Saturday, 30 May 2009

Fundamentalism of the Christian Kind is not Growing!

Liberal people all over the world love fundie-bashing. It is so snug and comfortable to show how deluded they, the fundamentalists are, how unreasonable, selfish and evil they are. Just put in any fundie you’d love to hate into the formula – the Muslim extremists, the Nazis, the fundamentalist Christians, the NeoCon Republicans, the Taleban – the list is endless.

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How Much Damage Religious Fundamentalists do?

If we look at the death toll of killing campaigns and mass deaths, the fundamentalists lose to secular killing campaigns straight out. The Inquisition or the Crusades total death toll lack a few zeroes, when compared to Mao and the Spanish Flu.

Now, we can argue that religion was involved in these massacres as well.

Stalin attended a theological seminary and almost became a priest, Mao was fighting eradicate religions, and the annihilation of the Native Americans was in the name of progress and religion too.

But religious persecution, of the Christian fundamentalist (“I am right and all others wrong” kind) did a lot of damage by terrorising entire societies. There is no negotiation or room for differences with them (do the Taleban sound familiar?)

Emperor Charlemagne in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, behea
ded. Peasants of Steding (Germany) unwilling to pay suffocating church taxes: between 5,000 and 11,000 men, women and children slain in one day on 5/27/1234 near Altenesch (Germany). Population numbers in those days were also lower than today, so killing 16, 000 persons removed a significant part of the population. Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists justify their actions by calling Western colonialism and post-war Western Imperialism by the chilling term al-Salibiyyah: the Crusade". (Karen Armstrong 2000).

Can Religious Fundamentalists do Any Good?

Religious fundamentalists function on a “If you are not with us, you are against us” principle made so notorious by George Bush. Extremists religious communities are very close knit and they support members much more than social security. Membership does have privileges, but they are withdrawn the moment you start dissenting. Earlier, dissenters were ‘removed’ too.

Photo Source

I am not making any apology for any fundie. I’m awfully glad that the people of India did not put their faith in Hindu fundamentalism in the 2009 elections.

Liberalism and Not Fundamentalism is Rising?

Copernicus Marketing Consulting and Research, an American firm that helps Fortune 500 companies make better marketing decisions, reveals that the number of Americans who consider themselves fundamentalist is growing at a much faster rate than those with less orthodox or evangelical views has no basis in fact.

In 1972, 18% of American considered themselves ‘liberals’
In 2002, 29% of American considered themselves ‘liberals’

In 1972, 27% of American considered themselves ‘fundamentalists’
In 2002, 30% of American considered themselves ‘fundamentalists’

For various reasons, we have had slight difficulties in getting figures for Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

Yes, it seems that 'fundies' of different sorts put a terrible twist to things, mostly for their own benefit. We could be snug and say that 'fundies' are deluded as they call all others deluded. But then doesn’t it become a case of the blind leading the blind? I'm comfortable with people taking different roads or rather making different roads as long as they don't force it on me.

Here’s a very nice article about Christian Fundamentalism by Mark Gordon Brown, which inspired me to write this post.

Ref: Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (p.180)


Mark Gordon Brown said...

Very Interesting. I am glad you understood my original work being specific to Fundamentalists rather than just your run-of-the-mill varitey of Christian.

Liberal said...

Fundamentalists of all kinds are a challenge for the functioning of a society and ultimately everyone suffers.

sen and qi said...

Unfortunately there has to be Extreme sitiations before the Mainstream get off their butts, excuse my French, to do anything. This is quite pitiful as Master Sun int eh Art of War declared that the best General is the One who can avoid the War. Unfortunately it is the corrupt Governments world wide that have actually 'groomed' the Terrorists, whatever their agenda or back round. Really iked your bog and will come back. Rating a 5 in blogcatalog.

Anonymous said...

Very article with facts and figures.
I think 2 recent incidents need a mention here:
Another day I was going to Metro station of Helsinki, and a lady stopped me and offered me some religious text. Apart from that to my friend she said "remember that Jessus loves you more than your Indian god" :D I first laughed at how silly statement, and at other moment felt like arguing with her. Later discussed with my friend and we reached conclusion that she might have been poor and hence doing her job! so I gave up
Another day we were also calculating Income of India's biggest Temple, Tirupati and it was 160k Euros daily! I could see many beggars in periphery of 20 km of temple!

In general I have started to (1)believe that religion has been "institutionalized" and is a business now (2) Religion is a very personal thing for me to search myself in this world, and I would not like to share with anyone else!

#Vishal R. Biyani

Aswani said...

Great post..sir ! Fundamentalism has been very well explained by you. This need to be eradicated soon to forge a better society .

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