Albright: Ignore Religion 'At Our Own Peril'

August 21, 2007

Author: Staff Reporter

Source: CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As U.S. secretary of state under former President Clinton, Madeleine Albright invested long hours in the Middle East peace process. She wrote about the relationship between politics and religion in her 2006 book, "The Mighty and the Almighty."

CNN producer Jen Christensen recently spoke with Albright for "God's Warriors." Here is an edited portion of their conversation:

CNN: Growing up I was told that in polite conversation you never talk about two things: politics and religion; however, our documentary, "God's Warriors," is going to do just that. Part of the problem though in looking at these issues is the loaded quality of the language. Even our starting point. We essentially had to create a term, "God's Warriors," as the traditional term "fundamentalism" seemed problematic. Did you encounter the same problem when you were writing "The Mighty and the Almighty"?Video Watch the making of the TV special "God's Warriors" »

Albright: Well, I think it's a very hard term, fundamentalism, as you're obviously finding. Historically, it's a term that described Christians who believed that everything that was in the Bible was exactly so. But now it's been used to describe everybody in the three Abrahamic religions who is conservative or reactionary. One of the things that I found in writing my book [was] that fundamentalism was a term that I was having trouble with. Because it has gotten ascribed to it a lot of negative associations.