Christian Fundamentalism Is More Dangerous Than Islamic Terrorism

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

Chicago Maroon (from reader Mack):

A leading humanist scholar stressed symbolic Bible reading and warned of the radical right at a talk on Tuesday at the Seminary Co-Op.

For Catherine M. Wallace, faculty member at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine  and author of the recently concluded book series *Christian Humanism and the Moral Imagination*, the Christian fundamentalist movement in the United States is more dangerous than Islamic terrorism. Wallace, a Christian herself, believes fundamentalist access to United States armaments is the number one threat to state security.

“If [anything Islamic] wanted to attack an American city, they had to hijack an airliner. If they want to blow up a concert, they need to put bombs on their own children and send young men in to kill themselves…that kind of radicalism [Christian fundamentalism] in control of nuclear codes was a much, much greater threat,” Wallace said.

As a historian and Christian humanist, Wallace wanted to examine fundamentalism’s strongest arguments and find its weaknesses. She looked at how fundamentalist Christianity first sprung up in the Southern United States. “The religious right in its most contemporary form has an origin in Southern opposition to desegregation and to the Civil Rights Movement…a transparently racist appeal,” Wallace said.

In Wallace’s view, this radicalism stems from a literal reading of the Bible. “Nobody in the ancient world would have read the Bible literally,” Wallace said. The idea of a literal reading is a thoroughly modern phenomenon, according to Wallace—church fathers of the past would discourage anyone from taking the Bible literally.

Therefore, according to Wallace, the fundamentalists have it all wrong. “Christian fundamentalism is a malignant form of Christianity,” Wallace said. In her opinion, their literalist reading creates misconceptions of what the Bible means, fostering a climate of hate and leading to increased and unnecessary conflict between Christians and the rest of the world.

Near the end of the talk, Wallace turned to her personal take on the Bible. “It’s the great anthology of Jewish storytelling. It’s brilliant, but these are very ancient stories.” She argues that by reading the Bible this way, Christianity can far better coexist with the worlds of science and politics. Equally important, the religion can lose its reputation of going against facts and progressive social trends.

She’s lying.  She is presupposing the stupidity and ignorance of the modern seminary student – and that may be a perfectly good assumption – in order to make her point.  She wants the students to think that good hermeneutics means that nothing the Bible says is true.  She is conflating the lies of source, form and redaction criticism with good hermeneutical principles like interpreting according to literature type (e.g., the parables of Christ aren’t systematic theology, and cannot be used to make more than a single theological point, versus the systematic theology that is found in the Pauline doctrine from the epistles).

So who knows – since we Christian fundamentalists are more dangerous than Islamic radicals, perhaps she wants the fedgov to go after us.  But listen here.  We have the guns.  So what are you going to do about it beyond lying to the idiot students?

As for my more fundamentalist Christian response, I can only think of this to say.  Blow it out your ass, jerk.  Oh, and I don’t think you’re a Christian at all.  You lied about that too (I find the stupid term “co-religionist” insulting and objectionable and you don’t get to make up anything you want and call it Christian, any more than I can declare that I am the king of Siam and make it happen).


Comments

  1. On October 25, 2016 at 8:26 am, Frank Clarke said:

    I was raised as a Roman Catholic and spent many years in their educational system, including 4 years at a Catholic high school where theology (such as it was) was a permanent part of the curriculum. Our instructors, Christian Brothers (FSC), always made the point that when reading the Bible it’s important to understand the audiences (plural) for which it was created: originally nomadic sheep herders and later sophisticated moderns, with others along the way.

    To tell an illiterate nomad that the Earth was 7 billion years old and orbited the Sun would have been useless. They simply wouldn’t/couldn’t understand, so God created everything in 6 days. They could understand that lesson: “God built all this”. Moderns smooth it as “things come along in their proper time” but the baseline lesson “God built all this” still gets through.

    The Bible teaches morality, not science. It teaches history with a side-order of myth. When one views the Bible this way, it’s clear nothing there is incompatible with what we think of as “scientific truth”, but you have to know why it is phrased the way it’s phrased.

  2. On October 25, 2016 at 9:41 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Well Frank, I have to disagree about the “side order of myth” part. That’s what the German “higher critics” taught (based on source, form and redaction criticism, and made use of “demythologizing” the Bible (see Rudolf Bultmann, Hermann Gunkel, etc.). I am a six-day creationist, as well as a professional engineer, and I see no contradiction whatsoever (although I don’t hold to the short earth view). None of this has anything to do with whether, for example, Revelation and Daniel is interpreted as apocalyptic literature, the parables are seen as story telling to make a point, etc.

    The Bible doesn’t teach morality. It teaches about covenant and the need for a savior. Christ is the scarlet thread that runs from Genesis to Revelation. What this woman wants young idiots to believe is that nothing it says is true. There is no trinity, Jesus is not God, there will be no final judgment, and if there is any atonement at all, it’s the moral influence view of the atonement. Jesus taught us how to live, so we can atone for ourselves. The family isn’t comprised of a man and woman and children, all roads lead to god (if there is such a thing), all men are good and any lack of goodness can be ameliorated through education (Horace Mann), and all of the other claptrap from modernism.

    She doesn’t care that the invitation to Muslims to join us in this endeavor will change America forever. She doesn’t care about you, or your family, or your children or grandchildren and the kind of world they live in.

  3. On October 25, 2016 at 9:35 am, Fred said:

    So, this person wants me to believe that a text, any text, should not be taken literally so as to ascertain it’s meaning? Nope, just the Holy Bible. Oh, I see. She’s a phony christian.

  4. On October 25, 2016 at 9:52 am, Douglas Mortimer said:

    In my head I’m going over the hundreds if not thousands of terrorist attacks that have occurred since 1979 (lest I go further back to the middle ages) all over the planet, and I’m pretty sure none of them were done in the name of Jesus.
    John 3:16 and John 13:34 say it pretty clearly.

    It’s not the first time I’ve seen this lame, reality-free baseless argument and it probably won’t be the last.

  5. On October 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm, Fred said:

    There have been 29,000 plus since 9-11-01. All done in the name of islam. – The Religion of peace dot com via – GoV

  6. On October 25, 2016 at 10:07 am, David Scott Boring said:

    Without the authority of Scripture, everything is debatable & negotiable. Nothing is certain, and your interpretation is as good as mine. Thus, without the yardstick of Scriptures, one does “get to make up anything you want and call it Christian”

    The Theory of Evolution by Means of Natural Selection requires death. Lots and lots of death. Billions and billions of deaths. And it calls death a natural part of life, even a “good” thing. This is an existential position, and robs life of all meaning. It also robs all humans of God-given dignity. It removes the stigma of “original sin” and dismisses the Scripture’s explanation of “what is wrong with the world?” Worse, it accuses God of creating a fallen world and blames Him for the evil we see all around us. How could a good God do such a thing?

    Evolution is incompatible with Scripture.

    Scripture has existed for thousands of years, unchanged and with consistent understanding of its meaning.

    Theories are the current guess of men, trying to explain what they see around them, and are only valid until. a better guess comes along. In this case, I believe there is a more nefarious motive behind the blatherings of this “leading humanist scholar”

  7. On October 25, 2016 at 11:52 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    “Nobody in the ancient world would have read the Bible literally,” Wallace said.

    Idiot. How does she define “ancient.?”

    This sort of drabble from “experts” is becoming more prevalent.

  8. On October 25, 2016 at 11:52 am, Archer said:

    Agreed. She’s lying.

    Among other things, the term “Christian humanist” is a contradiction in terms. She may as well claim to be a “Marxist capitalist” or a “Jewish Muslim”.

    To be Christian means to live for and follow Christ as Lord. It’s right in the name. Likewise, to be humanist means to elevate humans to the level of God and live for human endeavors. You cannot elevate humans to the level of God and legitimately claim to still believe in the one and only God. The two ideas are mutually exclusive.

    As the man Himself said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24 NKJV)

  9. On October 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm, Mack said:

    Herschel,

    As a coincidence, I read that Jack Chick has passed away, having died in his sleep. He was 92.

    All I could find on the ‘net was utter hatred of him. I did find this lonely column:
    * http://www.wnd.com/2016/10/jack-chick-christian-tract-evangelist-dies/

    His message was simple. Why was he hated so? Is Truth offensive?

    Well, anyone can judge independently:
    * http://www.chick.com/

  10. On October 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm, Blake said:

    “…. She argues that by reading the Bible this way, Christianity can far better coexist with the worlds of science and politics.”

    Christianity does want to get along with the rest of the world. It’s the rest of the world that does not want to get along with Christianity.

    I find it astounding people actually still claim that Christianity is more dangerous than Islam considering the number of Christian martyrs created by Islam over the last decade.

    It’s quite obvious this woman is preaching that Christianity needs to conform to the world. The warning in Romans 12:2 comes to mind.

    I find it utterly amazing that someone who purports to know the Bible would spout such heretical nonsense. (Matthew 7:15, anyone?)

  11. On October 27, 2016 at 1:03 pm, Pat Hines said:

    All seminaries aren’t equal, an understatement. You have the barely four year Fruitland Bible College (used to be a one year institute) near Hendersonville, and you have the 7 year Orthodox seminary just outside Boston that effectively awards a Phd. in Orthodox theology, including reading and writing in Greek. My Orthodox priest (Greenville, SC) speaks and reads both ancient and modern Greek, and being born in Fletcher, North Carolina, has a very good grip upon the English language as well.

    Catharine Wallace does not appear to be a Christian at all.

  12. On October 28, 2016 at 8:01 am, Andrew Miller said:

    The…
    Chicago Maroon?

    Seriously?

    Didn’t any of the people in charge of naming this paper ever watch Bugs Bunny?

    What a group of Maroons…

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment


You are currently reading "Christian Fundamentalism Is More Dangerous Than Islamic Terrorism", entry #15794 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Religion and was published October 24th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (38)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (197)
Animals (169)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (331)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (81)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (27)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (139)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (16)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (14)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (13)
CIA (29)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (198)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (4)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (33)
Featured (187)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,555)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,450)
Guns (2,063)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (2)
Horses (1)
Humor (60)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (96)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (3)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (95)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (5)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (4)
Lawfare (7)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (273)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (62)
Medical (142)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (39)
Mexico (58)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (6)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (24)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (86)
NATO (15)
Navy (24)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (61)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (70)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (581)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (957)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (351)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (35)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (497)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (34)
Survival (101)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (2)
Tactical Gear (7)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (18)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (95)
Thanksgiving (12)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (24)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (16)
U.S. Sovereignty (20)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (9)
Uncategorized (65)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (363)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (75)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2022 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.