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Discuss the impact of Christian Fundamentalism on American polotics - Essay Example

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Discuss the impact of Christian Fundamentalism on American polotics

They are to be engaged with one another not only within the bond of civility but, much more importantly, within the bonds of the love of Christ. The truth of the gospel transcends our disagreements about all lesser truths. And it is by that truth that we are knit together in mutual dependence and accountability. By that truth, the church is enabled to be a zone of truth in a world of impassioned mendacities--not the least of all in the world of impassioned political mendacities.
There was a time when political involvement by conservative Christians was seen as a worldly or even sinful activity, now, political celibacy, if you will, is considered a dereliction of Christian responsibility. This mega-shift in perception has not been a recent phenomenon but evolved with time. During late 19th century until 1920s, the influence of conservatives collapsed. However, after 1950s, it revived miraculously due to contemporary political situation and worked its way up to reach a stage today that most of battles in the world are being portrayed as the ones with the evil, and there seems to be public support for many such aggressions which have almost divided this world into "with us or not with us".
Religion is the most dangerous energy source known to humankind. ...
The history, worldwide, of religion-fueled hate, killing, and oppression is staggering." - Eugene Peterson (from the introduction to the book of Amos in the Bible paraphrase The Message)
Within the span of one generation, between the 1890s and the 1930s, the extraordinary influence of evangelicalism in the public sphere of American culture collapsed. Not only did the cultural opinion makers desert evangelicalism, even many leaders of major Protestant denominations attempted to tone down the offenses to modern sensibilities of a Bible filled with miracles and a gospel that proclaimed human salvation from eternal damnation only through Christ's atoning work on the cross. Therefore, making the connections between faith and politics in the late 1970s was quite novel at the time and controversial among conservative Protestants, especially fundamentalists.
It is often argued that fear of religious conservative culture and not loss of socio-economic status led to political organisation of Protestant Christians during 1960s and later. Another reason for their organisation was they were not getting their due recognition in affairs of the state. Another section points out that political activism was spearheaded by the development of so called unethical and immoral cultures in the society.
What stirred religious conservatives most was a sense that Supreme Court decisions were giving power to the opponents of traditional Christian values. The Court banned state sponsored prayer and Bible reading in the schools (Engel v. Vitale, 1962), legalized abortion (Roe v. Wade, 1973), and allowed for more government regulation in private Christian schools (Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971). As a result, they became engaged in ...Show more

Summary

To build a world in which the strong are just, and power is tempered by mercy, in which the weak are nurtured and the marginal embraced, and those at the entrance gates and those at the exit gates of life are protected both by law and love . . . of course Christians should be engaged in the public square…
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