No True Scotsman: From ISIS to Westboro to Saturday Night Live

Moderates have funny logic. “ISIS and Westboro Baptist Church are not “real” christians or muslims.”…”Sure, just like Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon are not “real” SNL’ers; who am I? Just some Earthling who watched an episode once.”

 

It’s quite puzzling to me why so many people act like moderates have a more respectable opinion  than fundamentalists when it comes to understanding what the holy books say. Who is going to know more – fans or super fans? Isn’t that all ISIS is after all? They really love the Qu’ran and its teachings, and now they want to turn reality into their mythological world where women are to blame for all problems (similar to the Biblical world). The majority of people who are religious moderates have never read their holy book, at least not in its entirety. Moderates claim that fundamentalists are radicals, but what they really are saying is their religion is radical, when it is followed in a fundamental way. Moderates, why do fundamentalists and cult followers have such similar behavior patterns? In other words, why is it that the closer one follows your holy book, the more delirious one appears to become?

 

Let’s look at a few other examples to demonstrate how ridiculous it is that people believe moderates have a better understanding than fundamentalists.

 

If you wanted information about Saturday Night Live, would you ask someone who watches a couple episodes a year or would you ask Will Ferrell?
Continue reading “No True Scotsman: From ISIS to Westboro to Saturday Night Live”

Fundamentally Fundamental about the Fundamentals of Fundies: Facepalms of Biblical Proportions

Despite loose usage of the term and the tossing about of its diminutive form, “fundamentalist” is not a pejorative: the word was invented by conservative Christians for purposes of self-identification and bears an exact meaning that has only secondarily to do with attitude. I’m well acquainted with the history of this word because it is my interesting fortune to have been raised in one of the small, fractious, separatist, backwater Christian sects that coined it around the turn of the 20th century.

 

By the time I was born at mid-century, Missionary Baptist churches all over the U.S. South proudly touted their fundamentalist bona fides on the signs that identified them: “Independent – Bible-believing – Fundamental.” While dismissing the historic creeds as the inventions of fallen man, such churches showed not the least hesitation in publishing “statements of faith” (as though “creed” meant something different) sometimes disguised as “church covenants,” and those published statements always included an article such as “We believe the Bible to be the divinely-inspired and wholly inerrant Word of God.” Fundamentalists of the other monotheistic religions hold a similar attitude regarding their various “holy books.” Belief in the divine origin of a “sacred scripture” is essential to fundamentalists of all sects, because it’s the primary premise – often unspoken – in all of their arguments.

 

What I wish I could say to fundamentalists of all stripes (and wish they could hear me when I say it) is that their foundational premise is false. The Bible is most certainly not the Word of God: it has no more to do with the (alleged) creator of the universe than the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon or the Left Behind series.
Continue reading “Fundamentally Fundamental about the Fundamentals of Fundies: Facepalms of Biblical Proportions”