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