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Radical Religion – Common Threads of the Lunatic Fringe

Radical Religion – Common Threads of the Lunatic Fringe

“But it is dominion we are after, not just a voice. It is dominion we are after, not just influence. It is dominion we are after, not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest.” – Thomas Ice

I get a lot of email from fundamentalist Christians who chide me for having “the audacity” to compare their brand of Christianity with radical Islam. I have visions of pots and kettles, as these particular Christians, like their radical Muslim counterparts, also believe that everyone who does not hold to their brand of the faith are as equally doomed to hell along with everyone else. This is a belief that most mainstream Christians and many Muslims do not adhere to. Trust me, I’ve been to plenty of interdenominational events in my past, and Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. all pretty much play well together. I’ve been to Islamic community centers and have seen all sorts of people hanging out, not killing each other, as well.

However, when you compare radical Islam and Christian extremist doctrine, the commonalities between the two faiths are very apparent. The problem starts with their use of the Bible and the Koran as venues for the expression of their hate, bigotry and intolerance. Particularly the factions who cherry-pick the parts of their holy books that promote the murder of homosexuals, unbelievers, adulterers, fornicators, disobedient children and members of other religions – and perceive those words to be very literal and entirely relevant to contemporary society. There is no getting around the fact that the Bible and Koran have much in common when it comes to “death” commandments.

Infidels, Injustice and Ignorance…

Radical Islam and Fundamental Christianity are responsible for unspeakably horrific acts toward infidels, as well as their own members, past and present. One simply cannot look past all the evil that these two religions have perpetrated on humankind. Sure, there are good deeds being done in the name of these religions, but the ends do not justify the means, especially when you consider the proven ability of unbelievers to be altruistic and charitable. When you take away the comparatively little good from all the horrible things that have been done by the extremists in the name of the Christian and Islamic gods, it becomes quite apparent that there is little use in the world for either of these forms of the religions.

Members of the lunatic fringe of these two faiths are narcissistic, psychotic sociopaths. That’s a dangerous combination and the threat of both the physical and intellectual destruction of our species remains imminent. Where radical Islam is concerned, the threat to our species is physical. The access to weapons of mass destruction, including those of the biological and chemical variety, is relatively easy. The willingness of these radicals to use them has already been demonstrated. Where fundamental Christianity is concerned, the threat to our society is mainly on the intellectual level.

If you think intellectual terrorism is a joke, consider the continuing efforts of the Christian fundamentalists in the United States to rewrite history, to replace real science with creationism in the classroom, and to transform the entire nation into a Christian Theocracy. Secular civil rights organizations are fighting a seemingly never-ending battle to defend the First Amendment from its abrogation by literally thousands of politicians and educators in all levels of government and academia who insist on injecting their religion into their respective venues.

To Rule The World…

Radical Islam and fundamental Christianity have one goal, and that goal is total world domination. Radical Islam would accomplish this by killing all the infidels and apostates. Fundamental Christianity would accomplish this by dumbing down the entire human race via inaccurate understandings of history and science. One would argue that both of these religions are making headway. Tracking radical Islamic terrorism is easy. Just count the bodies. Tracking the efforts of fundamental Christianity is a little more complex, as their efforts are a little more sublime.

Slowly, more and more people are allowing reason to give way to fairy tales, impossibilities and outright untruths. But it is trackable, as reliable polls show that there exists a rise in the number of American Christians who believe that the United States is a Christian nation founded on biblical principles, in spite of the historical documentation that proves otherwise.

The theology of world dominion of fundamental Christianity and radical Islam are a particularly deadly poison on our society. They are responsible for more damage to the human race than any plague ever has. Fundamental Christianity, in terms of violence due to evangelical fervor, still has a commanding lead over radical Islam when it comes to atrocities against the human race.

I’ve Said It Before…

The doctrines and dogma of the extremists within Christianity and Islam retard new discovery, insight and enlightenment and promote ancient superstitions brought on by ignorant men of an ancient age who lacked understanding in even the most basic of the sciences. The punishments for perceived transgressions against their gods involve gross violations of even the most basic human rights. The comforts that these doctrines offer are a dangerous psychological ruse. The charity they proffer comes at an unacceptable price and can be accomplished just as effectively without the inclusion of extremist dogma, doctrines and the missionary destruction of indigenous cultures.

Religious hope is false and irresponsible when it relies on methods that are ineffective and come at a steep cost to the human species. There has to be a line drawn in the sand regarding the fundamentalist and radical versions of both Christianity and Islam. This also includes poor stewardship of our environment. As a species, we are responsible for our continued existence, and while there can be events out of our control that can cause our extinction, for us to stand by and allow a gaggle of irrational, unreasonable, mentally ill, intellectually retarded religious zealots to exterminate us in their fight over which fairy tale is true, whose mythical deity should rule the world and the fact that most of them are more than willing to die in the process, is a travesty.

If you think this position is alarmist, just turn on the news…


Excerpted from my "Free Thoughts – A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" | Also featured on the blog  "A Voice Of Reason."

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • For some reason people think it's unbelievable when I say it…but I was one of Them once.

  • mike

    I am not particularly a "fundamentalist Christian" But my parents and brother are. I find it extremely distasteful to compare fundamentalist christians to radical islam? Fundamentalism has been around a very long time in american history, and its' very chic to compare the two but that is deliberate obsfucation. Peacefully protesting an abortion clinic is not strapping bombs to their chest and blowing up bus stops in israel. I may disagree with fundamentalism BUT calling them radicals like Islamic terrortist is disgusting in the extreme. Fundamentalism has been around a VERY long time, the fact that it's no longer vogue doesn't mean they are suddenly terrorist. It's a chic thing to decry "radical" anything, but the reality is that islam is not Christianity and radical Christianity is not the same thing as radical Islam. simple minds do that NOT people who know and understand both.

    • queequeg

      And yet, some of those peaceful protests at abortion clinics have not been so peaceful. While it is good to be grounded in the present, it is folly to forget your roots. That is precisely when history repeats.

      While I understand the vast difference between the fear of intellectual terrorism and the fear of having my head chopped off I get the sense that Mr. Stefanelli is calling out the moderates amongst us; we who would allow this to continue. We who say things like: 'well, who cares what they think; they can believe whatever they want as long as they keep it to themselves'. The problem of course is they are not keeping it to themselves. If we do not stand against extremism, wherever it rears its head, in whatever shape, then we fail to secure our posterity.

      Mr. Stefanellis' article poses the basic question: should we continue to bow like slaves to those who would have do so or should we strive to replace superstition with reason? I believe we must demand that.

    • colourmegone

      How about blowing up abortion clinics or shooting doctors who perform abortions down while they attend church or murdering innocent bystanders while trying to assassinate a congresswoman? These have all been done by Christian fundies. Clinics are torched, employees and doctors intimidated, non-believers are attacked and bullied for voicing their legal objections to the use of public land and the public education system to promote religion.

    • What you refer to as "peacefully protesting an abortion clinic," I would call intellectual and emotional abuse…at the very least. Women who are entering abortion clinics are not doing so on a whim, but are at a very fragile and emotional place in their lives, and are at the culmination of a very difficult decision…a decision that is between themselves, possibly their partners, and possibly their god. I don't believe that a "true" Christian, who is following Christ's message of love, would ever scream the horrible things these zealots scream. It's not about caring for the "unborn," it's about forcing your beliefs onto others, no matter their desires or the consequences.

    • Ellis

      peacefully protesting abortion clinics by blowing them up and assaulting pregnant women outside Family Planning. ah yes, so peaceful.

    • Spuddie

      The only reason why Fundamentalist Christianity is less violent than Fundamentalist Islam is because the Christians don't have access to absolute political power. Its not for lack of trying, just lack of means.

      In the Middle East, Radical Islam is encouraged by the governments and used as a tool to drive away moderate and democratic influences. Prior to 2001, Islamicist terror had some form of state support. What Al Queda did was to branch it out and franchise such terrorism to small scale actors. Al Queda would not exist if not for support by Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, UAE and major actors in Saudi Arabia.

  • Katydid

    Um, Reverend Billy is from the Church of Life after Shopping and has an awesome choir: the Stop Shopping Choir. See the film "What Would Jesus Buy" and get your daily dose of powerful … irony.

  • The common thread which is the root cause of the lunatic fringe are the "holy" scriptures of the "revealed"/hearsay religions. The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the New Testament, the Quran and many "holy" scriptures of Buddhism are full of unreasonable beliefs and teachings. If the base foundation of the religions, which are the "holy" scriptures/"holy" books, are loaded with violence producing nonsense you're going to have problems.

    The only solution is a revolution in religion based on our God-given reason and Deism as Thomas Paine called for in his landmark book on God, Deism and religion, The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition.

    Progress! Bob Johnson

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