Joined: May 2005
I seem to remember the suggestion somewhere that fundamentalism really began it's expansion as a re-action to the "liberalism" of the 60's/70's, where those who were disenchanted by mainstream Christianity's re-action to Vietnam war protests, Hippies, etc. and feeling themselves marginalised they became more attracted to those churches with a stricter interpretation, and often a more charismatic leader than their current pastor/minister/vicar. In addition to this many were dismayed by what they regarded as the left-wing agenda being embraced at that time, prime examples of which have often been given as Rev Martin Luther King jr, Rev Jesse Jackson (if you consider civil rights to be left-wing that is). Thus many of these (sects? schisms?) began or certainly gathered momentum from a combination of a right-wing agenda with strict bible literalism.
I would like to state however that this situation is neither limited to the United States, nor to Christianity, indeed the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in recent times bears consideration, particularly as the "success" of this appears to goad many of these Christians to greater efforts in response.
"Love is in the air, everywhere I look around,.....Love is in the air, every sight and every sound,......"