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Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ
May 15, 2006 5:34 AM   Subscribe

Christian Nationalism is just one name for that ideological and aggressive species of Christianity just may be more organized, ambitious, and successful than you imagined. The dream transcends the elimination of abortion, the teaching of intelligent design, and the preservation of marriage within American politics, but instead reaches out to restore America to an imagined Christian state. Or more? "World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish." Or maybe just 29% of it. But some resistance from within Christianity is starting to appear.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat (83 comments total)

 

posted by brownpau at 5:38 AM on May 15, 2006


Also in the UK
posted by quarsan at 5:56 AM on May 15, 2006


John 18:36 said:
"Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.'"
posted by Ryvar at 6:01 AM on May 15, 2006


I almost feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but isn't world conquest the actual opposite of what Christ taught was a valuable goal?
posted by illovich at 6:06 AM on May 15, 2006


For whatever reason, I feel like noting that every morning from Kindergarten through eighth grade, I said a pledge to the Christian Flag immediately after the normal pledge to the American flag.
posted by Ryvar at 6:07 AM on May 15, 2006


I should preview more, because I was just repeating what Ryvar said.
posted by illovich at 6:07 AM on May 15, 2006


I'm just wondering how this Christian "world conquest" thing jibes with the whackjob right's "islamofascist" schtick.
posted by rougy at 6:07 AM on May 15, 2006


Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 6:09 AM on May 15, 2006


Fictional characters insist that I be abrasive all the time. Recently, I went before my village council to tell them that Jack Aubrey demands a repeal of the winter street parking ban.

I wasn't terribly successful, even when I mentioned that Spiderman and Stephen Dedalus are also against the ban and I got some random loonies from the neighborhood to insist that I was right. If you live in a sane area, don't sweat it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:09 AM on May 15, 2006


Deuteronomy 7

1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 6:17 AM on May 15, 2006


the whackjob right's "islamofascist" schtick

I though "islamofascist" was a mainstream word used to define muslim extremists?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:24 AM on May 15, 2006


...but we definitely need a similar word to define christian extremists. How about christofascists?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:25 AM on May 15, 2006


* aagh, not this shit again *
posted by rxrfrx at 6:32 AM on May 15, 2006


To quote Sam Harris, a religious moderate is a failed fundementalist.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 6:35 AM on May 15, 2006


Isn't there some island where we can put all these people? A volcanic one, preferably...
posted by meringue at 6:37 AM on May 15, 2006


To quote Sam Harris, a religious moderate is a failed fundementalist.

You'd prefer they succeeded?
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:40 AM on May 15, 2006


It is time to put religion on the shelf with alchemy and astrology.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 6:41 AM on May 15, 2006


Not every fundamentalist Christian is a Bushbot, or dominionist. Many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians are out there who realize that the Dominionists are basically repeating the Tower of Babel all over again. Many realize that the war between civilizations, globalism and more are being done by those who only exploit the Christian faith rather then those who are true adherents to it. I am one of them.
posted by Budge at 6:56 AM on May 15, 2006


I guess it's a little bit of "this shit again" but I hadn't seen a thread explicitly devoted to it. Over the weekend, I read Michelle Goldberg's book, Kingdom Coming, which is excerpted in the Salon article (found at a bookstore, but is listed for release tomorrow in Amazon?). I found things a bit more frightening and orchestrated than I had assumed. Something like a Flannery O'Connor inspired political nightmare.
The megachurches, in this story, are nodes for conformity to a basic message, which is essentially theocratic. The sad thing is, the megachurches have become the new public space -- I could almost imagine myself, should I ever end up in the suburbs again, joining just for the hell of it. OK, not really. But where do people gather now? Where is a space for community social interaction? Do we have a secular option?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 6:57 AM on May 15, 2006


For whatever reason, I feel like noting that every morning from Kindergarten through eighth grade, I said a pledge to the Christian Flag immediately after the normal pledge to the American flag.

Hey, me too!

I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.

Mmmm, theocracy.
posted by EarBucket at 7:00 AM on May 15, 2006


Mean Mr. Bucket, re: Deuteronomy 7 - those were (supposedly) God's explicit instructions to the Hebrews on how to deal with the Canaanites, and have absolutely zero bearing on how Christians are supposed to comport themselves.

The Bible is pretty clear on the following: the Jews were supposed to own the whole of Palestine per the Old Testament, and the Christians are supposed to convert everyone to Christianity (including Jews) through evangelicism per the New. However, that conversion *must* be via personal decision, or it's worthless.
posted by Ryvar at 7:01 AM on May 15, 2006


I'm as wary of these people as anyone can be (as an atheist, some of them would like me dead, I'm sure) - but these articles strike me as puffery scare tactics with an eye towards selling Ms. Goldberg's book.

No doubt that there are many, many Christian dominionists who believe scary, scary things. I don't think it's out of bounds to compare them, especially their stated political aims, to Nazism or Islamic fundamentalism.

I do, however, question their political potency. The author hints that Judge Roy Moore holds a major lead in his run for governor: When Moore suggested he might run for Alabama governor, state polls showed him with a double-digit lead. Yet, in reality, he trails current governor Bob Riley by 2-to-1 in the polls. And remember, Gov. Riley was the architect of a failed tax-increase/modernization ballot initiative in 2003, after which people couldn't dig his political grave fast enough. To put it another way: ex-judge Moore is losing to a notorious tax-hiker, in Alabama, by a wide margin. Don't tell me he's the vanguard of some potent political movement that threatens our very freedoms.

And, even though the Republican party currently controls every branch of the federal government, the Christian right is pissed, because it's not getting what it wants. I've always found it surprising that the Falwell types didn't quite realize just how badly the Republican party treats them. They're the perinnial patsies - every election cycle the Republicans promise fundamental, conservative social change and them promptly forget about the whole thing. Total ban on gay marriage, total ban on abortion, total ban on stem cell research - none of these things is politically tenable, and the Republicans know it. Of course, who else are the Christian conservatives going to vote for? (I would love it if Moore became the Nader of the Right - but liberals aren't that lucky in this country).

To get back to my point - these people are scary, but they're not powerful. They have to compete with the other members of the Big Republican Tent - corporate interests, libertarians, simple economic conservatives, and others - and given that their vote is always assured, they have little clout. Still, it seems like an interesting book, despite the hype.
posted by thewittyname at 7:24 AM on May 15, 2006


I suspect this won't be much of a problem. Long before this is a serious social movement, the military will have undermined their goals by recruiting large numbers of them to go fight in Iraq.

The problem with Crusaders is that they're vulnerable to crusades.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:26 AM on May 15, 2006


But where do people gather now? Where is a space for community social interaction? Do we have a secular option?

How about here?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:35 AM on May 15, 2006


Not with them gay cups, ZenMasterThis.
posted by NationalKato at 7:41 AM on May 15, 2006


Oh, right, I forgot.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:45 AM on May 15, 2006


the whackjob right's "islamofascist" schtick

I though "islamofascist" was a mainstream word used to define muslim extremists?


no, it's not mainstream, it's a made-up definition, a neocon code word (just like "partial-birth abortion" is a made-up word, nonexistent in mainstream scientific medical literature -- it was made up by anti-choice activists).

"islamofascist", just like "partial birth abortion", frames the debate in a way that's favorable to your side (in this case, the neocon side).

"islamofascist" links an entire religion with 1.2 billion faithful all over the world, Islam, to fascism (guilty-by-association, a bit like, you know, "Rethuglican", a word I find very funny by the way).
thus, using "islamofascist" you link Islam to fascism, a good way to deflect accusations of fascism from yourself, since the neocon strategy -- aggressive militarism, preemptive war/invasion, militarisation of the State, removal of suspension of civil rights, torture, detention without trial, accusations of treason hurled against the political opposition -- can very well be accused (and provably so) of being very similar to known fascist tactics.
posted by matteo at 7:46 AM on May 15, 2006


"removal of or suspension of civil rights, "

etc

my bad, sorry
posted by matteo at 7:48 AM on May 15, 2006


I though "islamofascist" was a mainstream word used to define Muslim extremists?

Then you'd be wrong. And, by the way, did you know Fox news is still doing that "Hommicide bomber" shtick? And it's still totally ambiguous.
posted by delmoi at 8:00 AM on May 15, 2006


Leo Tolstoy knew of this issue a long time ago and had something interesting to say on it.
posted by j-urb at 8:00 AM on May 15, 2006


I don't know whether "islamofascist" has become a mainstream word, but it really shouldn't be. Even if it's only intend the term to denote extremists, their objectives have very little to do with the principles of Fascism. It's misleading and unnecessary
posted by Loudmax at 8:05 AM on May 15, 2006


If I see/hear it, I know I'm speaking to a robot/moron.

Only paid-for think-tankers and their credulous audience use that word.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:10 AM on May 15, 2006


Please deal with your Christian problem promptly, before the world is forced to join forces and take care of it for you.
posted by slatternus at 8:10 AM on May 15, 2006


Question: Why is it so cool to disparage, beatup on, politicaly correct, and otherwise just generaly trash the Christian religion and Christians in general, while it is politicaly incorrect and "insensitive", and 'hateful' to trash the 'moozlum' community or the religion [in the name of which nearly three thousand of my countrymen died]
or any of the worlds other religious ideologies for that matter.

Answer: Who cares, its fun, cheap, and is supported by every brand of liberalista currently in vogue.
posted by garficher at 8:30 AM on May 15, 2006


Why does any American seriously think that the Moozlum extremists are a greater threat to their personal liberty than the Krisstyun extremists?

I ask that as a Krisstyun.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:33 AM on May 15, 2006


For those without the time or inclination to read the entire of "Kingdom Coming", Terri Gross did a pretty good interview with the author Michelle Goldberg last week

For those who don't think this is much to worry about, just consider that the reproductive rights agenda in the U.S. is pretty much being controlled by those of like mind with the "Christian Nationalists" she describes.

For better or worse, they have a very thorough understanding of the American political process and have become quite effective at mastering it. I heard an interview with Thomas Frank ("What's the Matter with Kansas") a year or so ago in which he expressed deep admiration for them in this regard. You may disagree with their politics, I sure do, but they are going about achieving their ends in text-book civics class fashion.
posted by hwestiii at 8:35 AM on May 15, 2006


It's fun to pick on Christians because they're the ones who actually DO have their fingers on the trigger of the world's largest nuclear arsenal, and they have a Bible that tells them the end of the world is a good thing, to be longed for, and hastened if possible. If anyone's going to get us killed, it's Christ's followers. That's why it's "fun" to pick on them.
posted by slatternus at 8:36 AM on May 15, 2006


Oh, I forgot, there's also that little matter of two thousand years of ceaseless bloodshed, persecution, torture, genocide, invasion, and general obstruction of science and ethical and cultural progress. See, that's why we decadent liberal types get a little kick out of being mean to Christians.
posted by slatternus at 8:41 AM on May 15, 2006


If I see/hear it, I know I'm speaking to a robot/moron.

Same goes for 'liberalista.'
posted by NationalKato at 8:46 AM on May 15, 2006


two thousand years of ceaseless bloodshed, persecution, torture, genocide, invasion, and general obstruction of science and ethical and cultural progress.

So the christians got the jump on the muslims by 700 years. Big deal. We should trash the fundies of both with equal zeal.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:57 AM on May 15, 2006


Mean Mr. Bucket writes "1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;"

Jebusites?
posted by Optamystic at 9:13 AM on May 15, 2006


Pronounced Jeh-boo-sites.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:15 AM on May 15, 2006



So the christians got the jump on the muslims by 700 years. Big deal. We should trash the fundies of both with equal zeal.


Krisstyuns, Muuzlims, Hindoos, fundamentalists of all pursuasions have done more to make me an atheist than 16 years of brutal Catholic education.

Put it on the shelf with astrology and alchemy, indeed.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:22 AM on May 15, 2006


Many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians are out there who realize that the Dominionists are basically repeating the Tower of Babel all over again.
MMmmmm... I wouldn't say that. At least the Tower of Babel sounded like a good idea.
posted by verb at 9:27 AM on May 15, 2006


Dominion theologists IIRC are postmillenialists, believing they can bring the Kingdom of God on earth, then Jesus coming back to see just what a good job they did.

I do not agree with their theology (nor do I throw in my hat with the Premillenial Pretribulational Rapture people, which is an entirely different subset. )

The former are a subset of the whole of Christian fundamentalism, much less Christianity as a whole.

The Kingdom of God is not of this world. It is carried in hearts, not ballot boxes. That is not to say that Christians should not be involved in politics, just like any other group, but I seriously doubt the Lord will let them set up an earthly Theocracy simply because it would probably be a repeat of Pharaseeism. I would not want to live under any such thing unless and until Jesus comes back and sets it up Himself.
posted by konolia at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2006


since the neocon strategy -- aggressive militarism, preemptive war/invasion, militarisation of the State, removal of suspension of civil rights, torture, detention without trial, accusations of treason hurled against the political opposition -- can very well be accused (and provably so) of being very similar to known fascist tactics.

Let's also not forget the awesome corporatism aspect to fascism, which swings the neocons fully into the actual sweet spot of embodying the twentieth century's greatest contribution to human misery and the death of whatever the soul actually is.

You know how mainstream Muslims had to go around and decry the 9/11 attacks and Osama's thousand year Caliphate (even if this was mostly ignored by the corporate media)? Christians in America who have an ounce of actual Jesus love in them should be out in the streets after every sunday service making it damn well fucking clear that the acts being carried out in the name of Jesus (overt and merely alluded to, to appease the dominionist wackadoo's) are wrong, utter anathma to Christians and a load of shit.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:44 AM on May 15, 2006


Religion is the byproduct of temporal lobe epilepsy. I remain hopeful that a cure will one day be found, and distributed globally in aerosol form.
posted by slatternus at 10:12 AM on May 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

I don't see any of these guys around these days. Ergo, mission accomplished. Christian militarists now have complete and utter dispensation to STFU.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:17 AM on May 15, 2006


The Kingdom of God is not of this world. It is carried in hearts, not ballot boxes.

Thank you. That explains why Christians have never had a problem spilling blood in the name of their God. BECAUSE IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER.
posted by slatternus at 10:39 AM on May 15, 2006


Do we have a secular option?

MeFi and teh Internets.
posted by sfts2 at 10:53 AM on May 15, 2006


Religion is the byproduct of temporal lobe epilepsy. I remain hopeful that a cure will one day be found, and distributed globally in aerosol form.

Religion has never been the problem; it's always been greed, jealousy and a sociopathic desire for power that has buggered up what might've been a good idea.
posted by illiad at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2006


There is an interpretation of the Judas story that holds that his intention in turning Jesus over to the authorities was to force him to fight back and begin the revolution that would overthrow the Roman oppressors.

In this reading, Judas' misconceived vision of "Christ's Kingdom" as an Earthly military power led him to betrayal of the Christ.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:04 AM on May 15, 2006


"islamofascist" links an entire religion with 1.2 billion faithful all over the world, Islam, to fascism (guilty-by-association, [...]
thus, using "islamofascist" you link Islam to fascism


No, actually the term "islamofascist" is equivalent to "islamic fascist". That is "a fascist who is islamic".

The term "white power fascist" does not imply that I'm a fascist although I am white.

I think it's very helpful to have a term that refers to those pernicious elements without referring to other Muslims. To me islamofascist is the best candidate for that term; it succinctly points to the anti-democratic aims of that group.

I don't think it's helpful to try to squash a problem by squashing all talking about it. And I do think islamofascists are a problem.
In Europe at least.
posted by jouke at 11:55 AM on May 15, 2006


You know how mainstream Muslims had to go around and decry the 9/11 attacks and Osama's thousand year Caliphate (even if this was mostly ignored by the corporate media)? Christians in America who have an ounce of actual Jesus love in them should be out in the streets after every sunday service making it damn well fucking clear that the acts being carried out in the name of Jesus (overt and merely alluded to, to appease the dominionist wackadoo's) are wrong, utter anathma to Christians and a load of shit.
Sure. Bear in mind that they get about as much coverage as the mainstream muslims who went around decrying Osama's attacks. And, while they're doing it, they get pissed on by the 'freethinkers' because they won't just become atheists.

"Resistance is starting to appear?" More like, "Resistance is starting to get some actual attention by people who cover religion for major publications."
posted by verb at 12:01 PM on May 15, 2006


Just don't use the words "hit back" or all hell breaks loose.

PS. Sam Harris IS right.
posted by tkchrist at 12:04 PM on May 15, 2006


To me islamofascist is the best candidate for that term; it succinctly points to the anti-democratic aims of that group.

Which group? Who, exactly? Do you want to talk about post-Qutbian Islamic political philosophy, which spans the Shi'ite-Sunni division? Do you want to talk about fundamentalists in general?

If you are concerned about Wahabbists, fine. If you are concerned about Salafists, fine (as if anyone using 'Islamofascist' knows who they are.)

There is no historical or political movement captured by the made-up word "Islamofascist." It is as content-free and as leading a description as "Taste-tacular!" or "Kid-riffic!"

It is obfuscating advertising. It is propaganda.

There are no "Islamofascists." (Excepting maybe this guy and his buddies, but that's not what people mean when they use the term.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:07 PM on May 15, 2006


Um, why is it that I feel like I don’t really have anything to fear from the so-called “Christian Nationalists”? And why is it that the word “sensationalism” keeps popping into my head?

Must be cuz I’m from Kansas (and so there is something the matter with me) and I’m a demi-semi-Christian (so I want to, um, convince you to treat people with compassion). Or maybe I’m just dumb.

BTW, is the sky falling, too? Should I run for my life? Should I buy insurance?
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:11 PM on May 15, 2006


(the more, she is below)
Which is to say, I do want to see debate about Islamic fundamentalism. It should be based in fact, it should be intellectually honest.

I mean, if I call the Democrats "Spend-o-crats", am I accurately pinpointing the group of Democrats who would like to spend a lot of tax money, or am I engaging in a little rhetorical game to cast a certain group in a certain light?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:13 PM on May 15, 2006


or am I engaging in a little rhetorical game to cast a certain group in a certain light?

Actually, you'd be channeling Glen Reynolds.
posted by slatternus at 12:27 PM on May 15, 2006


If you are concerned about Salafists, fine (as if anyone using 'Islamofascist' knows who they are.)


As if anyones cares who they are. What term would like people to use? How about Jihadist? It has nice ring to it...
posted by MikeMc at 12:38 PM on May 15, 2006


If you are concerned about Wahabbists, fine. If you are concerned about Salafists, fine (as if anyone using 'Islamofascist' knows who they are.)

The only thing I'll say in defense of LGF is that yeah, they do know who the Wahabbists and Salafists are. Read through the comments there some time - Wahabbists get brought up whenever the cries for genocide against Arabs reaches a fever pitch.
posted by Ryvar at 12:39 PM on May 15, 2006


Um, why is it that I feel like I don’t really have anything to fear from the so-called “Christian Nationalists”? ... Must be cuz I’m from Kansas (and so there is something the matter with me) and I’m a demi-semi-Christian (so I want to, um, convince you to treat people with compassion).
Simple summary: These people want to force non-Christians to act like Christians. Not just any Christians, though -- they want everyone to act like their particular brand of Christians, which even a lot of other Christians don't agree with. This is antithetical to both the founding principles of the country, and the teachings of Christ.

There's other stuff, too. Their vision of the US' role in international relations is positively poisonous, for example. But there's not really any room for halfheartedness with Dominionism and Christian nationalism. Either you're with them, or you're against them. They'll get around to you eventually.
posted by verb at 12:42 PM on May 15, 2006


How about Jihadist?

That works, too.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:44 PM on May 15, 2006


If it's non-violent, I don't care what people's religious beliefs are even when their "scriptures" are nothing more than arcane, self-referential text. The irony of claiming that a book is "true simply because it says it is true" is totally lost on them. But when "scriptures" endorse killing people who believe differently...and…killing people who dare (god forbid) to think for themselves it's gone too far. We don't tolerate other cults practicing mass murder. Why should we tolerate these wack jobs? Because they are grandfathered into history? Personally, I am sick of being dragged along in this Jewish/Christian/Muslim patriarchal blood feud. Screw 'em all and their "scriptures".
posted by chance at 12:45 PM on May 15, 2006


and I’m a demi-semi-Christian (so I want to, um, convince you to treat people with compassion)

How I would love to run into a Christian who actually thought that way. But I honestly never have. Not even one.
posted by slatternus at 12:48 PM on May 15, 2006


What's that white stuff spread all over the sky?





Kingdom cum.
posted by MotherTucker at 1:06 PM on May 15, 2006


Islamofascist still is shorter than salafist-or-wahabist-or-post-qutbist (yes, I saw The Power of Nightmares too).
So either that, or indeed jihadist, is a very useful term.

But islamofascist has a pejorative ring to it that I like.
posted by jouke at 1:08 PM on May 15, 2006


Maybe you should keep digging a little deeper than PoN.

But, of course, the pejorative aspect is the motivation for the term, not any kind of intellectual honesty.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:11 PM on May 15, 2006


It is time to put religion on the shelf with alchemy and astrology.

Amen.
posted by MD06 at 1:50 PM on May 15, 2006


Dang!

"search - "Christian diminution" - did not match any documents. "
posted by hank at 1:56 PM on May 15, 2006


Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
For in possession such, not onely of right,
I call ye and declare ye now, returnd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
Triumphant out of this infernal Pit
Abominable, accurst, the house of woe,
And Dungeon of our Tyrant: Now possess,
As Lords, a spacious World, to our native Heaven
Little inferiour, by my adventure hard
With peril great atchiev'd.
posted by bardic at 2:46 PM on May 15, 2006


(For the irony impaired, that's Lucifer speaking.)
posted by bardic at 3:14 PM on May 15, 2006


jouke -

"To me islamofascist is the best candidate for that term..."

I'm sorry, jouke, you may be well intended with this line of thinking, but you're wrong.

"Islamofascist" is just a way to blanket a given group with a negative moniker.

It's a racial epithet designed to denigrate and dehumanize an entire class of people based on their race or religion.

A cultured, thinking person who is honestly worried about hostile Islamic fundamentalism would never use a word like that.
posted by rougy at 4:37 PM on May 15, 2006


I don't know, I mean, I think both factions (Christian or Muslim fundamentalists) shouldn't be correlated to fascism. Fascism is a very specific doctrine of state power and societal binding that is very historic. I would much rather use the term authoritarian with their policies, because that's what they're trying to do with government. Plus, fascism has too much baggage. The term is easily throw about, and even if it's somewhat accurate, easily dismissed.

So. . . sometimes different Christians and Moslems can believe in religious authoritarianism. That's not good for anyone, even for Geneva.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:52 PM on May 15, 2006


On the shelf, definitely.

Humanity, collectively, does not have to be a child anymore. We've been using our brains, and we've been growing up. We really don't need sky gods anymore - we can create ourselves, be our own person.

Time to call the fairy tales for what they are, and stop trying to live in them.
posted by zoogleplex at 7:23 PM on May 15, 2006


is this a sorryeverybody for christians? maybe too little too late.
posted by RustyBottoms at 8:13 PM on May 15, 2006


Having grown up in Alabama, followed by a decade working in Los Angeles, and then recently moving back to Alabama, I can tell you this isn't just "sensationalism" just for the sake of selling a book (at least, no more than any other author pushing a book.)

I can say this idea of a "Christian Nationalism" movement is real and that it scares the shit out of me.
posted by jca at 10:30 PM on May 15, 2006


How about we call it "The War To Re-subjugate Brown People?"
posted by nofundy at 5:43 AM on May 16, 2006


I'd just like to note, lions seem to breed well in captivity.

I can say that, I'm a Christian, of the non-nationalistic variety.
posted by Goofyy at 7:15 AM on May 16, 2006


You terrified blue-staters should read this:

There is an unintentionally hilarious excerpt in Salon today from Michelle Goldberg’s new book, “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism.” In it, Goldberg casts doubt on her ability to serve as a reliable guide by repeatedly confusing premillenialism with rapture theology, by confusing the Weimar-era “conservative revolution” in Germany with Nazism, and by apparently believing that Leviticus was a person.

It also opens with a portentous description of an interpretative dance performance regarding the removal of Roy Moore’s 10 Commandments monument from an Alabama courthouse. Apparently, Goldberg intends this to be menacing, but it’s hard to be frightened by any group that communicates its message through dance…

To be fair to these perplexed and terrified people, Christians are not easy to understand. To begin with, there are roughly 2,000 years of history to grasp, and certainly more denominations and subdivisions than that to take on board. For people who were raised secular, I imagine it’s like trying to understand an opera after coming in halfway before the end: the stage is crowded with people, two of them seem to be dead, a woman is wearing a hat with horns, and everyone is making a terrible racket.

The time has come for some kind of crib sheet for the confused and frightened, a handy, easy-to-use reference guide for identifying some of the key denominations, terms, and concepts in Christianity.

posted by gd779 at 9:02 AM on May 16, 2006


For those of you who would like to "shelve" religion, I hasten to add that “shelving” has been tried and it didn't turn out very well. It was called the "Soviet Union," I think. Ever heard of it? And then there were these folks called "Nazis." They didn't like religion much either, and their little experiment in radical state/race worship didn't turn out any better.

If I had to choose living in a country with religion (and especially Christianity) vs. one without, I think I’d go for religion. Though godless Sweden seems nice…
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:00 PM on May 16, 2006


For those of you who would like to "shelve" religion, I hasten to add that “shelving” has been tried and it didn't turn out very well. It was called the "Soviet Union," I think. Ever heard of it?
s/religion/evil s/soviet union/crusades

Etc etc etc.

As a Christian, I'm frustrated (obviously) by the rants about how 'belief' just needs to be eradicated to save humanity, blah blah. But a little research will indicate that various branches of the church were complicit in both Soviet and German totalitarianism, too. Both dictatorships were clearly antagonistic towards the key tenets of the Christian faith, but Germany in particular offers many examples of church leaders who wrapped themselves in the swastika and embraced German nationalism, claiming that it went hand in hand with 'faith.'

I think a strong case can be made that whenever the church has posessed power in the temporal, political sense, things have gone very, very very badly. It's not a coincidence, I think, that the New Testament writers spent their time discussing how to deal with powerful people rather than how to *be* powerful people.
posted by verb at 2:38 PM on May 16, 2006


Well said, verb.
posted by Goofyy at 5:24 AM on May 17, 2006


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