Fundamentalism is Never Legitimate

The recent terrorist attack in France adds yet another exclamation point to the truth that fundamentalism is never a legitimate expression of any of the great historic religious traditions. It is always a perversion of the original teachings, most often twisted in a desperate attempt to achieve some political end antithetical to the tradition itself. That means it is equally wrong to condemn a tradition on the basis of the fundamentalist expression of it because such expressions are always distortions and fallacious, often by reducing the tradition’s richness to an absurd caricature of its authentic self. That’s as true of Christian fundamentalism as it is of Islamic fundamentalism.

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