Fanaticism, as a psychic perversion, threatens everyone’s soul because it is not limited to the religious field, even if it always combines a will to power and a psychologically “religious” absolutization.
It can appear in atheists as well as in believers, progressives as well as conservatives. It is rooted in stress and arrogance.
It is the anxiety of feeling that those notions to which he was accustomed, and thanks to which one identified oneself are under threat.
It is also a sentiment of arrogance; one belongs to the small number of the elite, who therefore have the right to reject and punish those considered responsible for these disturbances.
The fanatic often suffers from the psychosis of conspiracy!
In fact, a form of desperate arrogance can lead anyone to believe that one is the only one who lives in the truth, a truth that he absoluteizes and possesses. Anyone who disagrees with that person is the instrument of devil.
If you are different from me, that means you want me dead! The fanatic is often an uncertain, restless, disorganized being who balances thanks to a quasi incestuous attachment to his truth.
One wants to see only feuds, the neurosis of “small differences,” term was coined by Sigmund Freud; one considers that one who disagrees with the other on one point, even a minor one, is wrong in everything and for everything.
One is unable to get into the otherness, to understand the other a little, to accept that one may be right, even in part. Some words, which one ignores their true meaning, make that person maniac.
As long as you utter these words, the person will exclude you, attach a label to you, throw you in a drawer (Trotsky would say: “In the ash heap of history”) as a heretic, deviant, modernist or reactionary!
We know that the Holy Spirit works everywhere, that words cannot possess the truth, because things are the only thing one possesses while our God is the fullness of personal existence.
This ever-present God, the Inaccessible, and always here, the Crucified One, is revealed to us precisely in the free encounter of faith.
A personal revelation that makes us discover the other as a person, whom I have to respect, maybe even love, in the otherness.
And if the difference seems irreconcilable, let it become the place of prayer, not of war! Sure, one would say, but the Church, throughout its history, has not ceased to reject, to exclude, to excommunicate those considered to be deviant.
At this point, we must put it correctly: we are building a house with the doors open for all humankind, the new Jerusalem, the Kingdom.
If some workers refuse or jeopardize the design of the house, we must find out and ask them not to work with us anymore. But the house will be for them too, of course!
In the meantime, the true believer in Christ, who must love even one’s enemies, primarily seeks to find the best qualities of each one and all these points of convergence. This is the key to the ecumenical as well as the interfaith dialogue.
The Ecumenical Patriarch sets Christ’s love: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” against the religious hatred, which in fact turned into hate against religion, the war that is fought for religion, as stated in the 1994 Bosphorus Declaration.
Olivier Clément, “The truth will liberate us” – Conversations with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Akritas Editions, p. 247-249.