IS CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISM THE SAME AS ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM?
Frequently, when I speak about Islamic fundamentalism, someone suggests that Muslims may have Islamic fundamentalists, but the U.S. has Christian fundamentalists. The implication being that they are the same. This equivalency is flawed thinking.
The U.S. is a democracy that guarantees fundamental freedoms and rights. The Christian Right is a political movement of conservative Christians. They may have political and social views and goals that you may not agree with, but they operate within a democratic framework. To influence policy and laws, they use their rights as citizens to form advocacy organizations, lobby, and vote.
When adherents to these views resort to violence, such as the bombing of abortion clinics, it is treated as an act of violence, and the perpetrators are arrested and punished. And most leaders of Christian Right organizations condemn these acts of political violence.
I’ve never heard a Christian fundamentalist call for the takeover of the U.S. government by radical preachers or priests, or to have Christian or Biblical law replace the U.S. Constitution.
That’s the difference between Christian fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism: One respects democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the democratic process, the other doesn’t, and its goal is to destroy democracy, freedom, and the democratic process.