Author Topic: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism  (Read 1930 times)

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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« on: May 01, 2018, 08:45:56 »
Your Parliment lacks a chaplain ?

Actually, T6, I would not have phrased the question as you did. The use of "lacks" would presume that one is required, which in Canadian politics, is not the case. We don't have one, and we don't need one. And, as was indicated above, religion plays no part in our politics and we couldn't care less about our politician's religious views.

I suspect that last part might be different if a politician openly proposed in his platform to use the precept of his/her religion to adopt laws imposing those canons on people in general: In Canada, such politician would be totally rejected by the electorate.

Our different relation to religion harks right back to the actual origin of our respective countries: While the USA was settled in good part by religious groups from Europe, and in particular England, who were emigrating to the new world specifically to escape religious persecution and practice their religion freely, Canada was settled by uniformly catholic French and solid protestant Englishmen and Scotts. When the British took over from the French in central Canada, the numbers did not favour any attempts at changing their religion, so there was no religious persecution at all in Canada, which then made it possible for instance for the Irish immigrants to come here and insert themselves in the catholic stream. No one felt, as result, that it was important to keep one's religion at the fore-front of the political discourse, lest one's right to practice one's religion came under attack.

As for the developments thereafter, it more or less follows the evolution of religious freedom enjoyed by most in the U.K. While the Queen (she is our Queen too) is the embodiment and the "defender" of the Faith - the Church of England Faith - in practice, she does not interfere with her subjects religion anymore (It was different in Elizabethan times - Liz the first that is). It is one of those numerous and incredibly strong powers that she holds (to impose a religion on her subject), but does not exercise in practice so Parliament does not need to legislate to take it away from her.  :tsktsk:

The overall result is that both in Canada and the UK, the "religiosity" of our politicians and our public space simply evolves with the views of the population in general. And for most of the last 40 to 50 years, that general view has been that religion is private matter for people and has no place in the public sphere generally and in politics in particular. Canada (and the UK) is near being truly secular in nature because that is how the population wants it.

That is why you will never hear Canadian politicians ending their political speeches with "god bless" or "may god bless Canada' or words to that effect. I have to say, in our modern world, it always makes me (and many other Canadians I know) chuckle whenever we hear American politicians ending their speeches that way in our era.  :nod:

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 09:39:36 »
That is why you will never hear Canadian politicians ending their political speeches with "god bless" or "may god bless Canada' or words to that effect.

You weren't paying attention to our immediately prior PM, apparently.
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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 10:41:49 »
https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/most-canadians-65-accepting-pms-use-god-bless-canada

A little dated, but I thought it was an interesting phenomenon in our politics.
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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 22:16:31 »
. . .
Our different relation to religion harks right back to the actual origin of our respective countries: While the USA was settled in good part by religious groups from Europe, and in particular England, who were emigrating to the new world specifically to escape religious persecution and practice their religion freely,. . .
I agree with everything that you say but would point out one additional thing. The "persecution" suffered by the original Huguenots, Pilgrims and Puritans happened because they themselves held extreme fundamentalist religious views (even for those days) and demanded that all their neighbours conform to their own draconian standards. What they suffered wasn't so much persecution as a backlash (in Europe as part of the counter-reformation).

Quote
The Puritans exhibited intolerance to other religious views, including Quaker, Anglican and Baptist theologies.

While Puritans weren't the only immigrants into the US, they played a seminal role in the formation of that country's social structure.

Quote
Alexis de Tocqueville suggested in Democracy in America that Puritanism was the very thing that provided a firm foundation for American democracy. As Sheldon Wolin puts it, "Tocqueville was aware of the harshness and bigotry of the early colonists". However, on the other hand, he saw them as "archaic survivals, not only in their piety and discipline but in their democratic practices".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puritans
http://www.bostontourguide.org/myth-puritans-believed-in-religious-freedom/

Much of the problem that I see with the Christian fundamentalist in the US comes from the fact that they seek to impose their religious beliefs (about homosexuals, abortion, you name it) on everyone else just as the Puritans did in the 1600s.

For example:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-signorile-house-chaplain_us_5ae46cd1e4b04aa23f23713d

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« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 22:50:18 by FJAG »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 08:24:44 »
Quite right FJAG. I didn't go into every detail.

And BTW, if you want to have fun on a rainy day, google "American Taliban" and follow where it leads. You'll be shaking your head.  ;D

And DP and Infanteer, I had missed that speech pattern in our past Fearless Leader, but knowing of his personal strong religious background (which he did not let get in the way of his governing), I am not surprised. However, I personally find it not only anachronistic, but also anathema to Canada's political discourse in general. But, he's gone now and nobody else in Canadian politics (that I know of) does it, so: Meh!

Offline Pencil Tech

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 08:56:50 »

Much of the problem that I see with the Christian fundamentalist in the US comes from the fact that they seek to impose their religious beliefs (about homosexuals, abortion, you name it) on everyone else just as the Puritans did in the 1600s.


Google "Dominionism" There are several US Republican politicians who are Dominionist Christians. Ted Cruz is one. Rand Paul (yes Rand Paul, for a libertarian he's very much supportive of theocracy). Roy Moore. Kansas governor Sam Brownback is another, and there are many more. They are acolytes of R.J. Rushdoony, who advocated a theocratic America governed on biblical precepts.

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 10:39:18 »
The thing about about Christians fundamentalists in the US, is you can tell them to piss off, do the same to Islamic fundamentalists in the rest of the world and you get your throat slit.

Offline Remius

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 11:03:44 »
The thing about about Christians fundamentalists in the US, is you can tell them to piss off, do the same to Islamic fundamentalists in the rest of the world and you get your throat slit.

What about Christian fundamentalists in the rest of the world? Like say in Africa...

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 11:12:39 »
What about Christian fundamentalists in the rest of the world? Like say in Africa...

Jim Jones?
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Offline Remius

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 11:23:49 »
Jim Jones?
 :whistle:
Yes.  I was also thinking of some African fundamentalists (backed by some US groups) pushing to make Homosexuality a capital crime.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 12:12:22 »
What about Christian fundamentalists in the rest of the world? Like say in Africa...

Other than the Lords Resistance Army which is a more of a whackjob than an actual religious movement, which other Christian Fundamentalist governments there are currently doing the same stuff that Iran and other places are doing now?

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2018, 12:17:03 »
.... more of a whackjob than an actual religious movement ...
Some may have difficulty differentiating between the two, seeing merely variations on a theme.

Offline Remius

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2018, 13:23:03 »
Other than the Lords Resistance Army which is a more of a whackjob than an actual religious movement, which other Christian Fundamentalist governments there are currently doing the same stuff that Iran and other places are doing now?

Ah so are we talking about Christian fundamentalists or fundamentalist governments?  Your post just said fundamentalists.

Uganda (which wanted to make homosexuality a capital offense), Nigeria and Zimbabwe are all trying to or have passed legislation promoting hatred of homosexuality and using Christianity as it's reason.  Very much encouraged and cheered on by US Christian fundamentalists.

Don't kid yourself.  Many Christian Fundamentalists would very much like to eradicate what they perceive as abhorrent in the eyes of their lord.
 
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Offline Pencil Tech

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 13:32:27 »
Other than the Lords Resistance Army which is a more of a whackjob than an actual religious movement, which other Christian Fundamentalist governments there are currently doing the same stuff that Iran and other places are doing now?

Nigeria for one. And there it was definitely driven by the Anglican Church, which in that country is very fundamentalist.

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 15:16:55 »
What about Christian fundamentalists in the rest of the world? Like say in Africa...

Safer to burn a Bible in the Vatican and Australia, or Koran in the UK, France and Sweden?
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Offline Remius

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2018, 15:33:28 »
I think that's the point.  It has more to do with where you are and not necessarily a function of what brand of fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is essentially a literal interpretation of whatever scripture you follow.  You'll find just as much fire and brimstone and smite thy enemy in the Koran and the Bible. 

We just have laws here in the US and Canada and elsewhere that prevent you from stoning your neighbour for making out with a same sex partner.

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2018, 15:39:40 »
Enough with the Puritan and Anglican bashing.  Toleration has never been high on the agenda of any religion, including laicete, secularism, atheism and communism. 

I would remind that the modern concept of toleration arose from those same Puritans and Anglicans accommodating each other, followed by Jews, Catholics and Moors.

If it were not for the Reformation you would not have toleration of any sort.  The Vatican certainly wasn't predisposed to permit it.

Quote
Toleration Act, (May 24, 1689), act of Parliament granting freedom of worship to Nonconformists (i.e., dissenting Protestants such as Baptists and Congregationalists). It was one of a series of measures that firmly established the Glorious Revolution (1688–89) in England.

The Toleration Act demonstrated that the idea of a “comprehensive” Church of England had been abandoned and that hope lay only in toleration of division. It allowed Nonconformists their own places of worship and their own teachers and preachers, subject to acceptance of certain oaths of allegiance. Social and political disabilities remained, however, and Nonconformists were still denied political office (as were Roman Catholics). That led to the practice of “occasional conformity,” but in 1711 the Occasional Conformity Act imposed fines on anyone who, after receiving Anglican communion, was found worshiping at Nonconformist meetinghouses. A bill by Henry Saint John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, to prevent the growth of schism by forcing all those who taught or kept schools to take an oath of allegiance to the Church of England was frustrated by Queen Anne’s death, on August 1, 1714, the day when it was to take effect.

Had the bill become law, it would have destroyed the intellectual and educational power of dissent, which had made an important contribution to education by the foundation of “dissenting academies.” Between 1663 and 1688, more than 20 academies had been founded; more than 30 more were started during 1690–1750. Established for the training of Nonconformist ministers to whom the universities were closed, the academies became centres of learning, offering a more-liberal education than the universities then provided, including business, science, and sociology as well as theology and the classics. The act did not apply to Roman Catholics and Unitarians.

https://www.britannica.com/event/Toleration-Act-Great-Britain-1689

The Lutherans, Anglicans and Scots Episcopalians were no more inclined to give up their establishment authorities and perquisites than was the Vatican.  Which led, in Canada to dissenting Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians, like George Brown and Mackenzie King having common ground with Quebec Catholics against the Establishment Family Compact of Scots Episcopalian Bishop Strachan and the Chateau Clique.

Religion and Politics have always been about the same thing: mobilizing followers. Beliefs and creeds and policies are entirely secondary to the colour of the banner.


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Online Chris Pook

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2018, 13:02:34 »
Quote
A catechism ( /ˈkætəˌkɪzəm/; from Ancient Greek: κατηχέω, "to teach orally") is a summary or exposition of doctrine and serves as a learning introduction to the Sacraments traditionally used in catechesis, or Christian religious teaching of children and adult converts.[1] Catechisms are doctrinal manuals – often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorised – a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well. The term catechumen refers to the designated recipient of the catechetical work or instruction. In the Catholic Church, catechumens are those who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. Traditionally, they would be placed separately during Holy Mass from those who had been baptized, and would be dismissed from the liturgical assembly before the Profession of Faith (Creed) and General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful).[citation needed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catechism

Giving thought to the predilection of universities and the academy to get hung up on "The Truth", "Right" and "Justice" and their recent tendency to shut down people who disagree it occurs to me that the universities are demonstrating the importance of "culture" as a continuing influence in an anthropological sense.

All universities, at least all the seniors, started life as seminaries: places where priests and other clerics (including lawyers) were sent to learn the catechism of truths about their societies and how to become the directors of the establishment.

The catechism may have changed but the cultural predilection for a catechism has not.

Wilfrid Laurier University - home of the recent dustup about free speech - WLU - used to be the lutheran seminary - Waterloo Lutheran University.

My own first residence at university was Westminster College at Western.  Westminster was the United Church college.

One of America's pre-eminent conservatives personifies this cultural predilection - a religious atheist.

"George Frederick Will (born May 4, 1941) is an American conservative political commentator.....born in Champaign, Illinois, the son of Frederick L. Will and Louise Hendrickson Will.[6] His father was a professor of philosophy, specializing in epistemology*, at the University of Illinois.

Will graduated from University Laboratory High School of Urbana, Illinois, and Trinity College (Congregationalist then Episcopalian) in Hartford, Connecticut (BA, Religion, 1962).[citation needed] He subsequently studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Magdalen College (Roman Catholic then Church of England), Oxford, (BA, MA).[citation needed] Upon leaving Oxford, Will gave up plans to attend Harvard Law School (Congregationalist whose motto was "Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae, meaning "Truth for Christ and the Church"") and continued his studies at Princeton University (New Light Presbyterians), from which he received MA and PhD degrees in politics. His 1968 PhD dissertation was entitled Beyond the Reach of Majorities: Closed Questions in the Open Society.....

Will is a self-described "amiable, low voltage atheist."

Knowing less about Quebec society than I would like but I venture to suggest that Quebec in the 1960s, as in France in the 1900s, when the Church lost its standing and all services that the Church provided were secularized, that the service providers were not secularized.  And even those that adopted the new secular catechism sought out and found comfort in the presence, the existence, of a catechism around which to organize their lives.

Policy changes but culture doesn't.





*the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.[1]

Epistemology studies the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much of the debate in epistemology centers on four areas: (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification,[2][3] (2) various problems of skepticism, (3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification. Epistemology addresses such questions as "What makes justified beliefs justified?",[4] "What does it mean to say that we know something?"[5] and fundamentally "How do we know that we know?"[6]
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 13:06:47 by Chris Pook »
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Offline beirnini

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2018, 16:01:32 »
I think that's the point.  It has more to do with where you are and not necessarily a function of what brand of fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is essentially a literal interpretation of whatever scripture you follow.  You'll find just as much fire and brimstone and smite thy enemy in the Koran and the Bible. 

We just have laws here in the US and Canada and elsewhere that prevent you from stoning your neighbour for making out with a same sex partner.
I think there's still a difference, though. Every Christian theocracy in history has either been discarded wholesale through revolution or neutered to the point of what is essentially symbolism in a virtually powerless monarchy. Islam has not reached that probably inevitable point in their historical progression. As far as I'm aware Christian theocrats and their fundamentalism do not enjoy explicit state sanction anywhere (although it would seem the Yanks are edging that direction), but the same cannot be said of Islam.

As a devout layperson of the Rule of Law it's repugnant to me that the West condones - or worse supports - theocracies and theocrats anywhere. It postpones their ultimate rightful place in the ash heap of history, and in the meantime only serves to sow discord and violence.

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2018, 17:09:24 »
Safer to burn a Bible in the Vatican and Australia, or Koran in the UK, France and Sweden?

I never found Australia to be a particularly religious place.  I'd suggest South Korea or the US instead.
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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2018, 19:11:14 »
Nigeria for one. And there it was definitely driven by the Anglican Church, which in that country is very fundamentalist.

My wife lived in Nigeria for 10 years.  It is Islam that rules the roost there, not the Anglican Church.

Offline Remius

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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2018, 22:00:30 »
My wife lived in Nigeria for 10 years.  It is Islam that rules the roost there, not the Anglican Church.

It’s 50/50.  Your wife was likelyliving in the North that is predominantly Islamic. Just a guess based on demographics.  Doesn’t change the fact that the Anglican side is fundamentalist.
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Re: Politics and Religious Fundamentalism
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2018, 22:55:11 »
It’s 50/50.  Your wife was likelyliving in the North that is predominantly Islamic. Just a guess based on demographics.  Doesn’t change the fact that the Anglican side is fundamentalist.

Lagos.  The folks that had the reins of power then were from the north side of things.  She and her then husband moved in those circles.