RE: [CF] OT: religious fundamentalists
- I see the term "religious fundamentalists" thrown around a lot in the
media and on the Web recently, often used interchangeably with
"conservative Christian," "the religious right," "born-again Christian,"
"evangelical Christian" and "pentacostal Christian."
I myself always preferred the term "Christian," assuming everyone else
knew that the term encompasses as much diversity as there is in the
world. But since sub-sets of that group have come to be stereotyped as
ignorant, theocratic or other derogatory terms, I get a little
defensive, which is why I offer these comments.
A "fundamentalist" Christian is not the same as an "evangelical
Christian." As for the other terms, they often overlap but are not
An evangelical Christian according to the Institute for the Study of
)displays these four specific hallmarks: conversionism, the belief that
lives need to be changed; activism, the expression of the gospel in
effort; biblicism, a particular regard for the Bible; and crucicentrism,
a stress on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
The same organization goes on to say:
"Fundamentalist" is a term that is frequently bandied about in the news
media these days. Unfortunately, this term has been used so casually in
describing anyone who seems to hold some sort of traditional religious
belief -- be they a Bible Baptist TV preacher, a Hasidic rabbi, a Mormon
housewife, or a soldier of the Islamic Jihad -- that the word has become
nearly useless. When used within the North American historical context,
however, there are precedents for the use of this term which restores a
sense of descriptive cohesion. Fundamentalism was a movement that arose
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries within American Protestantism
reacting against "modernist" theology and biblical criticism as well as
changes in the nation's cultural and social scene. Taking its name from
The Fundamentals (1910-1915), a twelve-volume set of essays designed to
combat Liberal theology, the movement grew by leaps and bounds after
World War I. ...
"Since the 1940s, the term fundamentalist has come to denote a
particularly aggressive style related to the conviction that the
separation from cultural decadence and apostate (read liberal) churches
are telling marks of faithfulness to Christ."
So, in the world of Christianity, one unusual mark of a "fundamentalist"
is that this group tends to want to live apart from the world, while an
evangelical would tend to want to live "in" the world with the notion of
Obviously, this is not the proper forum to go into great details on all
the other types of Christians, but I feel it is important that -- just
as we should understand the differences between the types of Muslims --
that we should understand the differences between the types of
Christians and not allow such labels to become a short cut to
Regardless of what label we give a person or the label given by that
person to him/herself, I think we can best judge the person by his/her
actions and reserve our comments and responses for those actions, and
not the label. Even more importantly, I think we cannot always judge a
group by the actions of a few.
Now climbing down from her soapbox,
Norman, Okla., USA
- On 8/1/05, Fitzsimmons, Diane <dcfitzsimmons@...> wrote:
> "Since the 1940s, the term fundamentalist has come to denote aDiane,
> particularly aggressive style related to the conviction that the
> separation from cultural decadence and apostate (read liberal) churches
> are telling marks of faithfulness to Christ."
As an adherent of the Religious Society of Friends, I'm well aware of
the differentiation to be made between Fundamentalism and
Evangelicalism. Quakers are within the Evangelical tradition of the
modern Protestant church, although - since the idea of continuing
revelation is central to our testimonies - I think it would be hard to
pin a fundamentalist label on us.
I tried to be mindful and careful in my post to use the term
fundamentalist in describing the homeschoolers in this area who
primarily identify themselves as Christian. I used that term
specifically because it is my understanding that these homeschoolers
have withdrawn their kids from a mainstream school setting
specifically to shield them from influences which are not in their
particular religious tradition.
Obviously, there is a lot of diversity within the Christian community
and a lot of religious diversity within the homeschooling community.
I apologize if my characterizations of groups and sub-groups offended
you in any way.
>>-----Original Message-----No one's post offended me. I made the assumption that everyone used the
>>[mailto:CarFree@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Terry Mehlman
>>Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 1:22 PM
>>Subject: Re: [CF] OT: religious fundamentalists
>>Obviously, there is a lot of diversity within the Christian
>>community and a lot of religious diversity within the
>>I apologize if my characterizations of groups and sub-groups
>>offended you in any way.
term correctly -- especially as it was in the context of people
homeschooling as a means of protecting children. I made my comments for
those who may not be aware of the various "shades" of Christianity,
especially American Christianity.
Living in a university town, I have found homeschooling is usually done
-- regardless of religious or political persuasion -- as a way to
"protect" children from "harmful" influences -- whether one defines
those influences as bad teaching, boring curriculum, controversial
topics, drugs, Christians, non-Christians, etc. Interestingly enough,
most homeschoolers I have known (admittedly I know few) were more likely
to be parents from the "left," trying to avoid cultural influences
typical in Oklahoma. Once again, that is probably because I live in a
I have often thought it would have been much easier to raise my children
to be car-free (among other personal values I prize) if I had
homeschooled them. I still have three at home -- 16, 9 and 6 -- and, if
finances allowed, would be interested in trying it with my younger two.
But my husband is adamantly opposed to homeschooling because he, like
many, sees homeschooling as a way of damping down the imagination.
Norman, Okla., USA
- --- "Fitzsimmons, Diane" <dcfitzsimmons@...> wrote:
> I have often thought it would have been much easierHow weird. Most people I know home-educate so their
> to raise my children
> to be car-free (among other personal values I prize)
> if I had
> homeschooled them. I still have three at home --
> 16, 9 and 6 -- and, if
> finances allowed, would be interested in trying it
> with my younger two.
> But my husband is adamantly opposed to homeschooling
> because he, like
> many, sees homeschooling as a way of damping down
> the imagination.
> Diane Fitzsimmons
> Norman, Okla., USA
children are free to use their imagination and learn
in their own way rather than be restricted toa school
curriculum which tells you what and when to learn.
Want to learn about Romans? Too bad, you have to wait
for 3rd Grade! Interested in biochemistry? You're too
young. Wait till you're 15!
My son wouldn't get to do the wizards apprenticeship
electronics he's doing if he went to school. He'd have
to learn English lit cos that was what the curriculum
said. My daughter wouldn't be free to write stories
when she felt like it, her imagination would be
hammered into a timetable.
My kids are free to learn when they want and where
they want and what they want and definately think
outside the box. They get to mix with all ages rather
than being forced to only mix with 30 kids their own
age and they get to live in the real world rather than
an institution. They also make theor own decisions
rather than being herded about like sheep to the sound
of a bell. Dealing with nonsensical rules.
I reckon I'm a bit evangelical about freeing children
Maybe liberated kids will think outside the box when
it comes to transport too :-)
Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you're needed by someone.Navratilova, Martina1956 American Tennis Player
How much free photo storage do you get? Store your holiday
snaps for FREE with Yahoo! Photos http://uk.photos.yahoo.com
- --- "Fitzsimmons, Diane" wrote:
> I have often thought it would have been much easierMy children have been homeschooled over the past three years. In
> to raise my children to be car-free (among other
> personal values I prize) if I had homeschooled them.
active homeschooling groups you have a zillion "enrichment" activities
-- these might be field trips, special classes, group picnics,
children play activities, and so forth. The homeschoolers are taken to
these activities in a hundred separate minivans. In our local co-op of
about 300 homeschooling families, my family is the *only* one I've
seen that has ever used bikes to get to an activity.
Daytime child-free activities that public-school parents might take
for granted -- running to the store, doing errands, going to school or
work, etc -- become a little more complicated. Instead of just hopping
on the bike or the bus, you now must get the kids on their bikes
and/or trailers if your children are too young to be left unsupervised.
--- SHYRLEY WILLIAMS wrote:
> I reckon I'm a bit evangelical about freeing childrenMy observations are similar to Shyrley's, incidentally, regarding the
> from day-prisons!!
> Maybe liberated kids will think outside the box when
> it comes to transport too :-)
opportunities to expand rather than restrict the imagination in the
homeschooling environment. My children aren't restricted to playing
with kids in their own age or class and they interact well with
children and adults of all ages.
I've met some real dodo's, too, among homeschooling families --
teenagers who can't read or have any basic critical thinking skills.
I'm personally of two-minds about homeschooling and my older child is
entering public school this fall.