The Fundamentalist AgendaBy Calico Cat at 7:13 PM
"is absolutely natural, ancient, and powerful—but the liberal impulse makes us humane."
By Davidson Loehr
The most famous definition of fundamentalism is H. L. Mencken's: a terrible, pervasive fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun. There's something to this. Fundamentalism is too fearful, too restrictive, too lacking in faith to provide a home for the human spirit to soar or for human societies to blossom.
But there are far more fundamental things to understand about fundamentalism, especially in this age of terrorism. An adequate understanding also includes some inescapable and uncomfortable critiques of America's cultural liberalism of the last four decades. The attacks on September 11, 2001, provided us a rare revelation about fundamentalism that arrived in two installments.
First, we became vividly aware of the things some Muslim fundamentalists hate about our culture:
* They hate liberated women and all that symbolizes them. They hate it when women compete with men in the workplace, when they decide when or whether they will bear children, when they show the independence of getting abortions. They hate changes in laws that previously gave men more power over women.
* They hate the wide range of sexual orientations and lifestyles that have always characterized human societies. They hate homosexuality.
* They hate individual freedoms that allow people to stray from the rigid sort of truth they want to constrain all people. They hate individual rights that let others slough off their simple certainties."
Read the rest here.
Davidson Loehr appeared as a guest on Ring of Fire, Satureday, March 26, 2005. The interview will be reboardcast on Sunday and can be found in the archives.