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“Religionism” Is Better Than “Christianism”

falwellThis might seem like a petty complaint, but I have a problem with the terms "Christianist" and "Christianism," which seem to be popping up more frequently these days.  Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

1) The belief that Christianity is superior to all other religions
2) Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism against a religion or person practicing a religion, other than Christianity, based on the belief that Christianity is superior to all other religions.
3) The quest to establish global Christian domination in all areas of world religious and secular society
4) Dominionism, political activism based on conservative Christian principles

When white people are prejudiced against black people, we call them "racist" – not "white-ist."  It lets us know that the term doesn’t apply to all white people.  When men discriminate against women, we call them "sexist," not "male-ist."   That lets us know that not all males are sexist.

Therefore, when Christians are bigoted toward people who hold different religious beliefs or no beliefs at all, shouldn’t they be called "religionist" – not "Christianist"?

It will help remind us that not all Christians are Christianist – that we don’t all believe that our particular faith is superior to all others, and that we certainly don’t all want fundamentalist Christian viewpoints to dominate government and secular society. In fact, many of us on the left side of the Christian spectrum loathe what is called "Christianism" as much or more than any secularists.

Again, it seems like a petty distinction – but as someone who regularly gets prejudged and misunderstood as a progressive Christian, I believe it is an important one to make. What do the Seminal readers think of the term "Christianist," and  do you think a change to "religionist" would be in order?

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Jim Moss

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