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Re: Ch. 8 - Mobilization (1960-74)
Here is a part that caught my attention in this chapter about how Armstrong says fundamentalists view secular humanism. From chapter 8, pp. 271-273:
Quote:It would, however, be a mistake to regard this fundamentalist preoccupation with secular humanism as a ploy, or as an ingeniously concocted distortion designed to discredit the liberal attitude. The term "secular humanism" and all that it stands for filled fundamentalists with visceral dread. They saw it as a conspiracy of evil forces that, in the words of Tim LaHaye, one of the chief and most prolific fundamentalist ideologues, was "anti-God, anti-moral, anti-self-restraint, and anti-American." Secular humanism was run by a small cadre which controlled the government, the public schools, and the television networks, in order to "destroy Christianity and the American family." There were 600 humanist senators, congressmen, and cabinet ministers, some 275,000 in the American Civil Liberties Union. The National Organization for Women, trade unions, the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller foundations, and all colleges and universities were also "humanist." Fifty percent of the legislators were committed to the religion of secular humanism. America, which had been founded as a Bible-based republic, had now become a secular state, a catastrophe, John, Whitehead (president of the conservative Rutherford Institute) attributed to a gross misreading of the First Amendment. Jefferson's "wall of separation" was designed, Whitehead believed, to protect religion from the state, not vice versa. But now the humanist judges had made the state an object of worship: "The state is seen as secular," he argued, but "the state is religious because its 'ultimate concern' is the perpetuation of the state itself." Secular humanism, therefore, amounted to a rebellion against God's sovereignty, and its worship of the state was idolatrous.         Not only had the conspiracy completely infiltrated American society, but it had also conquered the world. For the fundamentalist writer Pat Brooks, the secular humanists formed "a huge conspiratorial network" which was "fast approaching its goal of bringing in a 'new world order,' a vast world government that would reduce the world to slavery." Like other fundamentalists, Brooks saw the enemy as omnipresent, and pursuing its objective relentlessly over a long period. He saw it at work in the Soviet Union, on Wall Street, in Zionism, in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Federal Reserve System. The cabal that was masterminding this international conspiracy included the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, Kissinger, Brzezinski, the shah, and Omar Torrijos, the former Panamanian dictator. This terror of secular humanism was as irrational and as ungovernable as any of the other paranoid fantasies we have considered, and sprang from the same fear of annihilation. The Protestant fundamentalists' view of modern society in general and of America in particular was as demonic as that of any Islamist. For Franky Schaeffer, for example, the West was about to enter
"An electronic dark age, in which the new pagan hordes, with all the power of technology at their command, are on the verge of obliterating the last strongholds of civilized humanity. A vision of darkness lies before us. As we leave the shores of Christian western man behind, only a dark and turbulent sea of despair stretches endlessly ahead...unless we fight".
Do any of you know people who feel this way? I do. I have no idea if most fundamentalists would agree completely that there is a giant secular humanist conspiracy against them, but I do know people who who believe things like the ACLU is out to get Christians. Think about recent rhetoric and how effective it seems to be....is the phrase "activist judges" familiar to you?
I want to be very clear that I don't think all Christians believe these things. I know plenty of people who consider themselves Christians who would find this just as sad as I do.
Replace 'securlar humanism' with 'Jews' and you get the idea of how it was in the 40's and 50's.
"<...a small cadre which controlled the government, the public schools, and the television networks, in order to "destroy Christianity and the American family." > Yup, I remember these exact words being applied to Jews. The wheel turns and turns again.
I think the fundamentalists are just poor losers. All primitive and/or pagan societies create a god myth to explain and protect against the frightening unknown that is their world. As the world becomes more known, the societies become more secular in style. Fundamentalists want to hang on to their version of gods and beings who live in trees, while the modern society knows that the gods actually live in the atoms.
The very few fundamentalists I know don't seem to believe in a conspiracy. They just believe very strongly in the literal words of the Bible.
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