Religious fundamentalism is largely based on a false premise, this being that God can be offended, insulted or provoked. Only an ego can take offense at anything, and God has no ego. However, the God that is worshiped by fundamentalists takes offense (i.e., feels slighted or insulted and gets resentful or angry) when human beings "sin" by either performing, or failing to perform, all manner of actions. Religious fundamentalism is generally patriarchal and promotes hard, ego-based actions such as judgment and punishment at the expense of soft, spirit-based qualities such as love and forgiveness. Both Jehovah of the Old Testament and Allah of the Quran have an ego. Fundamentalist Islam teaches that those who do not act in a manner consistent with the commands of Allah, as revealed by the Prophet Muhammad, risk everlasting damnation and torment. Those who reject the call of Islam are to be subjugated or even killed ("jihad"). Fundamentalist Christians believe that no one, no matter how sincere, can ever be good or innocent enough to satisfy God. As a consequence of "original sin", even newborn babes risk God's wrath. The only saving grace is accepting that salvation has been purchased through the sacrifice of God's son Jesus. However, Jesus never claimed that he needed to be put to death so that we could be made acceptable in God's sight. This was a concept promoted by Paul, and was a carry-over from the Old Testament practice of animal sacrifice. The God revealed by Jesus himself is different. Jesus' God loves us unconditionally and would never sentence anyone - regardless of their beliefs or even their actions - to an eternity of exclusion in hell. True salvation lies in discovering one's real identity, which is a magnificent and loving eternal being created in the image of God.
Robert Keith's work focuses on the healing of mental illness, particularly where such illness has been fostered by fundamentalist religion. He and his wife have raised four children. As a family, they were always open about Robert’s own struggles and their individual spiritual journeys. Robert is now semi-retired but continues to offer spiritual counseling.