"I hope it's clear that my position in this dispute is to advocate an intellectual community with enough civility to not refrain from expressing, or tacitly approving, hatred for tens if not hundreds of millions of people, or to resort to dangerous and sweeping generalizations, linking them to such complex political phenomena as fascism. "
Forgive the double negative. I meant simply, "to refrain from expressing . . ."
Date: 02/25/04 19:30:40
Subject: Re: People o' The Book/Re: The fundamentalism Problem
Justin Blessinger wrote: [CLIP] "And yes, those rabid fundamentalist
Christians are definitely the ones to watch for being the next fascists
to lock you up or kill you. Aside from the fact that they've been
leaders among the abolitionists when it came to slavery and the civil
rights movement. Furthermore, Many prominant black civil rights leaders
have been fundamentalists, among them Martin Luther King, Jr. That
scary, horrible Southern Baptist Church thrives today in many African
No, the abolitionists weren't "fundamentalists"; Fundamentalism did not
exist before 1910 or so. Take a look at the material at the URL I gave.
Fundamentalism is profoundly different from "Orthodox Christianity." The
black churches _did_ play an important role in the civil-rights era, but
this has become less and less the case over the last three plus decades.
When back in 1988 the president of the local NAACP (an atheist,
incidentally) and I went to several black churches for the purpose of
registering voters we were both appalled by the reactionary material
that formed part of the content of the sermons we had to endure.
"Fascism" is not a word I care to throw around -- it is merely a species
of authoritarianism, not the genus itself, and whether any current
reactionary movements can be usefully labelled "fascist" is a matter of
some debate. But certainly many strands of both xtian & islamist
fundamentalism _could_ nurture movements very like fascism.
P.S. Tariq Ali's _The Clash of Fundamentalisms_ is worth a look.