Why Doesn’t This Surprise Me?Posted: December 16, 2013
Just saw this study reported at WAPO. It basically says there’s not much difference in fundamentalists Christians and Muslims. Don’t ask those two groups to acknowledge it however since all fundamentalist religions are based on seeing every one else as essentially hell-bound and wrong.
Religious fundamentalism among Muslim immigrants in Western Europe is dramatically greater than that among Christian Europeans, according to a recent study by Ruud Koopmans from the Wissenschaftszentrum in Berlin discussed on the Monkey Cage last Friday. On the surface, these findings legitimize concerns surrounding the incompatibility of Western and Islamic values.
Like Europeans, Americans express fear over Muslim integration and Islamic fundamentalism, although very little is known about beliefs among Muslims living in the U.S. A recent nationwide survey of U.S. Muslims, which I designed, provides some insight — the Muslim-American National Opinion Survey (MANOS) reveals that levels of religious fundamentalism among Muslims and Christians in the U.S. are nearly identical.
As one of the few nationally representative surveys available of Muslim Americans, MANOS provides insight into the degree Muslim Americans hold fundamentalist views, as defined by Koopmans. Data from existing surveys of the general American population allow me to assess where Muslims stand relative to other Americans in believing that religious rules are more important than the laws of the country and the degree individuals hold literal interpretations of holy scriptures.
The weird thing is that in the US, our religious fundamentalists run for office and get elected. That doesn’t happen much in Western Europe. Witness the Texas Lt. Governor’s race where all four candidates are creationists. What on earth does it take to educate people in the basics of science compared to iron age mythology?
Current Lt. Gov. David “Impeach Obama but get my niece out of jail” Dewhurst is already a creationist, and just believes in fairness:
“I believe that in fairness we need to expose students to both sides of this,” he said. “That’s why I’ve supported including in our textbooks the discussion of the biblical account of life and creation, and I understand there are a lot of people who disagree with me, and believe in evolution.”
State Sen. Dan Patrick and Ag Commissioner Todd Staples also said that they think that, for freedom, schools should teach something that isn’t science in science classes because it is popular, also Christians are oppressed:
“Our students … must really be confused. They go to Sunday School on Sunday and then they go into school on Monday and we tell them they can’t talk about God,” said Patrick. “I’m sick and tired of a minority in our country who want us to turn our back on God.”
The one candidate who didn’t overtly advocate teaching creationism didn’t exactly sound hostile to it, either. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson trotted out the astonishing revelation that the phrase “Separation of Church and State” does not appear in the Constitution, which obviously means that schools should have a lot more church in ‘em:
“Show me where that’s in the Constitution, because it’s not in the Constitution,” he said. “I see nothing wrong with standing up at least for a moment of silence, let those who wish to pray, pray in their own faith. I see nothing wrong with having a prayer before a high school football game.”
Just as long as they’re not, like, Muslim or anything.
The candidates may find implementing their pledges somewhat difficult, as the Loot Gov doesn’t actually set education policy in Texas, and the state school board has almost miraculously approved science texts that actually teach science.
Results from MANOS and the General Social Surveys reveal that the general American population holds nearly identical levels of fundamentalist beliefs as Muslims, if not slightly more. Just over 57 percent of the general American population believes that “right and wrong in U.S. law should be based on God’s laws,” compared to 49.3 percent of U.S.-born Muslims and 45.6 of foreign-born Muslims. About a third of each group believes that society should not be the one to determine right and wrong in U.S. law. Such numbers reveal that the general American population is more fundamentalist than the average European, and that Muslim Americans are less fundamentalist than European Muslims, according to the Koopmans study.
A large number of folks have a problem with reality and modernity. Their issues have become our issues. They create war. They pave the way for missionaries that spread hatred around the world. They run for office and attack all kinds of people’s rights based on somethings that do not hold up to any kind of sane scrutiny. It’s about time that those folks that don’t embrace the mindset of the iron age but embrace the beliefs that started there start doing something about the crazies. It’s just not fair to the rest of us to have these fundamentalist mindsets inflicted on civilization.
Btw, I’m not persecuting you. I’m laughing at your dumb asses. You have a right to believe it, but you certainly do not have a right to inflict such nonsense on the rest of us.