Saturday, February 12, 2005

It's Love Thy Neighbor, no? Sub title: The Routing of Religious Fundamentalism Begins Home

Almost finished with Cornel West's book, Democracy Matters.

Here's an interesting snip I thought folks would like to mull over:

Starting on page 146:

The religious threats to democratic practices abroad are much easier to talk about than those at home. Just as demagogic and antidemocratic fundamentalisms have gained too much prominence in both Israel and the Islamic world, so too has a fundamentalist strain of Christianity gained far too much power in our political system, and in the hearts and minds of citizens. This Christian fundamentalism is exercising an undue influence over our government policies, both in the Middle East crisis and in the domestic sphere, and is violating fundamental principles enshrined in the Constitution; it is also providing support and "cover" for the imperialist aims of empire. The three dogmas that are leading to the imperial devouring of democracy in America - free market fundamentalism, aggressive militarism, and escalating authoritarianism - are often justified by the religious rhetoric of this Christian fundamentalism. And perhaps most ironically - and sadly - this fundamentalism is subverting the most profound, seminal teachings of Christianity, those being that we should live with humility, love our neighbors, and do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Therefore, even as we turn a critical eye on the fundamentalisms at play in the Middle East, the genuine democrats and democratic Christians among us must unite in opposition to this hypocritical, antidemocratic fundamentalism at home. The battle for the soul of American democracy is, in large part, a battle for the soul of American Christianity, because the dominate forms of Christian fundamentalism are a threat to the tolerance and openness necessary for sustaining any democracy."

End slice:

West has done some profound thinking here. I leave it to the comment slot to continue the discussion, but if it hurts, it must be true.

1 comment:

pia said...

If more people read that!