3 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Why American Fundamentalism is a threat

Reader comment on item: A Christian Boom

Submitted by Daniel A. Brown (United States), May 23, 2003 at 01:02

Thank you for this dialogue...

I suppose that Christianity has to carry the burden of its 2000 year history, some of it being bloody and destructive. I'll spare you a listing of crimes and genocides committed in the name of Christ because it's all a matter of historical record.

And I agree with the author of this post that modern Christian fundamentalism, especially in the United States is fairly mild compared to the massacres being perpetrated in the name of religion in other countries. The current issue of the New Yorker has a disturbing article about Hindu nationalism in India with some of its leaders not only admiring Hitler but sounding like him (Bal Thackery to be exact among others).

All religions have their fanatical zealots and people in power who distort the teachings of the prophets for their own selfish ends. Nothing makes a better scapegoat than the Other, especially a religious other. So one cannot blame the Koran for September 11, the massacre of Muslims on the Bhagavad Gita, or the Holocaust on the New Testament.

But speaking as an American Jew who has ties to the Buddhist communities, Christian fundamentalism makes us uneasy because it seems a dormant form of intolerance, just waiting for an excuse to be unleashed. The fact that Republican Christian conservatives have been trying to slowly but steadily undermine the First Amendment guarantee of Separation of Church and State should worry all free-thinking Americans. It's a small step from allowing voluntary prayer in schools to mandating Christian prayer in the classroom. Repression and intolerance come in small steps. The attacks made by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson against gays, women, the ACLU, and alternative religions is not to be dismissed or minimized. I consider these individuals as much a threat to my personal freedom as Joseph Stalin once was.

So if American Fundamentalists can adopt a live-and-let-live policy with the rest of us, then all is fine....their more vocal adherents would do well to heed the words of Jesus Christ who said,

"Let he who is without sin among you, cast the first stone:.

Sincerely,

Daniel A. Brown
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Why American Fundamentalism is a threat by Daniel A. Brown

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)