Please call 'em . . .

The political designation "right" (droit) originated with the Estates General prior to the French Revolution. Before they lost their heads – literally – aristocrats sat to the physical right of the president's chair.

Thus, those who are conservative, reactionary, greedy, fascistic, anti-liberal, militaristic came to be misleadingly termed "the right".

The French for "correct" is not "droit". Unfortunately, "right" and "correct" do misleadingly convey the same sense in English. Whoever dubbed conservative, fundamentalist Christians the "Religious Right" was quite wrong!

Jerry Falwell happily chuckled about the tag during the God's Christian Warriors episode of Christiane Amanpour's God's Warriors documentary. If the abominable Jerry liked the name, I'm more against it than I was prior to seeing the smug Reverend smirking over the term.

American fundamentalism went underground after the Scopes fiasco had exposed creationist bigotry to national, even global, derision for its intransigent ignorance.

Fundamentalists swarmed out of their subterranean lairs in the 1970s with the rise of televangelical charlatans. It is scarcely surprising that televangelism flourishes upon those who donate to such entertainment. These people, after all, are mostly descendants of rural folk who flocked to Revival meetings.

Rural life on the frontier was probably so isolated and boring that even I would have attended the early Revivals! The South also had African slaves with their stirring music, which presumably inspired white Southerners to enliven their church music.

However, the rural South does have electricity and television now, so the evident need of Southern Baptists for raucous church services presumably results from this frontier history.

When they re-emerged from hiding in the '70s, Christian fundies stopped admitting to being fundamentalists and started calling themselves "evangelicals". Their intention in adopting this disguise is obvious, but it does not alter the fact that their behavior and attitudes have not significantly evolved since 1925. Subtle differences between the old and new fundamentalists have become official over time according to a summary of "Adventist and Protestant Fundamentalism", Spectrum 30, 24-35 (2002). Nevertheless, the essentials remain the same.

I think that those atheists who are anti-religious are actually more likely to be anti-fundamentalist-religionist rather than anti-moderate-religious. After all, even though past Western religious transgressions were committed in the name of Catholicism, current poisonings are globally perpetrated under fundamentalist banners.

So, please call 'em:

Fundamentalists, or even Fistians

Religious Wrong, or Religionist Wrong

Religious Droit (pronounced dwāt, though drat would be appropriateReligious Right [sick])

or, if you are utterly frustrated, one of Shalini's colorful terms.

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