Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Beginner’s Guide to Faithism

In ruminating on October 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

These are the main societal isms:





It is not cool to be an ist. Ever.


it is quite suitable to disregard above when


comes to the table.

Current trends suggest it has become tres en vogue to be this particular brand of ist.

Whenever. Wherever. With whomever.

See below.

When referring to persons of faith, popular descriptive terms include:









*Above descriptors are much more effective when preceded by a carefully selected expletive.

When discussing persons of faith, one should:

  • choose the most current and extreme case of zealousness
  • name extreme case of zealousness “Religion”
  • equate “Religion” with all persons of faith
  • discuss

The above formula will ensure all persons of faith are equally deemed religious zealots. Because that is the way it really is.

When considering persons of faith, it is advisable to:

  1. Never assume they are intelligent, free-thinking people. Always assume they are against advancement and science.
  2. Never assume they work hard at walking through life. Always assume they use a crutch.
  3. Never assume they are interested in people and the world they live in. Always assume they despise anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs.
  4. Never assume they are pro. Always assume they are anti.

N.B. Assumptions are the most accurate way of determining the personality, character, and distinctiveness of individuals.

Faithism. It’s the new black.

Wear it well.

Or risk flouting the trend.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance of above commentary to persons either living or dead is purely coincidental. Or not.

  1. I think a lot of people confuse “faith” with “blind obedience” or “blindly going along”. They confuse being “a person of faith” with being a “fanatic”. They confuse deeply religious people with people who are blind to the possibility that other religions are just as valid as theirs.

    Unfortunately, not all of the people who confuse these things are atheists or prejudiced against one religion or another. A lot of them are. But a lot of people who get these terms mixed up are people who call themselves “religious” or “people of faith” and then act in a way that shows them to be quite the opposite. And this feeds into the beliefs of those who have an anti-religion agenda.

    People are strange creatures.

    • You’re absolutely right. Sometimes people of faith don’t understand what being a person of faith means and they behave absolutely contrary. And yes, that’s the human condition for ya.

  2. great post,. i read it here in Taiwan. I coined the term FAITHISM to mean something a bit different, have you seen my definition and blog yet? google “danny bloom + faithisim” to see my work on this so far. I am Jewish. I believe most Christians are faithists, as are too many Jews and all Moslems as well. TO me faithism means prejduice towards those who have another faith. and the beief that your fatith is superior to all others. Which is wrong. there is but one God and this god has many mansions and they all lead to grace and redemtpipn and if you dont believe this you missed the real message of your prophet. DANNY

  3. Is ‘faithism’ as dangerous as ‘racism’?

    ……If racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination, then faithism is the belief that belief in different gods or Gods justifies spiritualism discrimination in terms of who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, among other religious beliefs. In the modern English language, the term “racism” is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. I am using “faithism” here as a pejorative epithet.

    Just as racism is applied to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature (i.e. which harms particular groups of people), so too can faithism by used to justify claims of religious superiority by recourse to fathists’ holy books and scriptures. And while racism is popularly associated with various activities that are illegal or commonly considered harmful, such as extremism, hatred, xenophobia, separatism, racial supremacy, mass murder (for the purpose of genocide), genocide denial, vigilantism (hate crimes, terrorism), so too can faithism be associated with similar activities that are illegal or commonly harmful.

    Racism is not always a pernicious practice. Sometimes it was practiced with benign and benevolent intentions and even with religious blessings. In the same way, faithism is not always a pernicious practice. While harmful (but not illegal), faithism is often practiced with the best of noble intentions and as part of a religious command from elders in one’s faith community.

    According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term ”racial discrimination” and ”ethnicity discrimination’.” At this point in human history, the U.N. has not tackled the issues of faithism that impact peoples around the world, but the global body is slowly moving in that direction.

    In politics, racism is commonly located on the far right due to the far right’s common association with nativism, racism, and xenophobia. However, racism has occurred in progressive politics such as the historical concept of the so-called ”White Man’s Burden” espoused by the British writer Rudyard Kipling that claimed that whites had a moral obligation to bring civilization to allegedly barbaric “savage” non-white societies that were deemed as backward in comparison to white societies. In addition, benevolent and liberal men such as John
    Stuart Mill once denounced Hindu civilization in India as a backwards feudal society and said that Europeans were superior in terms of development of civilization to Hindus, thus legitimizing the right of the British to imperial rule in India.

    In much the same way, faithism has been used by those on the far right to belittle and discriminate against faith communities that didn’t share the same belief in selected gods or Gods. In some tragic instances of history, such beliefs led to murder, pogroms and mass genocide in such places as Germany in the 1940s and Africa in the late 20the Century and early 21st Century.

    But faithism is not always malevolent. Sometimes it is the result of poor education or little misunderstandings based on mis-interpreted or mis-translated scriptural passages.

    Does faithism exist today? Sure. Does it exist in America? Sure. Does it exist in the rest of the world? For sure. Does it impact you at all? Tell me.

    Does faithism cause harm today to minority faith communities around the world that do not benefit from media backing and sponsorship? Sure it does. Tell me what you know.

    Bloom is Taiwan bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World. He may be contacted at

    Short URL:

    Posted by admin on Feb 21 2012. Filed under Bloom_Danny, Jewish. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry 2 Comments for
    “Is ‘faithism’ as dangerous as ‘racism’? Columnist seeks input”danny bloom
    February 21, 2012 – 7:11 pm
    Princeton professor reads this and tells me: ”Well written, Mr Bloom, but there’s a difference. For the racist, the enemy can’t reform by joining the favored people. A black person can’t convert to white-ism. But in faithist Imperial Russia, for example, Jewish converts could rise to the highest offices. Faithism can be a way to coerce joining the group, as in the pressure on Christians in some Muslim states today, not to keep them subordinate. (Actually in the Balkans, Turkish rulers sometimes made it hard for Christians to convert, but that was mainly to be able to continue collecting higher taxes. It wasn’t that they were thought incapable of being Muslims.) Of major faiths, only Zoroastrians are truly faithist in banning converts and in not recognizing children of mixed marriages as members of the community. But Zoroastrians have not had any political power for at least 1200 years. So while racist and faithist rhetoric may often be similar, there is a difference between rejecting somebody’s perceive innate qualities and their choice of belief.”

    Reply Hamish MacDonald
    February 22, 2012 – 2:21 am
    I grew up in Presbyterian churches in Canada, which were generally a loving and benign environment, but it galls me now to remember the way we were taught as children that other faiths — sorry, “myths”, as they were called, as if ours wasn’t a myth — were faulty, illogical (!), and required our intervention, lest the practitioner follow his or her error all the way to a literal Hell.

    Today I’m told there’s a larger, more pluralistic attitude, that there could, perhaps, be different faces of the same God. But to the point of this article, I think that you make a good argument, and that we would do well to un-conflate faith and race, and examine our prejudices about both.

    And this cuts both ways: there’s a groundswell of support for a very materialistic sort of atheism at the moment. Inherent in that is a scornful dismissal of people of any faith, as if belief in anything beyond a scientifically reducible world is childish and imbecilic (though this insistence on science as the ultimate lowest common denominator is usually held by non-scientists; those at its outer reaches communicate with far more wonder and openness, and far less certainty).

    Faith only becomes a problem when it insists itself upon others, when it shifts from the personal realm and starts seeking conversion, unchallenged acceptance, empire. As the professor said above, at least race is free from proseltysation.

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