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Not to be confused with Christianity.

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, page 19,[3] "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.[4][5] Sullivan later expanded on his usage of the term in a Time magazine column.[6] 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.[7]

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,[8] 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.

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  1. ^ a b c Safire, William (May 15, 2005). "Isms and Phobias". New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ Walker, Ruth (May 20, 2005). "Onward, Christianist soldiers?". Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts: The Christian Science Monitor). Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ When Semantic Differences Are Not: Part Two Tristero, June 2, 2003, accessed January 31, 2010.
  5. ^ Neiwert, David (June 8, 2003). "How about Christianism?". Orcinus. 
  6. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (May 7, 2006)."My Problem with Christianism", Time, accessed January 31, 2010.
  7. ^ Brown, Andrew (February 22, 2012). "Catholic Church leader rejects claim UK Christians are persecuted". The Guardian. 
  8. ^