Wednesday, September 08, 2010

What is "Fundies?"

Today is Wednesday, 8 September 2010.

“Wondering” asked, “What is “Fundies?”

It’s short for “fundamentalists”, the right-wing religious variety of which breed in Oklahoma like rabbits on aphrodisiacs and steroids.

Wait. That insults rabbits, which I've no wish to do. (Like Kurt Tucholsky, "I don't believe in insulting animals".) Said "fundies" breed like fundies on aphrodisiacs and steroids.

“Fundamentalism” these days is usually deployed as a putdown separated from its original meaning. The genesis of the original Fundamentalism was in the last quarter of the 19th century in the USA/USE. It was a reaction to the growing sophistication in Protestant seminaries of Biblical scholarship, which resulted in many theologians and clergy adopting less-than-literal and traditionalist interpretations of Christian doctrine, which became known as “Modernism” and “Liberal Theology”. Fundamentalism culminated in 1910 with the formal codification by a Presbyterian group of the “Five Fundamentals”.

These were: 1) Word-for-word direct inspiration of the Bible by the Holy Spirit, resulting in its absolute and literal inerrancy. 2) Christ’s Virgin Birth, and therefore His deity. 3) Death of Christ as only complete and effective blood atonement for sin (non-acceptance of Him for this purpose resulting in eternal damnation). 4) Bodily resurrection of Christ. 5) Literal historicity of all Biblical miracles.

In a broader sense, Fundamentalism was actually a response to changes occurring in American society outside of religion. Fundamentalism’s strongholds were in rural areas and small towns, from which large cities were condemned as poisonous, threatening, and Satanic lairs of Jews, Catholics, other non-Protestant, non-Anglo Saxon immigrants, plus Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other “inferiors”. Fundamentalists believed that “their” country, and their God-given right absolutely to rule it, were mortally threatened by these “godless alien intruders”. Opposition to change/evolution in theology was part and parcel, one dimension, of opposition to political change/evolution.

The same dynamic was at work in the same period in the Christian temperance movement, which propagandized about the evils of those cesspools of alcohol, the immigrant-dominated big cities, contrasted with the abstaining holiness of “Heartland” America.

One understands the motivation.

The USA/USE had begun as a militarized, genocidal, parasitic agricultural society, spawned by an imperialistic, homogenized white England. By the late 19th century, the center of gravity (economically, culturally, and politically) was shifting to urban areas and industrialism, in both of which the non-English played an increasingly important role (one exaggerated in propaganda and prejudice). For generations, the ancestors of those who would become Fundamentalists had been indoctrinated by the religious and political con artists who fleeced them, with the risible notion that they, and they Only, were truly The Chosen People of God: and now their heirs were reduced to hicks, rubes, and the butts of farmer’s daughter jokes.

And so the heirs of Empire struck back.

Tea Party, anyone? Hate Islam and Muslims, anyone? Paging Glenn Blech and the GOP!


Anonymous Hari said...

"Right" on!

6:35 PM  

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