Chilling Parallels: Christian and Islamic Fundamentalism


 by Nick
Gier, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Idaho












Jesus the Jihadist
at Your Door
: Image in middle posted by a militant
Christian with the caption "
When Jesus wants into
your heart, he doesn’t take No for an answer."

On right: book cover of Principles
of War: A Handbook on Strategic Evangelism
by Jim Wilson, father of

Douglas Wilson,
pastor of Moscow’s Christ Church.


May have to click on
to view image

For information on violent "Left Behind" video
game with Christian militias killing non-believers see

 See Gier’s book God, Reason, and the Evangelicals for

praise for evangelical Christians who do not take the fundamentalist line.

It was . . . impossible not to see . . . the
incipient dangers of a fundamentalist mindset grappling with . . . Islamic
fundamentalist terrorism.  The absolutism of the one almost inescapably
triggered the absolutism of the other.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan, The
Conservative Soul


There are some chilling parallels between Christian and Islamic
fundamentalists.  Both divide the world between believers and unbelievers,
and by deciding for themselves who is saved and who is damned, they think that
they can play God with our lives. Both have also
declared war on the secular culture of liberal democracy, the most peaceful and
prosperous means of social organization ever devised by humankind.  They
both reject the separation of church and state and would set up governments
based on their own views of divine laws. 

greatest concern, however, is the fundamentalist view of the violent end of the
world.  A common scenario is a great war in the Middle East in which the armies
of God destroy the armies of Satan.  Radical Muslims of course identify
and the US as the forces of evil, but Christian fundamentalists see Islam as the
ultimate enemy.  The horrifying implication is that the Jews, Muslims, and
Christians of the Middle East will be the primary victims of this holocaust. 

  Some conservative Christians make yet another division: an ethnic one that
declares that one culture is superior to all others.  Michael Hill, founder of
the League of the South, proposes that an independent neo-Confederacy of fifteen
states would have the duty to protect the values of Anglo-Celtic culture from
black Americans, who are "a compliant and deadly underclass."  A key word for
the League is �hierarchy,� the God-given right for superiors (read �white
males�) to rule over inferiors. 

  Since 1998, the League of the South has had close ties with the Sons of
Confederate Veterans, who in 2000 elected Kirk Lyons to its national executive
board. An outspoken racist, Lyons was married by neo-Nazi Richard Butler in
1990, when Butler still had his compound in Hayden Lake. Lyons has led an
amazingly unsuccessful legal campaign to have Southern whites defined as a
�protected class.� The
League and the Sons of Confederate Veterans organize public protests with the
Council of Conservative Citizens whose website decries "negroes, queers and
other retrograde species of humanity." (Try replacing the �Cs� in their acronym
with �Ks�!)  One League leader said that we �need a new type of Klan.�

Moscow pastor Douglas Wilson and Steve
Wilkins of Monroe, Louisiana wrote a booklet entitled Southern Slavery
as It Was
in which they describe the antebellum south as the most harmonious
multiracial society in history. Two University of Idaho history professors took
time from their busy schedules to refute this piece paragraph by paragraph. It
was later discovered that 20 percent of the essay was lifted from Robert Fogel�s
and Stanley Engerman�s Time on the CrossWilson still stands by the booklet�s thesis, but he has withdrawn
it from circulation.  The problem, however, is that there is remaining stock in
neo-Confederate book stores and at 154 Christian schools across the
nation. In
December the principal of one of those schools in Cary, North Carolina was
forced to remove the booklet because of local protests.


Both Wilson and Wilkins deny that they are racists or
neo-Confederates, but Wilkins is a founding director of the League of the South. 
The League�s website uses small Confederate flags as hot buttons for information
about the board members. Even though a visitor said that he saw a Confederate
flag displayed in Wilson�s office, he now claims that neo-Confederates should
�burn the flag and wear the ashes.�  If Wilson has no sympathies with neo-Confederates, why is he
associating with Wilkins, displaying the Confederate flag at his Moscow school�s
functions, celebrating Robert E. Lee’s birthday at this school, speaking at the
Southern Heritage Conference, and writing for Chronicles, a journal whose
editors boast that they are all members of the League of the South?


Christian nationalist George Grant, who believes in the death
penalty for gays and lesbians, has joined Wilson and Wilkins at earlier Moscow
conferences.  Grant and Wilkins are promoting a novel entitled Heiland,
whose hero leads a violent overthrow of a "godless" federal government. Heiland has been compared to the Turner Diaries, which inspired the
bombing of the Oklahoma Federal Building. The author of the
book, Frank Sanders, is a charter member of the League of the South.


Grant’s evangelism has as specific political goal: "
Christian politics
has as its primary intent the conquest of the landof
men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the
Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme
over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions,
and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions
of men and curb the pattern of digression under God’s rule"(
Changing of the Guard

[Dominion Press, 1987], pp.


 Another parallel between Christian and Islamic fundamentalism is
a desire to make religious laws the laws of the land. In his regular column in
Wilson�s Credenda Agenda (vol. 3: nos. 9, 11), Greg Dickison, member of
Wilson�s Christ Church and a Moscow public defender, states that "if we could
have it our way,� then there would be capital punishment for �kidnapping,
sorcery, bestiality, adultery, homosexuality, and cursing one’s parents.� 
Dickison also quotes biblical passages (without qualification) that support
slavery as "ordained and regulated by God," death for apostasy (Deut. 13.6-9),
and cutting off a woman�s hand for touching a strange man’s genitals (Deut.


I have obtained my information about the neo-Confederate movement
from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has declared the League of
the South as a hate group.  Wilson and his associates belittle the SPLC�s
achievements, one of which was supporting the suit that lead to the dismantling
of Butler�s Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake.  We are now faced with yet
another national embarrassment in Northern Idaho, and many Moscowans are already
planning protests for the August conference.


I have fought religious fundamentalism all of my adult life,
primarily because I believe that it is one of the most destructive forces in the
world.  These views do not deserve our respect nor tolerance, but call for our
strongest condemnation. Come join us in Moscow in August to demonstrate once
again that �Idaho is too great for hate.�

     Nick Gier taught philosophy and religion at the University of Idaho for 31
years.  The quotations from neo-Confederates were taken from Intelligence
(Summer, 2000), pp. 29, 14. 

Visit this
website for all that
has happened in Moscow since the discovery of the slavery booklet in October,






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *