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The Catholic V. Fundamentalist Question Essay

2789 words - 11 pages

The stir between the strong root of Catholicism in Christianity and its relatively new counterparts among the Fundamentalist ranks of Protestantism has been a growing concern among Western world cultures, especially in the United States. In the midst of technological domination and political anomie in the absence of the Cold War, the issues of lost morals and values, especially Christian values is resurfacing in a major way as we spread our presence and culture all over the world, by television and the internet. Many parties on both ends of the Christian spectrum have also considered this post Cold War era as a time of renewed opportunity to establish a strong and positive presence within the world. For the Roman Catholic church, the greatest issue being faced in the current era is how to reconcile with modernism and beyond this, how to reinterpret their divine mission in order to effectively minister to the modern world rather than shrink back into traditions of chruch infallibility and risk fading into obscurity. Fundamentalist Protestant groups on the other hand are still a grassroots movement , simply on the rise trying to do everything in their power to be heard and to influence society, American society in particular. In facing the world stage, and new mediums of ultimate human influence such as television, radio, the internet, and easily availible print, these very traditional minded groups are set on a platform of contradiction, or rather subversion; having at their disposal all the resources of mediocrity, in the form of Evangelical television programs, various periodicals, and websites, they fight fire with fire as it were, challenging the slackness of popular culture in its "Devil's values" in their own mediums (Hirsley 8) . Nevertheless, their hardline religious right mentality is fed by their ambition to influence the masses, to be considered a force to be reckoned with and many consider their archconservatism to be a monumental threat to the rights and freedom of modern society. At the same time, many are drawn in to its sense of belongingness and its faith community in a time of anomie amidst material prosperity. To be blunt, the political and worldly social aspirations and intentions of both Catholicism under Vatican II and the new Protestant fundamentalist groups involve being active in this time of relative peace and uncertainty in the world; to either make a bold statement in order to gain power and influence, or to make use of existing power and influence in ways that accept the modern world and search for new ways to do God's work within it. In the rest of this discussion, we will compare the positions of these two poles within Christianity on the issues of politics, influence of the State, and other contemporary social issues. But first, it is important to explain exactly what is meant by the label of fundamentalism. In general, Religious fundamentalist groups are radical right wing factions that break...

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