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Christianism means particular doctrines of Christianity made into a political system for the pursuit of worldly power, to be distinguished from Christianity in various forms of religious practices of denominations, such as Catholicism, Protestantism, etc. The more common term for describing the religion, and its followers, is Christianity. The word is analogous with Islamism, in that both terms can mean either the system of beliefs overall, or, more recently, a specific movement within those religions focused on specific political goals. Christianist and neo-Christianism are related terms.
Writing in 2005, William Safire, language columnist for The New York Times, attributed the term (in this novel usage) to blogger Andrew Sullivan, who wrote on June 1, 2003, page 19, "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."  Sullivan later expanded on his usage of the term in a Time magazine column. The bloggers Tristero and David Neiwert used the term shortly after.
Uses of the term can be found dating back to the seventeenth century, but these are unrelated to the meaning in its modern usage.
- Safire, William (May 15, 2005). "Isms and Phobias". The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Walker, Ruth (May 20, 2005). "Onward, Christianist soldiers?". Christian Science Monitor. Boston, Massachusetts: The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
- "2003 June « The Dish". andrewsullivan.com.
- Sullivan, Andrew (May 7, 2006)."My Problem with Christianism", Time, accessed January 31, 2010.
- When Semantic Differences Are Not: Part Two Tristero, June 2, 2003, accessed January 31, 2010.
- Neiwert, David (June 8, 2003). "How about Christianism?". Orcinus.
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