Opinions on faith and life

Fundyphobes

2009-10-15

Well, if I can be called an Islamophobe, homophobe, or any other phobe just because I disagree with someone’s opinion, then I can call anyone who hates fundies (meaning fundamentalists, for those who have just arrived from another planet) a fundyphobe.

Funny thing though... you can’t get a consensus out of them as to the definition. That is, what exactly are the fundamental (couldn’t resist) characteristics that make this group— evidently lower than suicide bombers, pagans, or traitors— deserving of the prolific and near-universal ire of even the self-described “tolerant”? What are the essentials? After all, if I’m to be called the F word, I have a right to know what that is, and what qualifies anyone to say so. Please explain to me why it’s okay to bash, mock, and otherwise spit upon anyone despicable enough to earn this title, but not for those awful fundies to take even the mildest critical tone when discussing the shortcomings of arguments that reduce the Bible to amusing fiction while far less-attested scraps are paraded around as The Truth.

Now don’t go trying to throw your higher edjamakashun at me or get all indignant over what I must have meant by that last statement. I just want a definition. One that won’t change according to what you ate for breakfast, or who you’re talking to (or about). And if what I just wrote offends you, I declare you unfit to lecture me on this or any other topic.

So how about it? Can anyone supply a consistent, dispassionate, Christ-honoring definition of a fundy so I can know whether I should shout “Unclean!” if I want to post in some “Christian” blog?

[/rant]

15 Comments

Greg Anderson

I don’t think there can be an all inclusive blanket definition of what it is to be a "fundy" these days?

Fundamentalism originally started out about a hundred years ago to simply re-affirm essential Christian doctrines such as virgin birth, bodily resurrection and stuff like that from the depredations of the German school of higher criticism (theology).

And that was a good thing, but like Topsy it "just growed" over the last century to include everything from no wimmenz in the pulpit to total abstinence from alcohol as a mandatory Biblical doctrine in some protestant sects.

Kinda like a Senate bill that gets all kinds of extras tacked onto it before it goes to the president’s desk?

So to get back to your original query about a working definition of the word "fundy", I guess I’ll just stick with the old rubric of just the essentials folks, just the essentials.

Debbie Kaufman

Having grown up in an Independent Baptist Fundamentalist church, this to me is the best example of Fundamentalism today and the last 50 or more years. www.fundamentalistbaptistchurch.org/whatwebelieve.htm

It adds to salvation while they are saying they are not adding to salvation. It may not add to salvation, but it sure adds burdens to Christians that I do not see in scripture.

I had a minister say that if a song has a beat to it, it’s sinful. :)

Paula Fether

Yet my personal experience has been that I’m a fundy for believing that the Bible is the Word of God and not a collection of allegories, that Jesus is the only way to be saved and is coming back soon, and that government is not the answer to any question except national defense and law enforcement. And this definition comes from professing believers in most cases, as we had a glimpse of in the "red letter" comments.

I guess I’m just frustrated with having no place to belong, since I’m a liberal to one half and a fundy to the other. I think maybe Outcast would work for both groups. :-)

And I think I’ll call that new study NT I’m working on The Jezebel Version. :-P

Paula Fether

Re. the link Debbie gave:

I think most anti-fundies would say that anyone who adopts one or two of the items on that list is a despised fundy. Yet the people who made that list would call me a liberal for rejecting one or two items. There’s no place for us ’tweeners.

And I just have to comment on a few items:

1. Their section on Sin blames Eve and makes up a story about her "persuading" (most say "tempting") Adam to sin, and charges her with "the first sin" even though Paul himself charges Adam. They don’t say in that particular document what this implies, but I can venture a guess.

2. Their belief that the KJV is the best Bible shows deliberate blindness or ignorance of the basics of translation.

3. Their insistence that "the church" is a hierarchical structure with a head pastor, whose meetings must be attended, shows ignorance or shallowness of what the NT teaches by word and example.

4. Bashing contemporary Christian music for the genre instead of the lyrics is just plain ignernt. I can name classical hymns with less God-honoring lyrics than most CCM. (What’s with "Work for the Night Is Coming" for example? Not one word about God; it must be presumed.)

5. On a minor point, I don’t agree that the demons are the fallen angels, but rather the hybrid offspring of the angel/human alliances mentioned in Gen. 6. just before God decided to flood the earth.

lydia

When I fly on airplanes, I certainly hope the pilots believes in fundamentals of flight and is not experimenting.

Same with my surgeon and my plumber.

lydia

BTW: NOTHING on Paula’s response is fundamental to the faith. It is all in addition to. Jesus plus something.

I resent that is called fundamentalism.

lydia

one more thing....:o)

If we stuck to the "fundamentals" of the Constitution, we would not be dealing with a government takeover of the health care industry.

Maybe we should call ourselves ’The Basics’? :o)

Paula Fether

"When I fly on airplanes, I certainly hope the pilots believes in fundamentals of flight and is not experimenting.

Same with my surgeon and my plumber."

And preachers!

But that’s the thing, Lydia. "Fundy" is a catch-all term used against anyone from KJVO to OOC (out of church), just as "liberal" is a catch-all for anyone from rock to "red letter". Neither label is superior to the other, and both are used simply to exclude and mock. I’ve asked quite a few people to tell me what they mean when they call me either fundy or liberal, and they either refuse to say or they stamp the label on me regardless. Both sides go on bashing each other, not even knowing or caring that most people could easily wear both labels.

Paula Fether

And good points in comment 7. Really, whether it’s Christianity or government, both "basics" and "outcasts" mean pretty much the same.

Dave

I prefer not to think of my surgeon and my plumber at the same time.

I think people call others fundies when they are seen to stop others having fun. (From the Greek "fun dies")

I think people call others liberal when they are seen to refuse to stop having fun.

I have been called both. ;)

lydia

" I’ve asked quite a few people to tell me what they mean when they call me either fundy or liberal, and they either refuse to say or they stamp the label on me regardless. "

I have been called a feminist more times than I can remember simplky for being egal. Never mind I am a capitalist pig orthodox Christian that thinks most pastors water down the hard truths. When I ask what it means...to define it...you get crickets. Usually from comps.

"I prefer not to think of my surgeon and my plumber at the same time."

Now that was funny.

Paula Fether

"I have been called a feminist more times than I can remember simplky for being egal."

Ah yes, the other F word. ;-)

So Lydia, you and I are a couple of feminazi fundies, eh?

And I agree, that was funny, Dave. A funny fundy? Whazzat??

Dave

"A funny fundy? Whazzat??"

A liberal?

Paula Fether

^^lolz

lydia

And this would be the whole point.

Is a feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bella Abzug or Betty Friedan?

Is a fundy Jack Hyles or Billy Graham?

Is a liberal JFK or Obama?

These labels just don’t mean much anymore.