12 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2022
    1. Religious-driven authoritarianism is fundamentalism’s only option. Indeed, it is the mission.
    2. Although fundamentalist Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox agree on very little theologically (God exists, the Bible is true, Jesus is Savior, the church is divine) and vary in details of hierarchical authority, they nevertheless are making common cause to defeat threats to order — “Nazis,” women, LGBTQ people, governments and political systems deemed ungodly. These three groups of militant fundamentalists have coalesced into an uneasy alliance with the overall goal of creating a new global order, based upon Gods’ divine design, with three cooperating spheres of theological influence.

      They can turn to destroying each other once they are done with the rest ofus.

    3. Hierarchical groups that feel persecuted (or threatened with decline) become more rigid, not less, and often retreat further into distinctive subcultures with clearer senses of “us” versus “them” and are deeply unwilling to admit mistakes or abuse within their own institutions and communities.
    4. Fundamentalists move toward harder forms not from anger (“a fundamentalist is an evangelical who is mad about something”) but from threat of chaos.
    5. And fundamentalism is opposed to chaos, or that which is perceived to be disordered.
    6. Fundamentalism is a kind of religious “physics” — a claim on reality to know how the universe was created, how it behaves, and its origin and ends. In effect, it is a rival “science” with a rival polity to other sciences (like actual physics or biology) and other polities (like democracy or socialism). But fundamentalists don’t see it as a rivalry. They are simply right.

      I like this framing, fundamentalism as a kind of pseudo-science with an explanatory "physics" of its own, concocted to explain the place, role, movement of the individuals and those structures.

    7. fundamentalists trust that God not only created the world but designed it as well. The design is a property of its creation. The structure reveals the character of the Creator, and its design is holy

      Exactly. And I understand the allure: it would be a deep comfort, through simplification, to believe in the external order rather than the way I feel, at least, which is often overwhelmed, bewildered and, as a result, despairing.

    8. I’ve come to understand fundamentalism primarily as a structure of reality, an architecture of creation.
    9. If it is anything at all, fundamentalism is a profound commitment to an ordered, hierarchical universe. Fundamentalism isn’t just a world-view of the universe, not as a belief that gives meaning to the universe, but fundamentalism is an order and hierarchy deemed to be the very nature of created existence. To fundamentalists this is credo, a reality that demands utter devotion — that sacred orderliness is essential to the continued existence and well-being of everything, especially to human society.

      This resonates with me, and makes sense in the context of adhering to a design, rather than being a collaborative designer, of the world

    10. Marsden treated fundamentalism in the context of intellectual history, analyzing the early twentieth-century movement as a part of a long line of American thought and theology.
    11. there are two major definitions of fundamentalism: a historical-theological one and a social-political one
    12. The more threatened some people feel, the more fundamentalism grows. The more people question the authority of conventional politics and religion, the more authoritarian those same institutions become. And the threats — from every front — are plentiful. The more chaos, the more need for control. We’re in a vicious cycle of victimization and crusade, the very cycle that fuels fundamentalism. There are not only American Protestants fundamentalists now. There are fundamentalists everywhere. And that’s what is. Shall the fundamentalists win? A hundred years ago, Fosdick confidently proclaimed: “I do not believe for one moment that the Fundamentalists are going to succeed.”Shall the fundamentalists win? I confess that I do not share his certainty. I do not know if they will ultimately win, but they are — right now — stronger than ever.

      This is the key point. What is there on the horizon that makes anyone believe that the fundamentalists won't win? What is there even theoretically to hope for? What is there to do?