Saturday, October 27, 2012

Muslim or Christian Fundamentalist?

Great quiz on Slate asking you to guess whether certain statements about women and the family were made by Muslim extremists or Christian fundamentalists. This is one of the tougher ones:
A child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly.
That's Charlie Fuqua, Republican candidate for Arkansas State House of Representatives, in his book God's Law: The Only Political Solution. Some of the most disgusting stuff I have ever read is from fundamentalist supporters of beating your children, endless crap about "breaking their will" so they will submit to their parents and to god. Ugh.

Otherwise you can usually tell because while both kinds of fundamentalists promote male supremacy (aka "the traditional family") only Muslims are terrified of sex:
Woman possesses the weapon of seduction and temptation.
Which is Tajeddin Hilali, Australian Sunni Muslim leader. American fundamentalists, whatever their other problems, tend to be very enthusiastic about sex, so long as it is within the bounds of marriage. This is the tradition of Puritanism, going all the way back to John Fox and even Martin Luther.

One of the weirdnesses of contemporary political discourse is that American conservatives like to equate secularism with Islam, as equivalent dangers to a Christian society. Whereas from my perspective, funamentalists of any sort are equally dangerous to the essentially secular world I want.

1 comment:

leif said...

hmm, can i offer a different slant to part of this, for consideration...?

religious fundamentalists as a class extol the virtues of their belief system, whatever it happens to entail per their own practice. they are willing to defend it even with violence, and fastidiously cover their own tracks -- for a while anyway -- even when they push the "do as i say, not as i do" envelope a bit too far.

you're spot-on in your assessment that religion is used as an implement of male power, and because it is, sexuality or reproduction in any sense is inevitably part of the equation. male authoritarian projection of a deep drive to control others is manifest in what they attribute to "god's will," from vanquishing enemies, to child capital punishment, to destroying whole cities of sexually 'deviant' people. it matters not whether these things actually happened: they serve to illustrate the code of behavior, and because the code is the, THE word of their god, that's somehow unquestionably true.

closed-system thinking is not thinking at all. it's authoritarian manipulation to maintain the status quo, which is to say, maintain the power of those who are the 'rightful' heirs to that power.