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  #11  
Old 11-28-2007, 10:07 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

daveT, I think you are very wrong about the power of Fundamentalists, and the power of religion in our society. They have been courted assiduously and enormously successfully, and religion is a major factor in our politics.

The fact that you can even still see a commercial saying sex leads to suicide doesn't point out how ridiculous that notion is -- ideas like that have been around forever and promoted forever -- but how powerful it must be in the community that despite being so idiotic it can still find enough money to get on the air.
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:01 AM
whiskeytown whiskeytown is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

as a recovering fundmentalist, I am very concerned about their influence on the military and paramilitary organizations within America - they seem to be ready to take up arms at a moment's notice - kinda disturbing.

RB
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:17 AM
katyseagull katyseagull is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]
as a recovering fundmentalist, I am very concerned about their influence on the military and paramilitary organizations within America - they seem to be ready to take up arms at a moment's notice - kinda disturbing.

RB

[/ QUOTE ]

Seriously? where do you see this kind of stuff? I don't see any fundamentalists organizing where I live. Where are these paramilitary organizations?
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:33 AM
4_2_it 4_2_it is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

blarg,

Prayers at the beginning of public meetings go back 230 years or so. I have not heard anyone consider the Founding Fathers as the Fundamentalist Right.

DaveT,

I find it curious that when church members get involved in politics that people decry it as a violation of the Separation of Church and State. Separation of Church and State is simply that the government cannot establish a national religion, not that religion cannot be active in politics.

Also, 'Under God' was put in the Pledge during the Eisenhower Administration as an affront to Communism. The founders acknowledged a Creator so I don't have a problem with God being mentioned as long as the government doesn't mandate church attendance or belief in said God.

diebitter,

The Religious Right rose to power in the 1980's during the Regan era. Its tent was much broader back then (Anti-Communist, Anti-tax, Anti-Big Spending Government, Anti-Abortion all rallied together). Today, only the anti-abortionists are the only group that hasn't at least partially left the tent. The RR clearly still has influence and power, but it's power has clearly declined over the past 15 years. Whether it can regroup and remobilize is uncertain. My opinion is that the RR has had their day in the sun, but will not go gently into that good night.
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:02 AM
MrWookie MrWookie is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]
idk if i would consider it to be "on the rise." there are plenty of people who are not members of the fundamentalist right, but would side with them b/c of shared religious beliefs if you drew a line in the sand. many of these people do not harbor the extremism of fundamentalists, but in the end their religion trumps all.

[/ QUOTE ]

There's another side to that coin here, Tarheel. I consider myself a devout Christian, but in many regards, I consider the fundamentalist right "Christians" in name only. If you look at much of their politics, much of it is 100% contrary to the actual words of Christ. "Fundamental" tenets such as "love they neighbor," and "love your enemies," have been lost on many people who call themselves fundamentalists. In many, many regards, the fundamentalist right acts like the Biblical Pharisees that Jesus railed on time after time for focusing on their own self-righteousness instead of loving thy neighbor, even if that neighbor sticks his dick in the wrong hole or plays poker or worships differently or even worships another god. Hell, I think even atheists have a better grasp of the story of the Good Samaritan and its implications than the average fundamentalist. The calls to arms of the fundamentalist right are so befuddling that I have to wonder if they've ever actually read the Bible they claim to tout. Why is it that the pinko hippies the fundamentalists would label as heathens are the pacifists and the fundamentalists are the ones leading the battle charge? Why do they completely ignore Jesus' words to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's?" Separation of church and state is actually prescribed by Jesus himself, but too many Christians miss or forget this.

One thing to bear in mind is that if every you hear about a Christian drawing a line in the sand, you can be pretty sure he's not acting in a Christ-like manner. When did Jesus ever draw a line in the sand or send away someone who came to him, even if that person was a theif, a prostitute, a heretic (Samaritan), a leper, or any other manner of sinner? Jesus does say that he will bring division into friendships, communities, and even families, but that's him saying that the forces of the world will exile Christians, not that the Christians should be drawing lines in the sand and casting out people who aren't pure enough.

This topic always gets me riled up. I'm always half-tempted to go through every single Bible passage that some politically-minded fundamentalist has construed to have some political implications and then just tear their words to shreds by going through the rest of the book that they call holy and showing how severely they've missed the point.

I'll close with the one idea I hope everyone who reads this takes to heart: the abuses of the fundamentalist right are not a fault of Christianity or of Biblical teachings. Not all Christians think like them, and it would not be the conclusion of any reasonable person who read the Bible, the whole Bible, in context, that the teachings therein would naturally lead to the creation of a group with the political goal of forcing, sometimes violently, their brand of righteousness on a morally wayward world. No. The abuses of the fundamentalist right come from people misunderstanding or misusing the words of the Bible in a manner completely contrary to its most central commandments for their own political or economic gain. Does the context of Christianity make it easier for people with their own gain in mind to abuse the system? There are reasonable arguments for yes, but I would argue that there are countless examples throughout history of people (ab)using secular "us versus them" propaganda that takes advantage of weak-minded people in much the same way that the fundamentalist right does. There will always be demagogues, and there will always be people who fall for them. Christianity is just one system some of today's demagogues are abusing for their own gain. Patriotism are fear-mongering are two secular means for demagogues to rise to power that they're also getting a lot of mileage out of in this day and age. Christianity is not supposed to be a demagoguery, so do not lump all Christians in with those who abuse it.
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  #16  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:13 AM
katyseagull katyseagull is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]


Do you Americans worry much about the fundamentalist right? It is something of a concern here in Europe - and we mostly attribute its continuing growth as we perceive it with G.W.Bush - but given the shocking state of newspapers these days, it's almost impossible to fathom what's a genuine piece of cultural news, and what's hyped up for our European tastes.


[/ QUOTE ]

I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open but I really wanted to participate in this thread.


Diebitter,

I agree with daveT when he says "I think that the Fundamentalists, in the view of most Americans, are not respected." I don't think Americans worry all that much about the fundamentalist right. We are worrying about too many other things, mainly heating bills and filling up our cars. Most of the people I know don't give the fundamentalists a second thought.

I'm not even sure I know what is meant by fundamentalist. Do you mean people who take the bible literally, like who don't believe in teaching their children about evolution? I think these people are a small minority.

I know several bible-studying Christians who are devout, thoughtful people. While others might make fun of them I actually like them a lot. I think they're interesting to talk to and extremely kind. They aren't anything like that horrible video you linked. That is really weird stuff in that video. I hope to god that the Brits and Europeans aren't imagining all of us Americans like that. [img]/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] I've never seen anything like that video before and really don't think it is common at all. If that is what they are showing you folks in England and Europe then it's my belief you are being fed a lot of propaganda.


I believe our country is in a decline but I don't think it is the fault of any religious group. I think it's the fault of inept leadership, greed, short-sightedness on everyone's part, and yeah immorality. I suppose you could blame the fundamentalist right for helping to vote George Bush into office but really a lot of people voted him into office, not just fundamentalists.
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  #17  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:15 AM
batair batair is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]

Also, 'Under God' was put in the Pledge during the Eisenhower Administration as an affront to Communism. The founders acknowledged a Creator so I don't have a problem with God being mentioned as long as the government doesn't mandate church attendance or belief in said God.


[/ QUOTE ]

Article 19, section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution: Atheists disqualified from holding office or testifying as witness.
No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.


I don't think a lot of people no this, but if you are an Atheists you cant run for office Arkansas and a few other states.So in essence the government of those states are mandating church attendance and a belief in a God.

I wonder how people who believe in god would act if the shoe was on the other foot and they were not allowed to run for office in a state unless they denied god.I imagine that it would not go over to well with the fundamentalist.
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:35 AM
whiskeytown whiskeytown is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

here is an article on Christian Fundamentalism in the military

and Blackwater is a paramilitary organization run by a secretive (or rather out of the spotlight, until recently) right wing fundamentalist named Erik Prince.

I would also point out there is a misnomer in the article in that I differentiate between Fundamentalism and Evangelical Christianity - Dominionism is a strain, which suggests Christians have the right and obligation to take over Civic and Governmental institutions and rewrite the laws to fit the Biblical Code.

I've been studying a bit recently on Dietrich Bonhoffer and the confessing church - (background - DB was a pastor who was an active member of the resistance of the Nazi Regime in WWII) - and many of the members that resisted the Nazi party did so under the belief that devotion to Christ superceeded devotion to one's citizenship or Military service. One can't read the Sermon on the Mount and take Jesus to heart and then go out and kill his fellow man.

On the other hand, a great many established churches stated Romans 13 should imply military service if called upon, but I doubt in retrospect they could argue God's will was done by serving the Nazi Party - but Hitler often invoked the almighty in his speeches and led many of them to believe he was also a good Christian.

rb
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  #19  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:58 AM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]
blarg,

Prayers at the beginning of public meetings go back 230 years or so. I have not heard anyone consider the Founding Fathers as the Fundamentalist Right.


[/ QUOTE ]

Lots of terrible things go back forever. That might well be one of the best flags indicating terrible ideas. Human history is not a store of enlightenment, but of darkness. In America's early years, people were required to pay religious taxes whether they belonged to the community church or not, and not doing so would result in not only criminal prosecution but ostracization from the community, which was as good as death.

Thank goodness for those who held or still hold different and more humane ideas. It's precisely on their whipped, bloody, bowed and shunned backs that progress was possible.

[ QUOTE ]
Also, 'Under God' was put in the Pledge during the Eisenhower Administration as an affront to Communism. The founders acknowledged a Creator so I don't have a problem with God being mentioned as long as the government doesn't mandate church attendance or belief in said God.


[/ QUOTE ]

This strikes me as truly awful and artful reasoning devoid of human empathy. It must be nice not to be the outcast or care about those who might be shunned, even if children. I could never get my conscience in that place, and if there were a God, I would pray with all my might that I never would.
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2007, 02:12 AM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
idk if i would consider it to be "on the rise." there are plenty of people who are not members of the fundamentalist right, but would side with them b/c of shared religious beliefs if you drew a line in the sand. many of these people do not harbor the extremism of fundamentalists, but in the end their religion trumps all.

[/ QUOTE ]

There's another side to that coin here, Tarheel. I consider myself a devout Christian, but in many regards, I consider the fundamentalist right "Christians" in name only. If you look at much of their politics, much of it is 100% contrary to the actual words of Christ. "Fundamental" tenets such as "love they neighbor," and "love your enemies," have been lost on many people who call themselves fundamentalists. In many, many regards, the fundamentalist right acts like the Biblical Pharisees that Jesus railed on time after time for focusing on their own self-righteousness instead of loving thy neighbor, even if that neighbor sticks his dick in the wrong hole or plays poker or worships differently or even worships another god. Hell, I think even atheists have a better grasp of the story of the Good Samaritan and its implications than the average fundamentalist.


[/ QUOTE ]

You strike me as peculiarly understanding and mature for a religious person, a category of people in whom such attributes are far from celebrated.

As an atheist myself, but one with very strong moral standards, I think that among my many born-again Christian friends, I have if anything brought more closer to God by encouraging their best, kindest, most honest, and most responsible and truly Christian spiritual leanings. A number of them have told me as much too. Spirituality is not only restricted to the religious, nor is morality and basic human kindness and decency. Nor is clear thinking and open-mindedness reserved only to atheists and humanists.

Religious people, especially those of the "revealed religions," are often so rigid, dismissive, combative, xenophobic, and unkind that it is especially satisfying to see others interested in living up to what I think is a fair understanding of the messages of the revealed religion and especially Jesus are. And to what the nature of unbelievers are. It is no picnic to be demonized all one's life, and I can tell you that's what my life as an atheist has been. And Christians by and large have not acquited themselves terribly well in response. I still believe that Christians can do so, despite their worst efforts, but it is nice to see a welcoming hand still extended in the religion that purports to pride itself on love.
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