One hallmark of Religious Fundamentalism is intolerance. Members of a fundamentalist group are encouraged to identify groups of people who are "not like us" and discriminate against them. This activity has been as mild as picketing to as horrific as "ethnic cleansing". They often base their intolerance upon misquoting religious books and taking them out of context. Many "Bible-based" churches favour a return to Mosaic Law.
One disturbing element on the political landscape is the Reconstructionist movement, and its proponent Rousas J. Rushdoony with concepts of legislating morality.
In North America, up until recently, the Religious Right was not a huge problem until they took up politics and invaded the mass media. Religious Right leaders such as Pat Robertson ran for President and Religious Right candidates took over school boards. Evangelistic preachers developed their own radio and television networks and broadcasted their message to millions of viewers and listeners. Recently, they have also bought full-page ads in newspapers and magazines to further their agenda. Religious Right infected schoolboards have censored books and rewritten the curriculum to include creationism and remove evolution. For some bizarre reason they do not believe in overpopulation, pollution, environmentalism, the Holocaust, extinction of species or global warming, but support a strong military and even assasination of foreign leaders. Some of the more conservative Religious Right have it in for Roman Catholics, Jews, Freemasons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. They have gone so far as to attempt to pass legislation requring the American people to "humble themselves before God". Many also believe that the Rapture (end of the world, Armageddon) is near and want to prepare the way. Many are terrified of the concept of "One/New World Order". When questioned about their own sins, they claim "the Devil made me do it".
The Religious Right's agenda appears to be as follows:
- one government under God
- persecution of minorities, especially women, gays, Jews
- "family values"
- pro-life (ie. against abortion, birth control, sex education)
- destruction of the public school system, which they consider corrupted by "liberals"
- muzzling of the media, also controlled by "liberals"
- promotion of the traditional "family"
- conservative dress
- women and children to know and occupy "their place - total control over their behaviour, dress, friendships - they are total prisoners
- men will be men and women will be women and you can tell the difference
- "spare the rod and spoil the child" and other "Biblical" justice
- preoccupation with (often insincere) "manners"
- adoration of "the flag"
- reliance upon the Bible and the church as absolute authority (even when grossly misquoted) in all matters
- dualism (believing in contradictory ideas simultaneously without conflict)
- black-and-white thinking
- homophobia and belief in myths about gays
- American Family Association
- Christian Family Network
- The Christian Coalition - Pat Robertson
- Focus on the Family - Dr. James Dobson
- Southern Baptist Convention
- National Reform Association - reconstructionists
- Concerned Women of America
- Westboro Baptist Church - these are the people who picket gay funerals and created www.godhatesfags.com