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Which fundamentalists?

Reader comment on item: Britain's Encounter with Islamic Law
in response to reader comment: I'd rather have a fundamentalist Christian America than a fundamentalist Muslim one

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Feb 17, 2008 at 13:34

The only "fundamentalists" there are are Christians. "Fundamentalism" was originally understood as a group of fundamental doctrines without which you don't have Christianity. As such, it was framed (in the early 20th century) in response to theological modernists (Rowan Williams is one of their heirs) who did all the running they could to remain a respectful five paces behind Christianity's cultured despisers. To be honest, I think that we talk about "Muslim fundamentalism" only because back in the days of the Iranian Revolution, the New York Slimes, Washington Compost, and CNS saw a marvelous opportunity to slam the newly politicized Evangelicals as un-American for abandoning the Democratic Party for which their grandparents had voted.

But I agree with Dr. RJP that the real fundamentalists (Christians) are better. Tweak their consciences by telling them they're being less than Christian, and you're likely to see a new homeless shelter, private school, or counseling center for unwed mothers paid for by voluntary donations, or if you lived back in the 18th and 10th century, you'll get a movement for the abolition of slavery. But tweak a radical Islamicist conscience about not being Muslim enough, and people will die.

Submitting....

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