Did he really say that?

I just saw Pat Robertson (700 club guy and Christian fundamentalist) on George Stephanopoulos's show on ABC. It was delicious. He actually said that Muslims and Hindus are not fit for public office. I was amazed.
I think this is a brilliant approach to the rise of Christian fundamentalism. Bring it out into the open, into the public square, into the main stream media, and let the public see its real beliefs. This is a good idea for two reasons. First, fundamentalism emerged, and has thrived, as a counter-cultural movement. This is true of most religious movements. If you allow it into the mainstream, one of its primary fuels (the moral fervor that comes from being an oppressed movement) will wither. Second, you force people to defend their theologically based public policy agendas with rational argument.....which won't work out well, as Rev. Robertson demonstrated.


Mark said...

I never knew that fundamentalism began as a counter-culture movement. I've always assumed that it was in or near the center, and never realized that part of its appeal came from its resistance to the mainstream. That's interesting though.

Joe said...

Yeah, so-called "mainline" Christianity begain to decline in numbers and influence as a more secular culture took hold, roughly during the 60's. Mainline Christianity never died out; it's still around, and it can still be quite conservative, but it can also be pretty liberal, and either way, it's still dieing.
"Fundamentalism" was the reaction against secularism. It's a term that's used very roughly in common parlance, usually indicating anybody who views the Bible as the inerrant word of god and who opposes homosexuality. But, it's actually a bit more specific. A key element is the idea that the world is going to shit and the true faithful have to nobly holdfast to the true faith, even though the world is against them. Like I said, this tends to be true of all religious movements; it was certainly true of early Christianity. The intersting thing about fundamentalism is that it occurred worldwide in all kinds of religions....which would undercut my argument that becoming mainstream errodes the movement's power, because those forces are in power in the middle-east.