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TSE  February 2004

TSE February 2004

Subject:

Re: The fundamentalism Problem

From:

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Mon, 23 Feb 2004 02:00:18 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (133 lines)

Perhaps a nice friendly distinct home needs to be made for fanatics,
as separate from fundamentalists. Seems to me anyone who takes his or her
religion seriously as a fundamental base for a life style can be seen in a
certain light as a fundamentalist. One might hope that US citizens who take
the phrase "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" as fundamental to
their political beliefs might find acceptability in a culture that doesn't
like fundamental fanaticism. Similarly a statement of faith which begins "We
hold these truths to be self-evident" might not be found wanting as a
fundamental set of principles that others might be willing to tolerate, even
if they don't adhere to them. So too, a creed which goes to the effect that
"I believe in God..." should have a certain coinage of respectability
amongst those who don't hold it.

I suppose when one sets about to bother others with one's own such creed,
whether it be to impose Allah, or life,liberty and the pursuet of
happiness then one has problems. Israel has solved that problem by making
the open public proselytisation of others against the law. Many Jews who
have become Messianic Jews or Jews for Jesus, find themselves in deep do-do
because of their evangelistic zeal in Israel.

Then there is the problem of conflicting fundmental principles held by
honest, but not fanatic adherents of different faiths. I wonder if any human
has a solution to that problem. Which right trumps which right?
God bless the US Supreme court for Roe v Wade and damn it for GWB.
Or the reverse. A pretty mess indeed.

So where does one draw the line, Picasso?

Cheers,
Peter (and a rock I ain't).

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Seddon
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2/22/04 7:46 PM
Subject: The fundamentalism Problem

Dear List

Danger: a tongue is firmly placed in a cheek!!

Let's consider this "Fundamentalism" Problem that Gunnar raised.  Maybe
we can find a solution.

Generally I would think that it means a belief in fundamentals.  I would
expect that we could extend it to such an extreme belief in fundamentals
that the fundamentalist believes only his/her fundamentals are correct.

So what "type" of people are fundamentalists. Well we have the religious
fundamentalists such as Billy Graham and George W. Bush even though he
goes to the Episcopal Church in Washington D.C and not many
Episcopalians are "Fundamentalists"  I would suppose we have
philosophical fundamentalists such as Wittgenstein, economic
fundamentalists such as Marx or Mills and perhaps political
fundamentalists such as Bush and Blair..  And, I guess they can all be
considered bad when they practice their fundamentalism to the extreme
like every one knows Bush does.

Lets look at religious fundamentalists.  They would include those
members of every faith, Christian, Jews, Muslim, Buddhist,  etc. who
believe that their faith is the only proper faith and who believe in a
devote practice of the fundamentals of their beliefs..

 Muslim fundamentalists would be those Muslims who believe that Allah is
the only God and that Mohammed is his prophet.  But all Muslims believe
this so what is different about the fundamentalist.  Well he believes
that everyone should be a Muslim, but again every good Muslim believes
that.  They would believe in the Hajj and throwing rocks at the devil.
But every good Muslim believes that.  I know, its whatever that  type of
Islam is that they preach in Saudi Arabia.  But Mohammed was an Arabian
who preached in Saudi Arabia.  How about Black Muslims?  Are they
fundamentally Muslims?  I guess I mean all those bomb toters who are
always blowing themselves up killing many other people including
Muslims..  What is more fundamental than suicide.  But suicide is
against the tenets of Islam.  Killing other Muslims is definitely a
No-No for a good, devote and fundamental Muslim.  This isn't working
well at all.

How about Christian Fundamentalism.  Well they would be "born again"
meaning they came to their faith in a mystical encounter with their God
as an adult.  They would be against Gay marriage and abortion.  They
would be for prayer in schools.  They would exclude women from certain
functions.  They would believe that a belief in Christ is fundamental to
"salvation".  They would be absolutely devote in their belief to the
point where it consumed their very life.  My goodness, we have just
described Pope John Paul.  But this can't be because we intended to
describe someone else, someone dangerous.

This isn't working well.

What we want to identify are all those Conservative, bible thumping,
pick up driving, flag waving, Gun loving, God in the National anthem, 10
Commandments in Court Houses, anti-evolution generally white Americans
who are really dangerous to a progressive and relativist New World
Order.  We don't really want to have to include Pope John Paul in the
same group with some white, rebel flag toting, pot bellied,.beer
drinking, hamburger eating, woman chasing, mobile home dweller from
Arkansas or Midland, Texas.

I guess we would have to include Gandhi as a religious fundamentalist
along with the Dali Lama.  I mean who lives his faith more fundamentally
than the Dali Lama?. You know, I bet that the Dali Lama wouldn't mind at
all living in a mobile home with our beer drinking, pot bellied, woman
chasing southern "fundamentalist".  The Dali Lama would prefer a soy
burger but they would probably get along well together..

This is not working well at all.

Maybe political Fundamentalism would be better.  We could include all
the dangerous conservatives who are for guns, prayer in schools, are
anti-welfare, anti-environment and anti-civil rights.  But, there isn't
a single American politician who would admit to being anti-civil rights,
anti environment and anti-welfare.  That's alright we know who they are.
But now wait, my goodness,  there are some American progressives who
have voted to reduce welfare benefits and have supported private
ownership of guns (gasp), school prayer and don't exactly vote for the
environment properly all the time.  I guess I'll just lump all those
politicians who are really good at thwarting progressive policies into
the "Fundamentalist" category.  But, there are several Southern white
Democrats who stray now and then from the progressive fold.  To hell
with it throw them in too.

You know this isn't working well.

I guess I'll just have to keep working towards a final solution of my
"Fundamentalism"  Problem  If I can get them all safely identified then
I'll be able to do something about them.

And I sincerely hope you have seen my tongue firmly placed in my cheek
and don't think I believe any of the above trash.

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM

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