THE AMERICAN DREAM AND FUNDAMENTALISM
Fundamentalism is a major element in the world today and its religious and political aspects need to be understood in order to act effectively against terrorism. Aspects of Jewish fundamentalism keep the Middle East in turmoil and seem to have America baffled on what to do next. Muslim fundamentalists were behind the 9/11 attack and are plotting to destroy America. Some Christian fundamentalists have agendas that might cause future world havoc unless controlled or stopped. There are some surprising similarities between Jewish, Christian, and Islamic fundamentalisms that should be noted. The American Dream of liberty, equality, and success is a challenge to most forms of fundamentalism, but there are some aspects of the Dream that could be detrimental to world peace and security when amalgamated with certain religious and secular beliefs that are in current fare.
In the opening lecture, Charles Brock will look at some interrelationships. Fundamentalism means a belief in the inerrancy of its own scriptures combined with a millenarianism that believes God will take charge and destroy unbelievers. Each group states theirs is the only way to salvation to the exclusion of others. Also under examination will be some of the roots of fundamentalism in America that can be traced to some extent to Columbus, Calvin, and Cromwell. A selection of themes enhanced by Woodrow Wilson and William Jennings Bryan have helped increase the numbers in fundamentalist churches, created a cacophony of aggressive media persons, and shaped a troop of politicians and Pentagon officials that preside over the USA and much of the world at present. Arguments also rage about school prayer, multiculturalism, abortion, family values, gays, creationism, Israel, and Islam.
Professor Baher Ghosheh's presentation, "The
American Dream and Fundamentalism: Islamic Fundamentalism,"
Dr. A. Daniel Frankforter's presentation, "The
American Dream and Fundamentalism: Christian Fundamentalism,"
October 26, 2004
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