We need another word besides evangelical or fundie

OK, once I start to post the same comment on a third diary, it’s time to make it a diary of it’s own :-).

IMNSHO, we need a simple, straightforward term for the RRR Christians, the would-be theocrats, so that we don’t tar the non-radicals that share some of the names. Asbury Park has asked more than once that we not use “evangelical,” because not all evangelicals are in the problem group. I don’t recall who specifically made a similar request about “fundamentalist.”

I am not a Christian, though I was one for a few years a long time ago. I respect those whose hearts call them to try to follow the Christ’s teachings. I really want to see the majority of Christians — whom I consider to be good and decent people — reclaim their faith from those who want to hijack it for political and financial power.

My current suggestion to refer to the “replace the Constitution with the Bible” crowd is “theocrats.” How do the Christians here feel about that one? Any other suggestions? Multi-word phrases might work for accuracy, but it’s my experience that people will keep falling back on the shorter ones even if they’re less accurate, so I’m looking for something concise while still reasonably accurate.

Update [2005-10-24 16:50:47 by Morgan]:I’m adding a poll, but since I intend to edit it if/when new terms come up, the results may not be accurate. I’m listing alphabetically for form’s sake.

Poll

What’s your fav (poll will be edited as more good names arise)
Fundagelicals
Dominionists
Theocons
Theocrats
Religious Reich
Other
None

Votes: 18 (results no longer available)

39 comments

“Theocrats” is good (none / 1)

But I also like “Christo-facist”. (Well, it’s nicer than “Metaphysically Challenged”)

My friends and I just call them “Crispies”, as in “Jesus Crispies”…because they like to burn things they don’t like.

Taliesin Athor Govannon
HP, Coven of Caer Arianrhod
http://www.vtvnetwork.com/witchcraft

by Taliesin on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:10:27 PDT

“Crispies” (none / 1)

That’s disgusting.  Shame on you.

We are being saved for hope.

Romans 8:24a

by martinguerre on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:03:20 PDT

“Theocrats”… (4.00 / 3)

…is an excellent suggestion.

We need to remember, for instance, that Jim Wallis of Sojourners and God’s Politics fame is an evangelical.  There’s a lot of common ground to be found with evangelicals who truly look to Christ rather than to the False Prophets found in today’s theocratic leadership.

Of course, we’re progressives.  Getting us all to agree on a word to use for anything is damn near impossible–even whether to call ourselves progressives or liberals or leftists or whatever.  🙂

And this:

I am not a Christian, though I was one for a few years a long time ago. I respect those whose hearts call them to try to follow the Christ’s teachings. I really want to see the majority of Christians — whom I consider to be good and decent people — reclaim their faith from those who want to hijack it for political and financial power.

Touched my heart.  If we are to work for justice together, then all of us from all these different paths need to hold each other in our hearts in just this way.  Thank you.

Jesus built a ship to sing a song to/It sails the rivers and it sails the tide

by Progressive Witness on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:12:15 PDT

Religious Right? (none / 1)

It seems to me that Religious Right seems to be the best title – at least that is the one that I prefer.

Granted…they are more “Right” than “religious”, but that is besides the point.

Save Darfur
Random Ravings (formerly at brendoman.com/hippydave

by randomravings on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:21:22 PDT

Somewhere around here (none / 1)

I may still have an old button that reads: “The Moral Majority is neither.” 🙂

by Morgan on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:42:08 PDT

I thought in the blogosphere it was spelled (none / 1)

a little differently: Religious Reich ?

by deadinthewater on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:04:15 PDT

There are very good… (none / 1)

….folk of faith whose veiws are right of center.

 Do you want to lump them with the legalists  who want something akin to religous facism by calling them the Religous Reich?

by tabbycat1138 on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 16:30:40 PDT

IMO, (none / 1)

Good folks of faith who have right-of-center political views are not necessarily part of the Religious Reich. The RR is the ones who want to break down the wall of separation between church and state and then make the “state” conform to to their particular brand of “church.”

In other words, using “Reich” to differentiate the problem children from members of the “right” who are religious (and not all of those are Christians, BTW).

by Morgan on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 16:36:33 PDT

Legalism is a poison…. (none / 1)

….no matter what faith the legalist follows.I would say Osama and his buddies are legalist, as are a lot of the let’s exterminate the palistinian scum jews.Their veiws are legalistic and poison.

by tabbycat1138 on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 21:38:12 PDT

Legalism? (none / 0)

Seriously.  What do you mean?

Frameshop

by Jeffrey Feldman on Tue Oct 25th, 2005 at 12:52:05 PDT

Who gives you the right…. (4.00 / 2)

….to say they are more right than religous.

 You do not know their heart.

 I am a fundamentalist which basicaly means I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

 The problem is not fundamentalism or conservativism but legalism.

 Using the Bible as a club to force folks to live by the letter of the message rather than the intent.

 I call men like Pat Roberts legalists who have an appearance of holiness by enforcing the letter of the scriptures but who deny its power by neglecting the intent legalists.

by tabbycat1138 on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 16:28:18 PDT

You are correct… (none / 1)

You are correct in saying that I do not know their hearts.  But I have looked at their organizational beliefs.  I have taken the time to look through the platforms of groups like the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coaltion, and American Values.

Their platforms simply are not religious.  They may throw out a few bible verses, but they rarely are anything but Republican talking points.  

I am not saying that they are not religious people.  Nor am I saying that anything about individual hearts.  But I am saying that the organizations are more “right” than “religious”.

Save Darfur
Random Ravings

by randomravings on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 16:52:34 PDT

Thanx…. (none / 1)

….for clarifying.I agree that some of the originizatins seem more about gaining political power than showing God’s love and spreading the Gospel.Sorry if I got huffy.

by tabbycat1138 on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 21:34:01 PDT

you are here (none / 1)

which means you arent in the Pat Roberts type crowd, right? This is why it is so hard to just say ‘fundamentalists’ and leave it at that, because plenty of christian fundamentalists are good and decent people not anything like the Pat Robertsons in this world. Hence the whole thread.

by A Missionarys Kid on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 16:55:01 PDT

protestant far right (4.00 / 2)

I use protestant far right or extreme right. All the major organizations & leaders are protestant, & they are on the far right both politically & doctrinally.   Most are not true “fundamentalists.” Fewer still would admit openly to being “dominionists” or “theocrats,” because to do so would risk alienating the centrists  who have been mesmerized over a few button words. The worst button word being “liberal.”  Nothing is gained by using “crypto-fascist” in the public square.

“Wherever we are broken
there survives a possibility
of replacement & growth”

by Asbury Park on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:30:44 PDT

Not all of them are Protestant (4.00 / 3)

Many religio-fascist wingnuts are Catholic.

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:42:13 PDT

Fellow travellers up to a point (none / 1)

The protestant far right does not trust Catholics, never has, even the Catholic righwingnuts, for theological reasons I won’t go into here.   John Roberts  was acceptable, but a protestant with more outspoken views would have been preferable.  The far right also doesn’t trust Jews, Muslims, & it considers non-Abrahamic belief too far outside the pale even for truly amicable discussion.  The Latter Day Saints are friendly apostates & convenient allies, but apostates nonetheless.

“Wherever we are broken
there survives a possibility
of replacement & growth”

by Asbury Park on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 14:04:37 PDT

Schmucks isn’t descriptive enough? (none / 1)

http://www.bartleby.com/61/84/S0138400.html [ed. Link redirected since the AHD isn’t on Bartleby anymore.]

by idiosynchronic on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:49:44 PDT

Except (4.00 / 2)

That there are a great many schmucks who aren’t Christians, let alone the sorts of people we’re talking about here ;-).

by Morgan on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:52:45 PDT

as a Christian… (4.00 / 2)

Words like “Crispies”, “Jesus Crispies”, etc. are so much more insolent than fundie or evangelical.  These words defile the very name of my Lord.  May not be your Lord- but it is mine and I find these names infuriating.

Look, The RRR has been SELF-LABELED “Evangelical”.  Their choice.  They have promoted the political agendas, bigotry, and hatred that has served to defile their label- this is not the doing of progressive Christians.  Progressive Evangelicals (I find that hard to say) should go after the radical, fundie, “conservative”, theocratic Christians that have given your label a bad name.

“I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” Helen Keller

by Egalitarian on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:51:55 PDT

and that naming idea (4.00 / 2)

defiles the very Great Commission that the Lord has given us.

Name your opponents carefully, don’t waste time or ammo on friendly fire.

We are being saved for hope.

Romans 8:24a

by martinguerre on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:01:21 PDT

You’re right. (none / 1)

We were saying earlier – the comments are sometimes (many times) emotional and without full thought.  Names are thrown around easily, kind of like gossip which I despise.  I just see it as people taking an opportunity to once again and easily bash some group they dislike and it becomes a feeding frenzy.

This idea is meant to be productive but is in reality playing into labels and name calling.  I’m a liberal period.  I have known good liberals and not so good liberals.  The same goes for evangelical-  Jim Wallis is a great man- far as I can tell from his writing- He’s an evangelical.  I know another evangelical man- he is one who will find the always find the Bible passage that suits his need. Calls himself pro-life when in reality he is anti-abortion only.

I refuse to play into this.  “Evangelical” is a dirty word just like “Liberal” is a dirty word.  When we have more Wallis evangelicals and fewer Dobsons and Robertsons and Falwells, then I’ll play.

“I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” Helen Keller

by Egalitarian on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:19:59 PDT

Remember… (none / 1)

The first people to degrade the name of Jesus, in the eyes of many, are the people who use his name to jusitfy hatred and bigotry.  Then there are those who bandy the name of Jesus around while they screw over the poor who were so dear to his heart.

In our modern culture, religion has been packaged and sold like a breakfast cereal…which was actually the origin of the ‘”crispie” name (like rice crispies).   Forces of the right wing have tried to package the most reactionary of ideas within media-friendly packages, and expect us all to swallow.

Besides, I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone here that “Christ” comes from “christos” the Greek word for “annointed one” (“messiah” in Hebrew), and isn’t really Yeshua Be Joseph’s last name.  And “Christian” was originally coined a an insult, too…

Taliesin Athor Govannon
HP, Coven of Caer Arianrhod
http://www.vtvnetwork.com/witchcraft

by Taliesin on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 16:39:55 PDT

Then maybe… (none / 1)

“Jesus Flakes” would be a better term for the, well, flakes who spout hatred and the like in Jesus’ name. 😉

I can see where “crispies” would convey the wrong idea. If someone said “witch crispies,” depending on context I might assume they were referring to what happens with certain unpleasant means of execution (ick).

by Morgan on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 17:04:06 PDT

It’s all cereal (none / 1)

The wingnuts are all like a cereal…if they’re not fruits or nuts, they’re flakes!

Taliesin Athor Govannon
HP, Coven of Caer Arianrhod
http://www.vtvnetwork.com/witchcraft

by Taliesin on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 17:31:07 PDT

His last name wasn’t ‘Christ’ (none / 0)

More like ‘of Nazereth’. Christ is derived from the Greek chrism which means ‘perfumed oil’ and is meant in the sense of ‘covered with oil’ which is a loose translation of the Hebrew term for messiah (annointed).

Thus I think using terms like ‘Jesus Crispies’ is perfectly cromulent… well, Simpsons aside, apropos at least. To these people Jesus is an excuse to force folks to be just like them rather than a force sent by God to change them into something better. One of the fave tactics of such is the book burning so for them to be termed followers of Jesus the Burninator is all good in my book. They are the ones disparaging the name of Jesus not those of us pointing it out via half-clever puns.

But it just ain’t that catchy. I prefer fundy. You good fundamentalists don’t like it? Sorry, change your name. Shouldn’t be to tough for any formerly liberal ‘progressives’. We need a brush to tar them with and this one, rightly, equates the Christofundies with the Islamofundies.

by Sarcastro on Tue Oct 25th, 2005 at 09:07:40 PDT

Realizing that Christ is a title … (none / 0)

It is only applied, as far as I am aware , to one person …

I think it would be better to go after the bad guys than to appear to be going after a guy who is known to very popular among the rank and file …

by Mike Finley on Tue Oct 25th, 2005 at 12:38:39 PDT

from commenting elsewhere (4.00 / 3)

There’s a simple rule that i think SP needs to try about naming our opponents.  Describe what they do that we oppose.

what i believe the person i was responding to opposes is efforts to legally institute symbols, practices and norms drawn from certain conservative Christian traditions.  The name for these people follows definition and function.  They are theocratic Christians.  

Fundamentalist (and fundamentalist) Christianities have their own definitions and historical uses…confusion of terms only makes mutual understanding that much more difficult.

Theocratic (or Dominionist) Christians are found in Pentecostal, Catholic, Protestant, Fundamentalist, Evangelic…all manners of labels.  But the simple fact is that none of those labels are exlusively linked with that viewpoint.

We are being saved for hope.

Romans 8:24a

by martinguerre on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 12:59:49 PDT

Not all of them are Christian (4.00 / 2)

Some religio-fascist wingnuts are Jews, and some are Muslims.

However, what they all do seem to have in common is the desire to run roughshod over the secular rule of law and replace it with their version of theocracy.

Therefore, I think “theocrats” (or perhaps, “theocons”) really is the best term. Theocracy is what they do regardles of what they believe.

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:38:10 PDT

Theocons (none / 1)

I’d forgotten that one! Good one, wolf-brother :-).

by Morgan on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:41:53 PDT

Dominionist… (none / 1)

…has a very narrow scope. Theocrat is better, though I don’t think it’s quite accurate, but it gets the point across. Especially since I at times describe myself, though on the left [I mean, I’m a front-page poster here], as a reactionary theocrat. But I twist its meaning, too.

Join the battle against cosmic evil!

by gzt on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 14:10:34 PDT

Please diary about this ! (none / 1)

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around “left”, “theocrat” and “reactionary” collectively being applied to the same individual. You definitely have my interest piqued !

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 14:54:33 PDT

A last resort … (none / 1)

is to call people what they call themselves …

Conservative Christians

and let the chips fall where they may …

I know it sounds weak …

but you know what sounds weak to me?

“Chimpy McFartface”

Those stupid online names seem to come back and append themselves to us.

by Mike Finley on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:23:15 PDT

Yes, but… (none / 1)

When we then say “we oppose what the Conservative Christians are doing,” we are throwing out a lot of babies with the bath water, since not all concervative Christians are the sort we oppose. They call themselves Christians with no modifier, too, but I wouldn’t use that word alone when talking about those I oppose. It lumps in too many good people.

It looks like “theocrats” and “Dominionists” are the front runners for referring to the types of “Christians” we oppose without tarring some who are (or could be) our allies with their hate-filled brush.

FTR, I put Christian in quotation marks because I truly believe that the Christ I’ve learned about would disavow much of what has been done in His name, and that these are the people heading for the “I know thee not” treatment.

by Morgan on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:41:05 PDT

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was (none / 1)

Fundagelical.

The Ten Thousand Things

by Andrew C White on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:41:22 PDT

whatever happened to… (none / 1)

… the SCCR?

So-Called-Christian Right.  I always liked that one.  But I might have to vote for “theocons” cuz it’s got a nice beat, and you can dance to it.

“Religion without humanity is a poor human stuff.”
— Sojourner Truth

by the stormy present on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:54:33 PDT

Anti-Scientists? (none / 1)

Bedroom Monitors?

Finger-Wagglers?

The God Squad?

Know-Nothings?

Cementheads?

by Mike Finley on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 13:54:49 PDT

Description vs. label (none / 1)

Yes, as good liberals/progressives/forward-thinkers, we should avoid labeling people unfairly. Unfortunately, I think we’ve developed a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one (note: guilty as charged, myself ;^). The difference is to use a word to describe people with a certain behavior, as many have pointed out, rather than a simple creed.

In this case, the behavior is the attempt to ram one creed down everyone else’s throat. While I do find the notion of one-true-wayism mildly offensive in the abstract, I am more than happy to live and let live with OTWists who just want to follow their own Way in their own way. The theocons/Dominionists/Religious Reich are defined not by their faith, but by their goal: eventual, total annihilation of everyone and everything Not Them. Whether this is driven by genuine belief or cynical manipulation is, IMO, irrelevant to the evil of the notion.

I’m open to a variety of descriptors, but I believe it is imperative that it be short and to the point. Remember, this isn’t the debating society, we’re fighting for the (pardon the phrase 8^) soul of our country. If that means sticking the label ‘theocrat’ or ‘Dominionist’ on every last Scaife clone in the country, that’s fine by me.

(/) Roland X
“Never give up, never surrender!” –motto, Galaxy Quest

by Roland X on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 14:18:02 PDT

Rabid fans? (none / 1)

sorry, its just… they tell us to get a life.

by A Missionarys Kid on Mon Oct 24th, 2005 at 14:31:23 PDT

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