Schneider argues that secular fundamentalism is a religion that adheres to a strict set of beliefs, mainly that "God should be strictly excluded from civil affairs" (para. 4). This view of secular fundamentalism shares little difference with the traditional fundamentalism, with the exception of two traits. Secular fundamentalists are not patriarchal, as they accept modern gender standards, and they desire the modern age of science rather than wanting to overturn it ("10 Traits of Fundamentalist Movements").
2. Adam Otto argues that every religion is an interpretation of the sacred, a "numinous phenomenon" that is at the heart of all spirituality. Otto's interpretation would accept that all religious are valid because they are all simply different interpretations of the same thing. Otto argues that the sacred is a mystery, overwhelming if one were to be in its presence, and is fascinating ("Theorists of Religion: Otto"). In the Christian religion, this is true of the Christian God, who is often described as bright and awesome in visions, so bight that one cannot tear his or her eyes away. In addition, the concept of the trinity makes the sacred a mystery. The Hindu religion also shows an acceptance of the sacred as having these three traits. The many form-shifting, various god-personalities, and other spiritual beings are both overwhelming in their brilliance, as paintings show, and mysterious. Further, the paintings of these gods show them brightly colored and formed in such a way that they would hold one's attention. Thus, many religions certainly do...
Religious fundamentalists, however, do not. Ruthven argues that while many followers of certain religions may follow the same God, such as Jews, Christians, and Muslims do, fundamentalists from these religions are ready to come to arms about what that God's desires are (4). This certainly does not show that fundamentalists recognize the inherent sameness that Otto proposes.
3. The major problem with fundamentalism is the fact that it "has been the principal source of conflict since the late 1980s and early 1990s" (Ruthvan 4). This problem is created by the traits that fundamentalists share -- the fact they believe they are exclusively right, while all others are wrong. In addition, fundamentalists are incredibly vested in their beliefs as such. To combat this, it is necessary to encourage the adaptation of a view like Adam Otto's view of the sacred. In as many venues as possible, those who are not fundamentalists must proclaim with emphasis the similarities among religions so that enlightenment may be reached. Further, Ruthvan points out that ethnic and national ties often compound this nationalism, so another way to solve this problem is to get at the root causes, such as poverty, poor access to education, and corrupt governments.
Ruthven, Malise. Fundamentalism: The Search For Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University
Schneider, Gary. "Secular Fundamentalism in America." News Bull n.d. The Reality
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He says, "The South was right, my friends, there is no doubt about it" (Taft and Holleman). Thus, the Christian Identity movement is strongly connected with one's personal feelings towards Jews and those of non-Anglo-Saxon origin, seeing them as obstacles. Robin succinctly defines these problems when he lists the basic beliefs of the Christian Identity movement. Robin states that the Christian Identity members believe in a "very conservative interpretation
7). Still, it seems safe from the seat of scholarship to condemn such exclusive and condemnatory practices as decidedly un-Christian; the oft-quoted (or at least oft-referenced) Biblical passage from John seems to be one of the more direct and unequivocal statements regarding who will be saved: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but
As can be seen, all three of the above discussed authors contribute an essential point-of-view and approach to the question of the modern day fundamentalism and today's holy wars and crusades. Although each author takes a unique approach to the subject, it is impossible to say that one is right and another wrong. Instead, each author's approach adds to or supplements the other authors' theories and approaches. For example, whereas
Giaour is cursed to be a vampire as punishment, while Ruthven seems to revel in the power and the role this gives him. He also describes women as adulteresses and worse and treats them as fodder for his needs on every level. Aubrey notes this and does not like it, but he also does not manage to escape from the man or his way of life. In the end,