Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fundamentalist - Context is Everything

I was looking at a posting on my good friend the Jollyblogger about Rick Warren. Warren is quoted as saying he is against all forms of fundamentalism, Christian, Muslim, secular, etc... and that they are the real enemy. This shows a extremely shallow view of Muslim fundamentalism and of Christian fundamentalism. His mistake is a common one. Muslim fundamentalism is sort of misapplication of the term. In Christian fundamentalism the inerrant Word of God is regarded as such with some other cardinal doctrines. In Muslim fundamentalism has as its goal a religious state that follows the sharia, Muslim civil law. They beleive that impurity of Western civilization has desecrated them and that the road to once again recieve the blessing of their former glorious past is to create Islamic governments. While some would think this is what Christian fundamentalists want, in reality most are decidedly for seperation of church and state. They just don't think that means the state supports the religion of a secular world view. I am sure you can find the odd ball who is the exception to this rule and wants the church to run the state.

The other big issue in Christian Fundamentalism circles is outward forms of piety, such as don't smoke, drink, dance, play cards, etc... Muslim fundamentalism would likewise be narrow on outward forms of piety. But so would Rick Warren, he stresses the importance of signing committement cards, participating in small groups and tithing. All three, Muslim Fundamentalists, Christian Fundamentalists, and graduates of C.L.A.S.S. 201 Level members class at Rick Warren's church would place a high value on tithing. In the case of the Muslim it would be called zekat. I'm not saying it is wrong, just that it is very much an outward sign of piety. I thnk all three would be trying to deal with issues of the heart by doing this.
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