Fundamentalism At Home And Abroad

When my daughter was asked to go to the prom by a student from a nearby Christian school there were some hoops to jump thorough, but at least they were far more tolerant than a Baptist school in Ohio:

A student at a fundamentalist Baptist school that forbids dancing, rock music, hand-holding and kissing will be suspended if he takes his girlfriend to her public high school prom, his principal said.

Despite the warning, 17-year-old Tyler Frost, who has never been to a dance before, said he plans to attend Findlay High School’s prom Saturday.

Frost, a senior at Heritage Christian School in northwest Ohio, agreed to the school’s rules when he signed a statement of cooperation at the beginning of the year, principal Tim England said.

The teen, who is scheduled to receive his diploma May 24, would be suspended from classes and receive an “incomplete” on remaining assignments, England said. Frost also would not be permitted to attend graduation but would get a diploma once he completes final exams. If Frost is involved with alcohol or sex at the prom, he will be expelled, England said.

Many liberal bloggers are opposed to the idea that the school would impose such restrictions, especially for activities outside of the school. Alan Colmes asks, “aren’t we sending young Americans to third-world countries to do battle against this kind of fundamentalism?”

Those who watched the discussion on Bill Maher last night would know that instead of fighting this kind of fundamentalism the American military is increasingly pushing their own brand of fundamentalism, leading to many in Iraq as seeing the occupation as a religious war. I’ve also noted this problem in the past, and Steve Benen raised it today in linking to a recent item at Huffington Post on the problems of evangelicalism and the military.

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  1. 1
    average james says:

    Hey Ron,
    Interesting article. It begs the question Alan aks………..good question.
    Our military is evangelizing ?  Christianity ? Is this true ?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    It certainly looks that way from a number of articles I’ve seen on the subject. As the post says, they were also talking about this problem quite a bit on Bill Maher last night.

  3. 3
    DrToketee says:

    Christianity, as practiced by the radicals, is a far greater threat to our way of life today than any terrorist organization in the world. In fact, many right-wing Christians are trying to do (brainwashing from birth, domination of people’s day-to-day personal lives, removal of basic rights of free speech and opinion, and verbal/physical harassment) exactly what most Americans accused the Communists of doing in the 1950s.  

  4. 4
    Fritz says:

    The solution, of course,  is for the children of liberal atheists to volunteer for service in the Armed Forces in sufficient numbers that the tendency for a Christianized military is blunted.

    I see this as a cultural thing.  The American military is highly Scots-Irish.  That culture comes with a strong military history and a history to fairly intense Protestant religion.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    The problem isn’t a simply a matter of who joins. There are many people high in the military who are pushing the religious indoctrination of those in the military. Even if more resisted this indoctrination, the elements which support this would still be there.

  6. 6
    Fritz says:

    You might be interested in reading Webb’s book on the Scots-Irish — _Born Fighting_.

    It is very hard to change military culture from the outside.  It is far easier to change it from the inside — but that has costs.

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