Fundamentalism – Aaim Austin http://aaimaustin.org/ Sat, 09 Oct 2021 18:32:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://aaimaustin.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-5-120x120.png Fundamentalism – Aaim Austin http://aaimaustin.org/ 32 32 Pope calls on all religions to “defuse the temptation of fundamentalism” https://aaimaustin.org/pope-calls-on-all-religions-to-defuse-the-temptation-of-fundamentalism/ https://aaimaustin.org/pope-calls-on-all-religions-to-defuse-the-temptation-of-fundamentalism/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2021 15:17:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/pope-calls-on-all-religions-to-defuse-the-temptation-of-fundamentalism/ Pope Francis urged all the peoples of the world to put aside “partisan games” and all hostilities and to regard others as “like human beings” and “brothers and sisters in the faith”. The Pope made this appeal Thursday at the Roman Colosseum during the closing ceremony of the Meeting of Religious for Peace, an annual […]]]>

Pope Francis urged all the peoples of the world to put aside “partisan games” and all hostilities and to regard others as “like human beings” and “brothers and sisters in the faith”.

The Pope made this appeal Thursday at the Roman Colosseum during the closing ceremony of the Meeting of Religious for Peace, an annual event organized by the Sant’Egidio community.

“In the name of peace, please, in every religious tradition, let us defuse the temptation of fundamentalism and any tendency to consider a brother or sister as an enemy”, pleaded the Pope, speaking on a platform installed at the foot of the most emblematic monument.

“The suffering of others hardly disturbs us”

“If there are those who are plagued by hostility, factions and partisan games, we ourselves repeat Imam Ali’s words: ‘There are two types of people: your brothers and sisters in faith, and those who are like you. ‘ “, continued François, standing alongside the religious leaders.

They included the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyeb. Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also present.

“People as brothers and sisters. We proclaim it in the context of the Colosseum,” the Pope continued.

“Long ago, this amphitheater was the site of brutal mass entertainment,” he noted.

“Today, we too can be spectators of violence and war, of brothers killing brothers, like games that we watch from afar, indifferent, certain that they will never affect us,” lamented François.

“The suffering of others does not trouble us much. Not even the suffering of war victims, migrants, young boys and girls trapped in conflict,” he said.

The arms trade

The 84-year-old Pope also renewed his condemnation of the arms trade.

“War plays with human lives. Violence and the scourge of a booming arms trade, often moving in the shadows, fueled by underground cash flows,” he thundered.

Further on, the Pope spoke out against violence that also extends to the environment. He even quoted Bartholomew I, whose efforts to defend the environment have earned him the title of “Green Patriarch”.

At the end of the ceremony, the Pope and the other religious leaders signed a “call for peace”.

Their main message is that “religions can build peace and educate it”.

“Only peace is holy, and no one should ever use the name of God to bless terror and violence… People long for peace,” says the call.

“The disarmament process, currently blocked, must be relaunched,” he insisted.

The signatories also warn that “the proliferation of nuclear weapons is an incredible threat.”


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All religious traditions must resist the ‘temptation of fundamentalism’ | Catholic National Register https://aaimaustin.org/all-religious-traditions-must-resist-the-temptation-of-fundamentalism-catholic-national-register/ https://aaimaustin.org/all-religious-traditions-must-resist-the-temptation-of-fundamentalism-catholic-national-register/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 18:42:15 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/all-religious-traditions-must-resist-the-temptation-of-fundamentalism-catholic-national-register/ VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called on leaders of world religions to resist “the temptation of fundamentalism” in the name of peace at an interfaith rally on Thursday outside the Colosseum. Peace “calls us to serve the truth and to declare what is wrong when it is wrong, without fear or pretense, even and especially […]]]>

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called on leaders of world religions to resist “the temptation of fundamentalism” in the name of peace at an interfaith rally on Thursday outside the Colosseum.

Peace “calls us to serve the truth and to declare what is wrong when it is wrong, without fear or pretense, even and especially when it is committed by those who profess to follow the same creed as us,” said the Pope on October 7.

Vatican Media.

“For peace, please, in every religious tradition, let us defuse the temptation of fundamentalism and any tendency to regard a brother or sister as an enemy.

Speaking on a stage with Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu representatives, Pope Francis called for peace amid current conflicts around the world.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

“Dear brothers and sisters, as believers it is our responsibility to help eradicate hatred from human hearts and to condemn all forms of violence. Let us unambiguously urge that weapons be put aside and military spending reduced, in order to meet humanitarian needs, and that the instruments of death be transformed into instruments of life, ”commented the Pope.

“Fewer weapons and more food, less hypocrisy and more transparency, more vaccines distributed fairly and fewer weapons traded indiscriminately,” he said.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

The Pope called prayer a source of strength that “disarms hearts filled with hatred”.

Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, also spoke.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

The Islamic scholar, who signed the landmark document on human brotherhood with Pope Francis in 2019, criticized the uneven distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

He said that “the world has suffered a setback despite the efforts of religious institutions, their representatives and leaders, to foster a collaborative approach and the exchange of goods, prioritizing public interest over private interests.”

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

Pope Francis was speaking at the closing ceremony live on “People as Brothers, Future Earth.” Religions and cultures in dialogue ”, the 35th event promoted by the Sant’Egidio community in the“ spirit of Assisi ”, the interfaith gathering convened in the birthplace of Saint Francis by Pope John Paul II in 1986.

In his speech, the Pope said: “Today, in a globalized society which sensationalizes suffering, but remains unable to sympathize with it, we must ‘build compassion’… We must listen to others, make their suffering our own, and look at their faces.

“We cannot continue to accept wars with the detachment with which we watch the evening news, but rather make an effort to see them through the eyes of the peoples involved,” he said.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

Christian leaders present at the event included Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, Karekin II, leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and German Lutheran Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm. The event began with a prayer involving Christian leaders.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

Representatives of the world’s religions at the ceremony included Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, Chief Rabbi of Moscow and Chairman of the Conference of European Rabbis, Shoten Minegishi, a Soto Zen Buddhist monk from Japan, Sayyed Abu al-Qasim al-Dibaji, from Pan -Islamic Jurisprudence Organization world, and Edith Bruck, Jewish writer of Hungarian origin and Holocaust survivor.

Lakshmi Vyas, President of the Hindu Forum of Europe, and Jaswant Singh, a Sikh representative, were also present.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

“As representatives of different religious traditions, we are all called to resist the lure of worldly power, to be the voice of the voiceless, the support of the suffering, advocates of the oppressed and victims of hatred, of the people rejected by both men and women. on earth, yet precious in the eyes of the One who dwells in the heavens ”, declared the Pope.

Pope Francis said there was a connection between the “dream of peace” and the need to take care of creation.

“By cultivating a contemplative and non-predatory approach, religions are called to listen to the moans of mother earth, which is undergoing violence,” he said.

The Pope suggested that “unbridled individualism and the desire for self-sufficiency” had spilled over into “insatiable greed”.

“The land we inhabit bears the scars, while the air we breathe is rich in toxins but poor in solidarity. We have thus poured the pollution of our hearts on creation, ”he declared.

Vatican Media.

Vatican Media.

At the rally, Sabera Ahmadi, a young woman recently arrived from Afghanistan, read a call for peace.

“The pandemic has shown how human beings are in the same boat, linked by deep threads. The future does not belong to those who waste and exploit, to those who live for themselves and ignore others, ”she said.

“The future belongs to united women and men and to fraternal peoples. May God help us to rebuild the common human family and to respect mother earth. In front of the Colosseum, symbol of greatness but also of suffering, let us reaffirm with the strength of faith that the name of God is peace.

Angela Merkel also spoke at the event, which is due to step down as German Chancellor following the federal elections on September 26. She had a private audience with the Pope on the morning of October 7.

The 67-year-old, who has led the most populous nation in the European Union since 2005, has been a frequent visitor to the Vatican since Pope Francis was elected in 2013.

The Pope described the Lutheran pastor’s daughter as “one of the great figures in world politics” in an interview last month. He has received Merkel in private audience more often than any other head of state.

Pope Francis greets Angela Merkel, the outgoing German Chancellor, at the Vatican, October 7, 2021. Vatican media.

Pope Francis greets Angela Merkel, the outgoing German Chancellor, at the Vatican, October 7, 2021. Vatican media.

The two leaders spoke privately for about 45 minutes before exchanging gifts. The Pope gave Merkel a small bronze image of the holy door in St. Peter’s Basilica along with copies of her writings. She gave him three volumes on the Bible and a book on Michelangelo.

In what should be her farewell visit as Chancellor, Merkel also met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and “Foreign Minister” Archbishop Paul Gallagher.

Pope Francis greets Angela Merkel after the closing ceremony.  Vatican Media.

Pope Francis greets Angela Merkel after the closing ceremony. Vatican Media.

The Holy See press office declared that “during the cordial discussions, thanks were expressed for the existing good bilateral relations and the fruitful collaboration between the Holy See and Germany”.

He added: “The parties then turned their attention to issues of mutual interest in the international and regional spheres, agreeing on the opportunity to relaunch cooperation to deal with the multiple ongoing crises, with particular reference the consequences of the health emergency and migration.

In his speech outside the Colosseum, Pope Francis said: “Yes, let’s dream of religions as sisters and of peoples as brothers! Sister religions to help peoples to be brothers and sisters living in peace, reconciled stewards of creation, our common home.


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Ecumenical Patriarch rejects religious fundamentalism and outright nationalism https://aaimaustin.org/ecumenical-patriarch-rejects-religious-fundamentalism-and-outright-nationalism/ https://aaimaustin.org/ecumenical-patriarch-rejects-religious-fundamentalism-and-outright-nationalism/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 22:48:39 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/ecumenical-patriarch-rejects-religious-fundamentalism-and-outright-nationalism/ “No to religious fundamentalism and absolute nationalism,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said at the International Meeting of Religions and Cultures in Rome. Yesterday at the end of the afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke at the international meeting organized in Rome by the Catholic community of Saint Aegidos, the “Brother peoples, the land of the future. […]]]>

“No to religious fundamentalism and absolute nationalism,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said at the International Meeting of Religions and Cultures in Rome.

Yesterday at the end of the afternoon, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke at the international meeting organized in Rome by the Catholic community of Saint Aegidos, the “Brother peoples, the land of the future. Religions and cultures in dialogue.

The Primate of Christian Orthodoxy, among others, emphasized:

“Can we go back to the previous period, as if nothing had happened? Our answer to this question is only one: the old world no longer exists and we have in our hands the capacity to build a new beginning, a departure that can only be done together.

The Ecumenical Patriarch addressed believers, economists, philosophers, environmentalists, scientists, men and women of good will and highlighted three main principles for the future.

“We begin by re-stating what the pandemic has made clearer: that we belong to one human family, from all the peoples of the earth, with a need to pay attention to Creation. It is therefore necessary that we all recognize, at all levels, not only human rights, but that we belong to a single humanity, with all its peculiarities, cultures and identities. A new start in the post-pandemic era cannot ignore all of this by eliminating any perception of diversity and helping us to recognize ourselves as one family.

The second principle, according to the Patriarch is to recognize the unique identity of each one and to listen to one another, “not to become one with an international identity, but to understand the uniqueness of the other”.

The last principle emphasized by the Ecumenical Patriarch is mutual respect: “Mutual respect, dialogue and mutual listening make the above possible. By overcoming religious fundamentalism and absolute nationalism. “Proclaiming fair justice at all levels of human society and creating moments of mutual enrichment,” Bartholomew said.

Because “the main goal is for people to live in peace” and “protect God’s creation and everything related to it”. Otherwise, “the consequences will be worse than the world we left behind.”

Today the Patriarch will pray for peace at the Colosseum. An initiative in which Pope Francis will also participate.


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Taliban ideology: a mixture of Islamic fundamentalism and Pashtun customs https://aaimaustin.org/taliban-ideology-a-mixture-of-islamic-fundamentalism-and-pashtun-customs/ https://aaimaustin.org/taliban-ideology-a-mixture-of-islamic-fundamentalism-and-pashtun-customs/#respond Tue, 07 Sep 2021 03:25:41 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/taliban-ideology-a-mixture-of-islamic-fundamentalism-and-pashtun-customs/ His interpretation of Islam excludes the slightest deviation from orthodoxy. Its penal code imposes corporal punishment reminiscent of the Middle Ages. They separate women from the public space and when they have access to them, they must completely cover the shape of their body, from head to toe. They ban music and all other entertainment. […]]]>

His interpretation of Islam excludes the slightest deviation from orthodoxy. Its penal code imposes corporal punishment reminiscent of the Middle Ages. They separate women from the public space and when they have access to them, they must completely cover the shape of their body, from head to toe. They ban music and all other entertainment. This is the description of the Taliban society we knew in the 1990s, but it could be the Islamic State (ISIS), Saudi Arabia (before the latest social reforms) and even the Revolutionary Iran at the start. Radical Islamists have a lot in common, but they are not the same.

These similarities have led some observers to equate the ideology of the Islamic Emirate, as the Taliban themselves call themselves, with Saudi Wahhabism. Undoubtedly, the money that the Desert Kingdom sent to Pakistan to finance the United States’ war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s radicalized the students of the madrasas and fostered the extremist advance in the region, where prevailed a movement. local known as deobandi, appeared in the 19th century and of Sufi origin. But the Taliban are not Wahhabis, and their morals for society have more to do with their Pashtun origins than with Islam.

Bashir Ahmad, professor of Islamic studies, explains that “there are many differences between Taliban ideology and Wahhabism”, which equates to the ideology of the Islamic State, with which the new rulers of Kabul compete. “The Taliban follow the jurisprudence we call Hanafi, and [los grupos wahabíes] they don’t attend any of the schools [del islam suní] Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki or Hanbali; they have their own ideas, ”he said in a conversation from Kabul.

It is, explains Zahid Hussain, a Pakistani expert on the Taliban phenomenon, “a movement built on Islamic fundamentalism and strict adherence to the conservative Pashtun culture”. This seemingly academic distinction may be key to the Taliban’s ability to be flexible as leaders. Perhaps the most visible and easily understood example is the burqa, a common garment in Pashtun society, but unprecedented in the rest of the Islamic world.

In their first government, the Taliban imposed the burqa Afghans, especially in cities outside their stronghold, where their customs were more challenged. In the countryside, the existing segregation was sufficient, and the nomads kuchi They never used this coat with only a slit at eye level. Now they are talking about the compulsory nature of the Hello, No burqa.

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Being a cultural imperative rather than a religious one allows for flexibility. Only 40 to 50% of the Afghan population is Pashtun; the other half, although made up of ethnic minorities who are also Muslim and generally conservative, do not adhere to the same codes. It remains to be seen what the rules will be and whether the veil will allow women to work and participate in public life, as is the case in Iran (under a Shiite Islamist regime), or whether the objective is to lock them away. houses. Houses.

The comparison with Iran has also emerged these days following the leak that the leader of the Taliban will become the country’s highest authority, comparable to a head of state, with the final say in religious, political matters. and military. . The figure refers to Iran’s Supreme Leader, currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. However, the Taliban are Sunnis and in Sunni tradition the idea of ​​following a guide (the concept of taqleed) It’s controversial. While the Deobandis accept it, the Salafis reject it.

Regarding the appointment of Hibatullah Akhunzadah as supreme leader, Ahmad explains that “this is the standard of the Taliban”. “There is a big difference between the Iranian government and the Taliban government. Maybe from the outside it seems [un cargo] like that of the Iranian government, but there is no relation ”, underlines this professor of the Salam University of Kabul, without going into the precise details of the difference. “You will understand it better in the next few days,” he replies when asked for an example.

Another important difference from the Wahhabis – or Salafists as they prefer to be called – is the concept of jihad, or holy war. While for the latter it is a must (as seen in Al Qaeda or ISIS), for the Deobandis it is a less strict concept. In fact, while the Taliban once housed al Qaeda, they have never been linked to operations outside their country. Therefore, the United States did not include them on its list of terrorist organizations (although it did include one of its factions, the Haqqani Network) and does not believe that they are now a direct threat to their interests.

Significantly, the theological seminary of Dar ul Ulum in the Indian city of Deoband, from which the deobandi movement was born and took its name, has always supported the aspirations of the Taliban, but condemns Islamist terrorism (it even issued a fatwa on this subject). In 2008).

Also the Salafists are more intolerant than the Deobandis towards non-Muslims (suitcase) and even Muslims who do not follow their line, as evidenced by the treatment that the Islamic State reserved for minorities (Yazidis, Christians or Shiites) when they imposed themselves in northern Iraq and southern Iraq. Syria. When asked whether the ideology of the Taliban is closer to the Iranian theocracy or the Saudi regime, Ahmad responds neither. “They have their own idea of ​​government,” he concludes.

Although this seems contradictory given the doctrinal differences inherent in the two branches of Islam, other analysts are convinced that the Taliban today have a better political relationship with Tehran than with Riyadh.

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Fundamentalism and Succession Dynamics in Minneapolis https://aaimaustin.org/fundamentalism-and-succession-dynamics-in-minneapolis/ https://aaimaustin.org/fundamentalism-and-succession-dynamics-in-minneapolis/#respond Tue, 31 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/fundamentalism-and-succession-dynamics-in-minneapolis/ At the end of my article last Tuesday, I alluded to a brewing controversy at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. So I’m grateful to Greg Rosauer for sharing a guest post today that expands on this story and draws a useful historical contrast to an earlier incident in the same city. Greg is Associate […]]]>

At the end of my article last Tuesday, I alluded to a brewing controversy at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. So I’m grateful to Greg Rosauer for sharing a guest post today that expands on this story and draws a useful historical contrast to an earlier incident in the same city. Greg is Associate Professor and Archivist at the Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, and a member of Trinity City Church in St. Paul, MN.

Earlier this summer, my pastor and I reflected on how Bethlehem Baptist Church (BBC) had a formative impact on us during our college years in the early 2000s. In particular, we remembered one provision to consider racial justice and justice for the unborn child as objectives that are proportionate and naturally allied. It only dawned on us years later how these themes by then-pastor John Piper formed an odd couple for many American evangelicals. So, it surprised me when Piper’s successor in Minneapolis, Jason Meyer, resigned in part over accusations that his attempt to resolve the city’s racial unrest subordinated the gospel to ideology. of social justice.

Bethlehem Baptist Church – CC BY 2.0 (Ed Kohler)

In his resignation letter, Meyer used a recent taxonomy of developing factions in evangelism to indicate that it no longer corresponds to Bethlehem. According to Meyer, the BBC and its school, Bethlehem College & Seminary (BCS), are heading towards neo-fundamentalism. Meyer isn’t insulting here, but makes a historical observation that others have seen as well. The polarizing force of national politics, compounded by COVID and racial unrest, has externalized the political and social impulses of American evangelicals. And (surprise!) Evangelicals, even very conservative ones, display different attitudes and dispositions towards culture. The label neo-fundamentalism refers to the militant mentality of 20th century fundamentalists who fought against perceived ideological and cultural threats against the gospel. Today, evangelicals and their institutions seem to sort themselves out according to their level of activism against such threats.

That this has already happened in the middle of the twentieth century is not news. But maybe I can add an observation by comparing what’s going on at the BBC and BCS right now with another church and school in downtown Minneapolis over 70 years ago.

William Bell Riley (1861-1947) was a leading figure in the fundamentalist movement of the early 20th century. He was the longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the founder and president of Northwestern Schools (a Bible college and religious seminary). A prolific author and lecturer, Riley has devoted most of his organizational and polemical skills to attacking the “threat of modernism” (that is, the encroachment of theological liberalism in denominations, schools and culture). It’s hard not to see the parallels with Piper, who also pastored a Baptist church in Minneapolis, was a prolific author and speaker, helped spark the New Calvinist movement, and founded a religious college and seminary. .

William Bell Riley (center) in 1944 – Used with permission from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul Archives

Both men were institution builders in their own way. However, the institutions they erected were / are dominated by their personalities. In Piper’s case, I think there is an awareness of the danger of personality-driven institutions, but despite her best efforts, there is no getting around the fact that the benches are filling up and the school is recruiting. based on John Piper ‘brand’. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is definitely dangerous to be an evangelical celebrity (as a certain podcast has reminded us well lately). Riley was very familiar with the power of personality-oriented movements, which prompted him to coax a young man named Billy Graham into taking the reins of his denominational school upon his death in 1947. Jason Meyer took over from Piper. as pastor of the church in 2013, not as president of the school.

But despite this difference, Graham and Meyer inherited an institution from a founding leader that was virtually unassailable and essential to his identity. And by virtue of that status in the institution / movement, Riley and Piper had a critical level of trust among their constituents that the incoming leaders did not. This trust allowed some members of the institution to downplay or deny aspects of Riley and Piper’s ministry that they were uncomfortable with. A different but glaring example of this dynamic occurred a few weekends ago when former President Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Alabama and received boos from the crowd for suggesting that they should get vaccinated. The interesting thing about this is how many otherwise staunch Trump supporters have never been on board with “Operation Warp Speed” and are now openly hostile to what Trump considers one of its main achievements.

Trump idiosyncrasies aside, I think a similar type of disconnect happened when Riley left the stage, and I suspect that’s happening now with Piper’s slow exit. The things Riley and Piper kept together in their ministries have never been comfortably reunited in the minds of their constituents.

For Riley, the point of tension was his interfaith. Although a staunch Baptist, he designed his school to be interfaith and promoted cooperative efforts in the fight against modernism. He was also not a separatist, although much of his rhetoric supported the growing impulse of fundamentalists to leave denominations tainted with liberalism. The tension between leaving or staying, fighting or cooperating animated the battles that followed within mid-century fundamentalism. Graham was a fundamentalist, but he was not “an ultra-fundamentalist fighter”. By the 1940s fundamentalism was breaking down and its most important split, neo-evangelism, was occurring within Riley’s own school. As president, Graham was influenced by Carl FH Henry and Harold Ockenga to bring Riley’s school in the neo-evangelical direction only to meet significant resistance from the “ultra-fundamentalist” separatists at the school. The militant, separatist mentality of some collided with Graham’s spirit of cooperative evangelism, making Riley’s Northwest schools ungovernable even to a man of Graham’s talent. Many of Riley’s constituents had never accepted his spirit of interfaith cooperation. They liked the way he fought, but they still suspected that Riley’s cooperative efforts would result in compromise. Graham resigned the presidency in 1952 amid accusations he compromised the gospel for the recognition and acceptance of the world.[1]

Billy Graham at Northwestern Bible Camp in Medicine Lake – Used with permission from Northwestern University-St. Paul Archives

Jason Meyer’s resignation in 2021 is eerily similar. As I mentioned, Piper was well known for emphasizing issues of racial justice. It was in part a legacy of neo-evangelicals in spaces like Wheaton and Fuller (where Piper was educated). But it appears that many under his ministry were still uncomfortable with the issue of race and racism. Jason Meyer, like Graham before him, inherited an institution where ideological tensions could only be maintained by a flawless and trusted founder. A contingent of BBC members, it seems, tolerated the racial justice efforts under Piper but were always uncomfortable with them. As many pastors have discovered, 2020 has exacerbated the discomfort in discussing race. For the BBC, this unease manifested itself in open suspicion of Meyer’s commitment to the gospel, even by some of Bethlehem’s own elders. Meyer, like Graham, did not enjoy the same latitude of confidence accorded to his predecessor. In other words: Meyer cannot care about racial justice without suspecting that he is “awake”. Just like Graham could not cooperate with non-fundamentalists without suspecting himself of being “liberal”.

The difference that had separated the neo-evangelicals from the fundamentalists was not primarily doctrinal, but dispositional. In 1951, Graham attempted to temper Riley’s militant disposition by emphasizing Riley’s interfaith spirit. The “fighting ultra-fundamentalists” reversed the emphasis. “A fundamentalist,” to use George Marsden’s flippant definition, “is an evangelical who is angry with something. Meyer, like Graham, was not sufficiently militant against liberalism or revival. Hence Meyer’s feeling that the BBC and the BCS are moving towards neo-fundamentalism, that is to say a culture concerned with combating the encroachment of secular ideologies infiltrating the church and where the taking charge of needs of the broken is a subterfuge of secularization. In an ecclesial culture where compassion involves compromise, it is not enough to check all the doctrinal boxes. Compassion can sound too much like irrational empathy. The fear, sometimes rightly founded, is that if we lose our sanity, we no longer have a Christian faith.

My hope is that Christians of all stripes will throw off the burden of distrust of one another and assume the humble trust of our Lord, doing “everything without complaining or arguing, that we may become blameless and pure,” children of God without fault in a twisted and twisted generation ”(Phi 2:14 NIV).


[1] This story is based on one of my articles: Greg Rosauer, “Billy Graham’s Northwestern Years (1948-1952): Emerging Evangelical and Fundamentalist Identities”, Fides and History 52, no. 1 (2020): 39-54.


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Threat of the rise of fundamentalism for democracy https://aaimaustin.org/threat-of-the-rise-of-fundamentalism-for-democracy/ https://aaimaustin.org/threat-of-the-rise-of-fundamentalism-for-democracy/#respond Wed, 25 Aug 2021 06:56:15 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/threat-of-the-rise-of-fundamentalism-for-democracy/ Fundamentalism is the belief in ancient and traditional forms of religion or the belief that anything written in a holy book is true. This was particularly evident in the 20th century, which seeks to reclaim and publicly institutionalize aspects of the past that modern life has obscured. The 21st century has witnessed a phenomenal rise […]]]>

Fundamentalism is the belief in ancient and traditional forms of religion or the belief that anything written in a holy book is true. This was particularly evident in the 20th century, which seeks to reclaim and publicly institutionalize aspects of the past that modern life has obscured.

The 21st century has witnessed a phenomenal rise in fundamentalism and fanaticism and a rise in global terrorism. Fundamentalists view secular states as their main enemy because their goals don’t tend to align with each other.

Representative image. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Socialist society believes in education, democracy, reforms, modernization, liberalization and economic reforms. Fundamentalists see all of these goals as obstacles to their goal of preserving the spiritual dimension of life.

The ideology of fundamentalism has not only gripped poor and underdeveloped countries, but has also hijacked developed, liberal and democratic nations. Many factors such as imperialism, poverty, lack of good governance, corruption, political instability and poor economic conditions have contributed to the rise of fundamentalism.

Lately, the concept of fundamentalism has taken a bad turn with the rise of activism, violence and terrorism. Religious awareness not only among the elderly but also among the young is increasing nowadays. It is the by-product of modern life, which has become synonymous with stress, pressures, competitiveness and uncertainty.

This overt religiosity has led to the growth, spread and strengthening of fundamentalism. However, among the most distinctive features of the current situation are the leaps that are taking place in globalization, linked to a process of capitalist accumulation that is accelerating in a world dominated by the capitalist-imperialist system. This has led to significant and often dramatic changes in the lives of large numbers of people, often undermining traditional relationships and customs.

All over the developing world people are being driven from the farmlands where they lived and tried to survive in oppressive conditions, but they can’t even do it now. They are thrown into the urban areas that surround the heart of cities.

Almost half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, including massive and growing slums. Uprooted from their traditional conditions and the traditional forms in which they have been exploited and oppressed, they are thrown into a very precarious and unstable existence, unable to integrate in any way into the economic and social fabric. and the functioning of society.

In many countries, the majority of people living in urban areas work in the informal economy. To a large extent, because of this, many people are turning to religious fundamentalism to try to give them a foothold in the midst of all this dislocation and upheaval.

In developing countries, these massive changes and upheavals are occurring against a backdrop of domination and exploitation by foreign imperialists, who are associated with the local ruling classes. These classes are economically and politically dependent and subordinate to imperialism and are seen as corrupt agents of a foreign power, who also promote the decadent culture of the West.

Demonstration in Bangladesh
Representative image. (by Abdul goni from Pixabay)

This, in the short term, can strengthen the hands of fundamentalist religious forces and leaders who oppose the corruption and Western decadence of the local ruling classes and imperialists to whom they are indebted, in terms of return and enforcement with revenge, relationships, customs, ideas and traditional values ​​which themselves are rooted in the past embody extreme forms of exploitation and oppression.

Many fundamentalist organizations have been created, and it should be clearly noted, they are limited to Islamic fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is viral in many religions, including some liberal religions. Fundamentalism in the United States has its roots in the Niagara Bible Conference linked to Christian fundamentalism. Jewish fundamentalism has been used to characterize militant religious Zionism. Likewise, Hindu fundamentalism is noticeable in Hindutva, Ayodhya verdict, Gujrat riots, etc.

The origin of Islamic fundamentalism dates back to the 7th century. The Shia and Sunni religious conflict has also created a rift and worsened Islamic fundamentalism. Boko Haram of Al-Shabaab, Ansar-al-Sharia, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, etc., are Islamic fundamentalist organizations endangering peace and harmony, giving rise to terrorist activities.

The rise of fundamentalism is leading not only to the loss of life and property, but also to the displacement of millions of people from their homelands. The growing terrorist attacks and the migration crisis in Europe are due to the growing fundamentalism in Central and West Asia. Peace, harmony and prosperity have been dominated by fear, apprehension and hatred.

A democratic government that enjoys greater popular participation must be the backbone of good governance. People need to be educated to improve their employability. This leads to an improvement in the standard of living. People need more religious freedom.

There is a need to intensify international cooperation and collaboration in order to stem the rise of fundamentalism. The United Nations has an important role to play in improving the deterioration of the global environment.

Featured Image via pxfuel


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Putting FUN back into fundamentalism – NOTICE https://aaimaustin.org/putting-fun-back-into-fundamentalism-notice/ https://aaimaustin.org/putting-fun-back-into-fundamentalism-notice/#respond Tue, 24 Aug 2021 09:32:06 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/putting-fun-back-into-fundamentalism-notice/ David Bullard wonders if the Taliban are really the Reformers they claim to be now TO EAT LUNCH On a warm winter day with a clear blue sky, I often hear fish eagles calling over my house. I rush outside with a pair of binoculars and scan the sky and the fish eagles reveal themselves […]]]>

David Bullard wonders if the Taliban are really the Reformers they claim to be now

TO EAT LUNCH

On a warm winter day with a clear blue sky, I often hear fish eagles calling over my house. I rush outside with a pair of binoculars and scan the sky and the fish eagles reveal themselves to be two distant spots gliding gracefully over the thermals. Weather permitting, this happens two or three times a week and apparently we have three breeding pairs living quite close to us. Last week we had three flying over the house and for once it was not just dots in the sky but was flying low enough to be photographed.

When we moved into our house eight years ago, we decided to get rid of all the grass and formal flower beds and plant fynbos and mostly native plants in addition to olive trees and bushes. lavender in the front. I mistakenly thought that it would save me from having to mow the lawn in the summer and remove the clippings and be more water efficient as well. This was long before the threat of a zero day in Cape Town.

From a water perspective, it might be, but cutting the fynbos produces a lot more bags of yard waste than mowing the lawn ever would. Our torch aloe was originally a single plant and now it takes up a lot of space despite a few regular cuts.

But it deserves its sustenance because it attracts souimangas all year round and especially when the orange flowers are in bloom. Recently there were two Malachite Souimangas sipping the nectar from the flowers as I quietly sat outside with my morning coffee.

While we don’t have the variety of garden birds we had in Johannesburg, we do have a Slender-tailed Whydah that comes to court in the spring and a robin that sits every night just before sunset. and who chirps happily.

Plus the usual pinch of mice, white-eyed birds, sparrows, red bishops, weavers and Cape canaries. As the sun sets, squads of Egyptian geese fly over their nocturnal nesting grounds in formation and at the dam we have a decent collection of waterfowl including gray herons, stingers and hamerkops.

I also recently discovered dwarf chameleons in the garden and one night when I came out with a torch I counted four on the stems of the restio. Add to that bundle some gekkos, mice, the strange Cape Cobra, and the occasional sighting of a parrot-billed turtle (probably an escaped pet) and, judging by the number of bees, I have a reasonable belief that we are running an environmentally friendly garden.

So what about the nature hike you ask? Well, to be perfectly honest, I was so depressed about the state of the world last week that I had to try to balance my sadness with a personal blessings account and sit in the garden and watch the eagles. fishermen helped me a lot.

The news from Kabul and the most appalling images of people trying to leave Afghanistan was particularly distressing. On news footage, there was an obviously European woman sitting cross-legged on the ground with thousands of others outside the airport and holding up her European passport.

Obviously, she is legitimately claiming to be on a flight out of Afghanistan, but the queue was not moving and the US and UK servicemen who had been drafted to deal with the evacuation were obviously doing their best to face total chaos but appeared to be fighting a losing battle.

Other TV footage showed desperate families with young children awaiting news on whether they would be allowed to leave the country. Many were translators who had worked for the US and British military over the years and were now prime targets for the Taliban.

A veteran warzone television reporter, visibly moved by what he witnessed, said he hoped the children were too young to understand what was going on.

Sadly, I rather doubt that this could be true and the memories of sitting outside in the heat for days with limited access to the toilet, no food or water, let alone hope of escaping will give these children are nightmares for life. What we saw on our TV screens last week is a vision of hell on earth.

While those who had already been to Kabul airport had no choice but to sit down and hope for good news, others were still trying to get to the airport as the Taliban “security” hit them with canes, pieces of pipe or rifle butts.

Those who have decided the trip is far too risky are apparently hiding in basements as Taliban “security” searches house-to-house for evidence of Western decay. Things like the books, records, diplomas and payslips of the imperialist enemy seem to particularly upset them.

Meanwhile, some of the experts say the Taliban are now media savvy and claim the Afghans have absolutely nothing to fear. Soon life will return to normal and the only difference will be a new flag and a country under new management. Women will be invited to participate in public life (subject to Sharia, of course) and girls will be able to attend school up to university level. Whether this includes the university, no one has made it clear.

Unsurprisingly, most people are extremely skeptical of these claims and just one look at the humorless faces of the group of bearded Neanderthals gathered around the presidential office last week should dispel any notion that things would get better this time around. -this.

Any Taliban claiming to put FUN back into “fundamentalism” is highly suspect, mainly because the weapon with which the Taliban fighters are armed knows no other life than violence. Are they really going to sit idly by while western educated Afghans land all the good jobs?

According to the press, the Taliban army numbered about 75,000 men and all these fighters will want to be rewarded for having served the caliphate. I guess the majority don’t have a lot of skills outside of terrorism and beheading infidels, so their place in a prosperous new Afghanistan will likely be limited to making sure women don’t go out without a man to accompany them. and throw gays out of tall buildings.

The future of many countries (including ours) is difficult to predict as circumstances may change. For example, one fine day we might have a flawless administration without deploying executives, but right now that doesn’t suit the ANC.

However, the future of Afghanistan based on what we see today is very easy to predict. It will be a launching pad for international terrorism, human rights will be violated, cruelty will be the order of the day and all kinds of shady deals will be made with other nations hostile to the West.

Far from putting FUN back into fundamentalism, it will be more a question of putting MENTAL back. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and sit in the garden. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

***

The official pro-vaccine message was noticeably beefed up last week, with News24 and Primedia dedicating a huge amount of space and time to the topic. On Cape Talk, three consecutive shows did not talk about anything else and the new official label of what was once called an “anti-vaxxer” is now a “science denier”.

Those familiar with history will recall that Galileo was a denier of science when he told the powerful Catholic Church that the sun does not revolve around planet earth, but it is the other way around. Fortunately, there was no social media at the time, but the culture of cancellation had already emerged and Galileo was placed under house arrest to prevent him from spreading his poisonous heresy.

News24’s task was to track unvaccinated people who had recently died from COVID, with bonus points being offered to any reporter who could find someone who needed to be vaccinated within days of their death. Not that it would have helped them much.

As you might expect, there has been a lot of talk of 18-34 year olds getting together in large groups for the COVID vaccine… .. something they would be prohibited from doing under different circumstances like a religious gathering.

Obviously, it stands to reason that there would be massive adoption of the vaccine by the 18-34 age cohort. The poor fellows were deprived of each other’s company for a year and a half, they had to take classes at school and university on Zoom, they couldn’t travel anywhere and they couldn’t was able to party and play the beast with two backs. If I was 18, I would also lead the line with the promise of a return to normal… whatever that might mean.


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CM Pinarayi condemns rise of religious fundamentalism, says Afghanistan is an example https://aaimaustin.org/cm-pinarayi-condemns-rise-of-religious-fundamentalism-says-afghanistan-is-an-example/ https://aaimaustin.org/cm-pinarayi-condemns-rise-of-religious-fundamentalism-says-afghanistan-is-an-example/#respond Tue, 24 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/cm-pinarayi-condemns-rise-of-religious-fundamentalism-says-afghanistan-is-an-example/ Pinarayi Vijayan said the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru were a panacea for the world torn apart by communal and racial conflict. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday (August 23rd) condemned the rise of religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan. The CM said the powerful stream of humanism that animated Sree Narayana Guru’s teachings was a […]]]>

Pinarayi Vijayan said the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru were a panacea for the world torn apart by communal and racial conflict.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday (August 23rd) condemned the rise of religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan. The CM said the powerful stream of humanism that animated Sree Narayana Guru’s teachings was a panacea for the world torn apart by communal and racial conflict. He strongly condemned religious and racist fundamentalism at the inauguration of Sree Narayana Guru’s birth anniversary celebrations by videoconference from CM’s home district, Kannur, on Monday August 23. He said Afghanistan is an example of what would happen to a nation consumed by religious fundamentalism.

Kerala celebrated the 167th birthday of Sree Narayana Guru on Monday. A 19th-century social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, is also one of the state’s foremost philosophers. The essence of Guru’s philosophy was that humanity and human love stand above religion.

“There haven’t been many times like this before when humanity has been crushed to death by religious, communal and extremist forces. In times like this, which we are going through now, his teachings become all the more relevant. Conflicts based on racism and communal hatred have increased in various parts of the world. The Guru had preached the great message of human love that could help the human race come out of destruction. He preached the religion that “humans are one,” Pinarayi said.

Pinarayi also criticized some of the media for “glorifying” the Taliban. “Some media have tried to glorify the Taliban and it is really deplorable. Everyone knows how they started to grow and who was responsible for their growth. We are going through a period when religious, community and terrorist organizations are trying to crush humanity. and the teachings of Guru are against those who try to stir it up, ”Pinarayi said.

With IANS inputs


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CM condemns the rise of religious fundamentalism https://aaimaustin.org/cm-condemns-the-rise-of-religious-fundamentalism/ https://aaimaustin.org/cm-condemns-the-rise-of-religious-fundamentalism/#respond Mon, 23 Aug 2021 14:38:15 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/cm-condemns-the-rise-of-religious-fundamentalism/ Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday that the powerful stream of humanism that animated the teachings of 19th-century social reformer Sree Narayana Guru was a panacea for the world torn by communal and racial strife. Inaugurating the Renaissance leader’s birth anniversary celebrations by videoconference from Kannur, Mr. Vijayan took the opportunity to condemn the […]]]>

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday that the powerful stream of humanism that animated the teachings of 19th-century social reformer Sree Narayana Guru was a panacea for the world torn by communal and racial strife.

Inaugurating the Renaissance leader’s birth anniversary celebrations by videoconference from Kannur, Mr. Vijayan took the opportunity to condemn the rise of religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan.

He said Afghanistan was an example of what would happen to a nation consumed by religious fundamentalism. “Fundamentalism is a destructive fire that destroys civilizations and nations,” he said.

Only humanism could extinguish such destructive conflagrations. The Guru’s teachings rooted in compassion, universal peace, human rights and tolerance have provided answers to the woes of the world.

Mr. Vijayan recalled the plight of the oppressed people of Palestine and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. He said communal hatred often appears in India.

“There has never been a time in history when religious fundamentalism has limited the rights of human beings on such a global scale,” he said.

The Guru had emphasized the essential unity of humans regardless of race, culture, caste, creed, religion, gender or skin color. “One caste, one religion, one God for humans” was Sree Narayana Guru’s belief system.

The LDF government had honored the reformer’s credo with progressive action. He had defeated the powerful caste forces in the feudal society of Kerala in the 19th century by spreading reason, education, enlightenment and pacifist thought.

Mr. Vijayan said the reformer recognized caste as a convenient instrument for social and financial oppression. He fought it with an emphasis on Renaissance values. He gathered a social conscience against child marriage, polygamy, animal sacrifice and other social evils of his time.

Mr. Vijayan said the Guru was above castes and religion. His teachings were universal in nature. They have had a beneficial effect on all strata of society. Mr Vijayan said it was historically inaccurate to portray the reformer as the leader of a particular caste. The seer had used religious thought as a tool to emancipate the masses.


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Afghanistan is a lesson in how religious fundamentalism can burn nations, says Kerala CM https://aaimaustin.org/afghanistan-is-a-lesson-in-how-religious-fundamentalism-can-burn-nations-says-kerala-cm/ https://aaimaustin.org/afghanistan-is-a-lesson-in-how-religious-fundamentalism-can-burn-nations-says-kerala-cm/#respond Mon, 23 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/afghanistan-is-a-lesson-in-how-religious-fundamentalism-can-burn-nations-says-kerala-cm/ On Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the current situation in Afghanistan is a lesson for humanity on how communal discord due to religious fundamentalism can burn nations. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the current situation in Afghanistan is a lesson for humanity on how communal discord due to religious fundamentalism can burn […]]]>

On Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the current situation in Afghanistan is a lesson for humanity on how communal discord due to religious fundamentalism can burn nations.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the current situation in Afghanistan is a lesson for humanity on how communal discord due to religious fundamentalism can burn nations. (Photo: file)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday that the current situation in Afghanistan is a lesson for humanity in how communal discord due to religious fundamentalism can burn nations. He was speaking at a virtual event to commemorate the 167th anniversary of the birth of spiritual leader and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru.

“Afghanistan is a lesson for humanity – a lesson in how communal discord due to religious fundamentalism can burn people and nations,” Vijayan said during his speech.

He said that “racism, bigotry and bloodshed were endemic” in many parts of the world and that the situation in Afghanistan was particularly dire.

“THE ULTIMATE HEALING IS UNITY”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan then gave examples of religious fundamentalism around the world and in India. He said the situation in Palestine and Kashmir as well as the case of Rohingya refugees were all examples of the same.

Pinarayi Vijayan said that it was possible to end communal hatred in India by adopting Sree Narayana Guru’s message that all human beings should be treated as one and not discriminated against on the basis of caste or religion.

“The ultimate remedy for such social evils is the Guru’s message of unity on behalf of humanity beyond caste and religion,” he said.

Earlier Monday, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan took to social media to post a tribute to Sree Narayana Guru. He wrote: “It is time to stand united to overcome the challenges posed by communal, political and capitalist ideologies that undermine brotherhood and equality. Only then can the current crisis be resolved and a new world full of peace and prosperity can be established.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, said in his message on the occasion: “My humble pranams to Sree Narayana Guru for his 167th Jayanti. With our feet steadfast on the noble principles advocated by this Vishwa Guru, let purity permeate our thoughts, words and deeds. “

(With PTI entries)

READ ALSO: Why Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan denies the existence of IS sleeper cells in Kerala
READ ALSO: Taliban warn of “consequences” if August 31 deadline for withdrawal of US troops is extended

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