited it. We just need to become familiar with it. These misunderstandings come from an attempt to interpret the Bible literally, when it requires language of mind to get the correct pictures.
I think a lot of the negativity associated with "fundamentalism" is due to the bad things said about it by the media. I think the media are so anti-Christian that they are constantly rubbing that in our faces by repeating the lie that fundamentalism in itself is a bad thing. Fundamentalism is simply belief in the fundamental teachings of one's religion, whether that be Christianity or another religion. Not all Fundamentalists are like the wild-eyed nuts portrayed on TV. But the media want you to think they are all like that.
The reason it's considered NEGATIVE is because belief requires absolutes which MOST PEOPLE do NOT want to accept.
Religion requires intolerance to anything outside of GOD'S WORD and perfect will. It will always seem negative to those who refuse to be governed by laws, principles, morals or absolutes in order to please God. Most people are out to please themselves and when faced with "conviction" that what they are doing is wrong, they see it as a "negative" affect.
There are undoubtedly multiple reasons for this.
Firstly, the media in all its forms loves to report anything and everything negative about any fundamental religion. This is partly a product of the media generally knowing that bad news sells better than good news. It is also part of an inherent anti-Biblical bias, in the case specifically of Christianity. Thus, all who believe the Bible are Bible-bashing fundamentalists. All positive things are ignored -particularly many lives transformed for the better. Peace and joy and rest and the multitude of blessings which knowing Jesus are totally ignored. These form a great and vital part of the true Christian faith.
Secondly, Christian truth cuts both ways. It is not all sweetness and light. It tells it the way it is. It tells what is good as well as what is bad. People who 'love darkness rather than light' do not like being told that their doings are 'works of darkness.' So, to avoid facing the consequences of their wrong choices they place a negative connotation on the message, rather than heed it.
Thirdly, those who actually believe the Bible to be true have a responsibility to proclaim what God says. They tell how people can know God, but even before that people need to know why they need Jesus Christ. Modern man has lost to a high degree a sense of what the Bible calls sin - a sense of right and wrong, or at least they define it in relativistic terms, according to whatever they feel is good. One of he least popular of all things, is to point people to actual wrong and actual accountability, which every person faces when they die. This is regarded as negativity, when it is just the truth, which people don't like to hear. In any case, the whole point of it is to have people receive the incredible blessing of knowing Jesus Christ and His eternal peace. It is not negativity as an end in itself. That would be wrong.
Fundamental religion in any form is associated with so much negativity for two reasons. First, some religions, in their fundamental writings or teachings, advocate violence in certain circumstances. Some radical, extremist and hyper-political groups that claim faithfulness to Islam are prime examples. Texts about violence are taken out of context and the violence is seen as necessary for the protection of Islam. The Judeo-Christian Scriptures, particularly the Hebrew Scriptures, are full of the same kind of material, often misinterpreted in similar ways throughout history, with violent and disastrous results. Some eastern religions such as Buddhism, completely lack these strains and therefore often produce pacifistic groups.
Second, there is, in modern Western culture, an association of moral or religious absolutes with negativity. In other words, it doesn't matter if committed Evangelical Christians give more to charity, have more stable marriages, have less domestic violence, more satisfying sex lives, live longer and advocate the most religiously tolerant laws in the world. If they claim homosexual behavior is abhorrent to God or if they claim that Jesus is physically returning at the end of the Age, they are negative. This kind of argumentation basically says "Fundamental religion is, by definition, negative."
It is reasonable to start with the distinction between faith and religion. Faith has to do with one's position before the deity, and convictions regarding dependence and reliance upon the deity. Religion is a practice, and probably a little more susceptible to contamination by human agendas.
If we could isolate out all of the positive, warm and fuzzy kinds of beliefs and practices of each religion and compare them, and for the sake of comparison temporarily eliminate as much as possible any negative elements, there would be a tendency for a wider acceptance of many of these positive beliefs even across very different religions. Of course, acceptance would not be universal. As you narrow the view to include only Christian or only Jewish or only Muslim sects, the tendency to accept the positive elements of others increases. But the strong antagonisms that sometimes exist between practitioners of various religions usually do not center on these positive elements.
In fact, it is not even these positive elements that tend to bring people together into groups of like-minded faithful. Whether consciously or otherwise, it is the negative elements that tend to pull people together. These would include things like the very nature of man, the nature of sin and how it is dealt with in individuals or groups, positions toward authority, and particularly attitudes toward "non-believers". Non-believer will have as many definitions as there are religions.
It tends to be the common hatreds, especially if it can be demonstrated that these hatreds are sanctioned by the deity, that bring people together to form groups of like-minded faithful. This is not meant to be a venom-filled assessment; I think it is an analysis that many in main-stream religions could see as having at least some truth. Whatever we can attribute to the deity, with appropriate references, tends to define the driving force of a religion. This is especially true for individuals in the religion who happen to share the same revulsions and biases as demonstrated by the deity. These individuals can now indulge in those revulsions and biases, since they are sanctioned by the deity himself. Fundamentalist groups probably are more prone to live out these dynamics.
When I can convince myself that my strong negative feelings/convictions are God-sanctioned, and they are shared by large numbers of faithful, and I can interpret some scriptures to mean that destruction of some reviled groups is exactly what God desires, then the social and political landscapes take on a whole new dimension. What can follow from that seems obvious. This is one reason to be cautious about lumping various groups together in grossly inaccurate and unfair ways. For example, there are radical Islamists who really comprise more of a global sociopolitical party than they do a dependent, faith-based religion. They are not the same people who make up the majority of Muslim faithful.
Some eastern religions are less prone to these dynamics, and even polytheism may have some advantages here. While mainstream groups may find polytheism revolting, polytheistic religions have the advantage of partitioning off the major flaws of men, and some individual gods suffer from quirks and perversions that do not inflict the other members of the pantheon. There is less tendency for people to align with the gods who suffer the obvious quirky and sometimes dangerous human failings.