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Title: Christianism  
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The word Christianism is being used as a descriptive term for Christian political conservatives mostly in the United States, for the ideology of the Christian Right, meant as a counterpoint to "Islamism".[1][2] Writing in 2005, the New York Times language columnist William Safire attributed the term (in this novel usage) to blogger Andrew Sullivan, who wrote on June 1, 2003, "I have a new term for those on the fringes of the religious right who have used the Gospels to perpetuate their own aspirations for power, control and oppression: Christianists. They are as anathema to true Christians as the Islamists are to true Islam."[1] The bloggers Tristero and David Neiwert used the term shortly after.[3][4] Sullivan later expanded on his usage of the term in a Time magazine column.[5] Uses of the term can be found dating back to the seventeenth century, but these are unrelated to its modern meaning.[1]

This meaning of Christianism has started to gain a foothold in the United Kingdom too, according to one commentator.[6]

This Americanism circumvents the etymology of the suffix "-ism" which means "doctrine, theory, system of principles" (the other meanings are not applicable to religions) whereas the suffix "-ity" means just "state, quality or condition". In other Latin-based languages such as Castilian,[7] Galician and Catalan and from other countries such as Portuguese, French, Occitan, Italian, etc. the suffix "-ity" (-idad, -dade, -té, -ità) means Christians as a group, their geographical distribution, and their shared cultural identity, what in English is called Christendom, with its own suffix being of Germanic etymological roots.

See also


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^
  3. ^ When Semantic Differences Are Not: Part Two Tristero, June 2, 2003, accessed January 31, 2010.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (May 7, 2006)."My Problem with Christianism", Time, accessed January 31, 2010.
  6. ^
  7. ^

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