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I’m about to interview a fundamentalist preacher who claims to be a liberal and ask him that very question.  

I’m waiting for the preacher to finish cleaning the toilets in the restrooms of the community center in our local park.  He’s allowed to hold his religious services in the center on Sunday mornings as long as he and his followers clean the toilet facilities for the upcoming week.   Times are hard, even for a mostly white suburb in a red area of Southern California.

He’s walking toward me now, wiping his hands on a dirty towel.  He appears to be finished and I’m hoping we can now talk.

He stops wiping and holds out his hand.  I don’t suppose he would fist bump…?  No, I guess not.  I take his hand, even though I have a real problem with shaking hands.

“Preacher,” I say, “I’m happy you’ve agreed to talk to me.” As I say this, I try to imperceptibly wipe my hand on my back pocket.  

“Why not,” he says,  “I have nothing to hide.”

“No, no, certainly not,” I say.  I look around the center.  “So, this is where you hold your Sunday services?”

“That’s right,” he says, looking around with me.  We stand and study the area for a moment.  The floor is seedy, worn and scraped from so many hard-soled shoes over the years.  I’m thinking that the preacher similarly looks a little worn around the edges.  

“How many people usually attend your services?”

“Well,” he hesitates as he appears to be thinking, “most of the time we have about…oh…I don’t know, maybe five, sometimes six…”

“Five—sometimes six families?” I exclaim.

“People.”

“People?”  

“That’s right,” he says, somewhat defensively.  “That’s from two families, not one, however.”

“I see.  So, if I understand you correctly, you consider yourself a liberal?”

“That’s correct.  A liberal, that’s right.  That’s what I am.”

“And yet, you also consider yourself a fundamentalist Christian as well?”

“Yes, yes, that’s right.  I do.”

“That would seem to some people to be a contradiction in terms.”

“Yes, so I have learned over the years.”

“Do you preach politics from your pulpit like most of the conservative
Christian fundamentalists?  Tell people who to vote for, for example?”

“No…no, I just preach the gospel…that’s political enough, don’t you think?  Keeps me in hot water enough.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you see, most of the fundamentalists I know always preach how easy it is to get to heaven.  Just got to believe in Jesus, you see, that’s the ticket.  All they have to do is say they accept Jesus as their lord and savior.  As a liberal, though, I see it as a little more complicated than that.”

“Ah, yes, the old liberal complication.  If life were only so simple as a conservative sees it… “

“Yes, but it’s not.   It’s all about the way we measure belief.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s just not enough to go around saying I believe in Jesus Christ.  Your life has got to change as well.  The measure of any true belief is how much it changes behavior. “

“Can you give me an example?”

“Most assuredly.  You can’t claim to believe in the teachings of Jesus and then vote to support people who want to take health care from the poor.  You can’t believe in Jesus and then be willing to do anything to gain wealth and power.  You can’t claim to protect the rights of the unborn and then vote to snuff out the lives of those who commit crimes… you can’t be a true Christian and then proudly march your sons and daughters off to wars, especially stupid and unnecessary wars…”

“‘Stupid and unnecessary wars…’ that’s spoken like a true liberal…but did you say, snuff out…?”

“Execute.”

“I see.”  

“And then there’s the role of wealth and how it stands in the way of getting to heaven.”

“That bit about a rich man getting to heaven being as hard as a camel going through the eye of a needle…?”

“That’s right.  And sections of the gospel that state that if a man asks for your coat, you must give him your cloak as well…I haven’t even mentioned the role of forgiveness in all this.  I could go on and on…”

“I’m sure.  And this gets you in difficulty with your congregation?”

“Are you kidding?  The competition is preaching that all you got to do is say you believe in Jesus and get baptized—not sprinkled, but dunked under the water—boom and bang, it’s a done deal.”

“I can see that you’re very passionate about this issue…”

“And then, trying to get the elders of my church to loosen up on the role of women in the church—man, they’re as backward as some of the other fundamentalist religions that make women wear a sack!”

“I can see where you have some disadvantages in trying to attract followers… but say, why not just advertise openly and try to get only liberals to your church?”

“Are you kidding?  The few that admit to any religion at all love the pomp and circumstances of the showy churches…you know, the big ones with organs and large choirs and rituals, lots of rituals… In my little church, we mostly sing a cappella…”

“Well, this has been very enlightening.  As we get near the next election, are you going to get your congregation out to vote for Obama?”

“Absolutely, all five or six of us.  Oh, there’s one very important difference between us and the other fundamentalists that I didn’t have a chance to mention.  May I?”

“Of course.”

It’s really all about truth.  With us liberal fundamentalists, truth is spelled with a capital T.  With the others, it’s with a small t.

“And that means…” I prompted him.

“With their truth, the end justifies the means.  They can do anything, for example, to stop a doctor from performing an abortion, even an abortion that will save the life of the mother.  They can kill him and that’s OK because to them the end justifies the means.  With us liberal fundamentalists, there’s truth with a capital T.  Wrong is never right and the Gospel tells us how to live to show that we believe.”

He is out of breath from his last comment.  Like most liberals, I can tell that he is a sincere believer in “treating the least among us” as he would treat Jesus.

This time I take my hand out of my back pocket and offer it to him.  “Well, preacher, thank you for your time in explaining all this to me.”

“Any time, “ he says as we shake hands.  “I wouldn’t mind chatting a little longer, but I still have all the trash to take out to get the center ready for the next week.”

“A preacher’s work is never done,” I say, smiling.

“A liberal preacher’s work is never done,” he stresses, not smiling.      

“I stand and watch the preacher walk toward the trash barrels to finish his job for the day.  Funny, but I no longer have the urge to run and wash my hands, but liberal that I am, I make no effort to help him with the trash…

Originally posted to mvetrie on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?" Yes, Alice I do see...

    by mvetrie on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:24:26 PM PDT

  •  Not without lying about one or another. nt (4+ / 0-)

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:27:33 PM PDT

    •  I disagree (7+ / 0-)

      One could be a fundamentalist in the sense of believing that the relevant body of scripture is literally true and still be a liberal politically.  Not saying that a lot are, but I have met a few that could probably be classified as both.

      •  How? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, pot, bythesea
        One could be a fundamentalist in the sense of believing that the relevant body of scripture is literally true and still be a liberal politically.

        A "literal" reading of the Bible requires that one believe that women are to be subordinate to men, that disobedient children are to be stoned to death, and many other things that appear non-liberal to me.

        How does one reconcile those "literal" interpretations and still remain a "liberal"?

        BTW, tossing out those particularly troublesome items is not the solution, as that does not make one a "true" fundamentalist.

        "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

        by rfall on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:59:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fundamentalists don't necessarily believe that (0+ / 0-)

          Some people take the first chapters of Genesis literally, and don't, therefore, believe in Darwinian evolution. They're called Fundamentalists. Others believe the Sermon on the Mount literally, especially that part about "turn the other cheek". They're called Quakers, Mennonites, etc. But many Fundamentalists ignore that stuff about not swearing an oath but simply affirming your word. How many of them cross out the word "swear" and write "affirm" on their loyalty oaths? How many of them are into the Brick Testament? It's not really about Biblical literalism. Darwinian Evolution is what sets them off.

          •  Then we must disagree on the meaning of (0+ / 0-)

            ...the word "Fundamentalist".

            From the Wikipedia entry on Fundamentalism:

            The first formulation of American fundamentalist beliefs can be traced to the Niagara Bible Conference and, in 1910, to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church which distilled these into what became known as the "five fundamentals":[7]

                • The inspiration of the Bible and the inerrancy of Scripture as a result of this.
                • The virgin birth of Christ.
                • The belief that Christ's death was the atonement for sin.
                • The bodily resurrection of Christ.
                • The historical reality of Christ's miracles.

            By the late 1910s, theological conservatives rallying around the Five Fundamentals came to be known as "fundamentalists." In practice, the first point regarding the Bible was the focus of most of the controversy.

            If Scriptural inerrancy is a key condition of Fundamentalism, then I do not see how one can be a Fundamentalist without, for instance, taking literally Paul's insistence that women be subservient to men, or that they cannot be teachers or leaders in the Church.  Such views would hardly make one a liberal.

            "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

            by rfall on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:34:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Haven't you ever talked to those people? (0+ / 0-)

              They're idiots. Stop treating their ideas seriously. It's like talking Marx to a Stalinoid. They say they believe it but they haven't really considered the details or the implications. They take things selectively to support the positions of their leaders. Historically the emphasis on literal Biblical interpretation, which is, as you point out, the controversial part of Fundamentalism, is their response to Darwinian evolution. Considering the social position of most Fundamentalists, it was probably a reaction to Social Darwinism. Maybe we should point out how Social Darwinism was on display at that angry Republican mob recently?

              •  Actually, I don't take their ideas seriously. (0+ / 0-)

                But they are the ones who claim fidelity to an inerrant Scripture, and in doing so must live but the results.

                One result:  they are fools.

                Another result:  they can't be liberal by any reasonable definition of that word.

                Since this diary was about whether one could be a Fundamentalist and a liberal, that's what I was trying to answer.  I take no position in this comment thread on anything else about Fundamentalism--just that it is incompatible with political liberalism.

                Maybe we should point out how Social Darwinism was on display at that angry Republican mob recently?

                Sure, but that's not the subject of this diary--perhaps writing a diary about that topic might be of interest to you?

                "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                by rfall on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:54:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Fundamentalism is incompatible with itself (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cali Scribe

                  but caring for homeless widows and orphans, doing to the least of our brethren, and the whole Social Gospel is quite compatible with liberalism, and historically has been. There's plenty of justification for liberal social policies in the Bible. Most Fundamentalists go far right over abortion and gay marriage. There ought to be a political space for social conservatives who are economic liberals. There used to be.

            •  a literal reading of the New Testament is flat (5+ / 0-)

              socialist let alone Liberal.....

              Some focus on the old law but Christ was the Fulfillment of the law and from him only the gospels count  If you want a actual literal meaning..

              And yes a New Testament Fundamentalist would be Liberal by definition let alone chance.....

              Luckily I went to Catholic school when the Social Gospel was still the major focus of the Church and before they abandoned Liberation Theology......

              That's where the megachurchs and the ones the Preacher in the article was speaking of go wrong and I'd bet he'd agree, they focus on the Old Testament while the New is where Christianity is based......

              Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
              I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
              Emiliano Zapata

              by buddabelly on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:52:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Separation of Church and State (0+ / 0-)

          as a value can handle many of those issues and yes there is a fundamentalist  path to coming to accept that principle.

          •  See my comment above. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bythesea

            Separation of Church and State, and other such secular principles, are hardly a part of any Fundamentalist mindset and, in any case, do not answer the question of how a literal reading of Scripture, which requires female subservience in many ways, can possibly be made to square with liberal principles.

            "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

            by rfall on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:36:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

              my father is a fundamentalist who does believe in the literal reading of the Bible including the New Testament from from which he derives a sense of separation of Church and State.  However he is not a liberal, but I do know that he would view the female subservience stuff as something an individual who strives to be "faithful" would do in obedience, but would still view that as a matter between that person (whether a man or a woman) and God, rather than anything that should be enforced by either state some humanly religious authority.  If he had a different personality, but the same belief system, he could be a liberal, at least politically speaking.

              •  OK, then. (0+ / 0-)
                he would view the female subservience stuff as something an individual who strives to be "faithful" would do in obedience,

                Which I would argue would never allow him to be a liberal.  If he believes that God requires that women be subservient to men--whether or not he believes that such a view should be enforced by law or authority is irrelevant--then how can he be a liberal?  A liberal, IMO, believes that men and women are equal in stature and should not be treated differently.

                Saying that your father believes something like this, but is unwilling to impose it on others, does not make it possible for him to be liberal--but perhaps that's just my reading of "liberal".

                "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                by rfall on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:51:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  post says hes not liberal (0+ / 0-)
                  •  But uses him as an argument for (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bythesea

                    ...the type of person who could be liberal.

                    If I have misunderstood the posting, then I apologize.  But as the diarist was trying to make the case for compatibility between Fundamentalism and a liberal political viewpoint, I took the story as an argument that the two are compatible, and answered that they are not.

                    How did you read the diarist's comment?

                    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                    by rfall on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:59:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry for the grammar there (0+ / 0-)

                just had friends show up for a visit and disrupted my attention while posting.  But I hope I explained what I meant.   I will clarify that I am most certainly not a fundamentalist or even a theist personally.   Others I have known are liberal and would probably say that the Bible is indeed the literal word of God, but wouldn't likely describe themselves using the word fundamentalist though I would.

                •  I would argue they cannot be both. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bythesea
                  Others I have known are liberal and would probably say that the Bible is indeed the literal word of God, but wouldn't likely describe themselves using the word fundamentalist though I would.

                  They are misunderstanding either one definition or the other.

                  An inerrant reading of Scripture requires holding beliefs--expressed directly and imposed on others or not--which are incompatible with a liberal world-view.

                  "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                  by rfall on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:57:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I understand what you mean (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rfall

                    and in that sense you are correct.  Further down the main thread I commented that there is a political sense as well as simply the literalist sense, and in that sense I agree that it is unlikely.

              •  That's an Evangelical (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany

                like Jimmy Carter....Jimmy left the Southern Baptist Convention for this very reason!

        •  It depends on how you define (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mrs M

          "fundamentals".

          For me the fundamental truth of Christianity is found in Christ's boiling down of the Law into two precepts: love God, love your neighbor. Anything that gets in the way of either of those relationships is something that should be looked at with suspicion at the very least.

          The late author Madeleine L'Engle, who wrote brilliant young people's works such as A Wrinkle in Time and others, was also a Christian author who wrote many books on faith. In one book she wrote that the biggest problem was not necessarily fundamentalists but those who were also literalists as well -- what she called "fundalits". Those who can distinguish between the core truths of their faith (whether we're talking Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other faith) and the extraneous fluff that has little application to modern life might still be fundamentalist, but not literalist.

          Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:10:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  tipped for L'Engle. (0+ / 0-)

            I devoured her books when I was young, and was surprised when I got older to realize the Christian angle of her other books. Am now re-reading the books I read when I was younger, and can now discern the religiosity I missed when I was younger, yet I still cherish and admire her writing. She made me think then, and is still making me think today...

            Sorry for going somewhat off-topic.

      •  There in lies the rub (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III
        that the "relevant body" of scripture

        Fundamentalists believe it is ABSOLUTELY literally true. It is the actual literal word of God....every single syllable!

        You might want to read up on the Apostolic Reformation Movement (or 7 Mountains) or the South Baptist Convention. I think you will find your answer there....

      •  Due to my unique life experience (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pot, msmacgyver, bythesea, ChocolateChris, cany

        I see Fundamentalist Christians as hate mongering bigots of the worst order.

        That definition is diametrically opposed to the definition of a Liberal.

        I would define this preacher as an Orthodox Christian.

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:09:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The answer is NO (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pot, bythesea

        You can parse the word "fundamentalist" any number of ways, but in the accepted meaning re ... US Politics then no, you can't be both.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:36:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well... (4+ / 0-)

    That depends on whether or not you believe that Christian fundamentalism involves a strict adherence to Old Testament laws or not. It also depends on what you view as "deal-breakers" for people calling themselves Liberals.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:27:50 PM PDT

  •  Depends on what you mean by "fundamentalist" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie

    If it is meant in a dictionary sense of literalism then the answer is yes.  I think there is also a political sense to the word and in that sense it would have to pretty much be no, or at least it would be very uncommon.

  •  Christian Pacifists are fundamentalists too (0+ / 0-)

    What could be more crazy than to forgive your own murderer?

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 04:50:01 PM PDT

    •  But they are (0+ / 0-)

      either Liberal or Fundamentalists...you can be one or the other but not both.

      If they do not believe that "The man is head of the household and that a woman must submit to her husband" for example....they are not Fundamentalists.

    •  I think there are many, many things (0+ / 0-)

      that are crazier than forgiving your own murderer. I think capital punishment is crazy. And causing children to be maimed and killed in war. And anyone going hungry on this abundant planet. We murder our own selves...and forgive ourselves as well. Maybe we are crazy.

  •  Absolutely NOT! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc
  •  I liked the bit about the "competition". (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, deedogg

    I think you've captured  some of the major issues here.

  •  To even ask that question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, deedogg

    you must not know many Christian Fundamentalists...

    I DO however!

    You can be a Liberal Christian....but not a Liberal Fundamentalist.....not of any religion Christian or otherwise.

  •  By the way Christ was not a Fundamentalist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev, J Edward, deedogg

    Christ for his time was a Liberal or Progressive!

    Mind you I said..."for his time"

    •  Jefferson believed that the original Jewish God (0+ / 0-)

      Was the God of Love of true Deism and only later evolved into the Deity Jefferson found objectionable.  He also believed that Jesus was a Deist and threw out all of the parts in the New Testament that were the products of Paul's inferior mind and left the parts actually attributable to Jesus.  The end result is available online as the Jefferson Bible.

      Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends.

      by J Edward on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:44:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And here I thought there was no such thing (0+ / 0-)

    I stand corrected.

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:04:45 PM PDT

  •  Given Several Important Stipulations, Yes. (0+ / 0-)

    1. They have to honor separation of church and state in the US at all levels of government. There's nothing intrinsic about fundamentalist Christianity that would require a dominionist takeover of governance so this test should be passable.

    2. They have to believe in the Constitutional mission of government promotion of the general welfare. Given that most of Jesus' teaching is for us as individuals to promote the general welfare particularly of those who suffer in any way, this should be not only easy, it should be a lock.

    3. They have to have a way to accept science in the conduct of society and economy. Obviously for global warming and creation this is utterly essential. If the fundamentalist could take the position that the scientific view of nature and creation is what works when we humans observe and manipulate the world, and be satisfied relegating Biblical literalism to a type of truth that we can't make use of, then liberal fundamentalism is possible.

    4. They've got to keep their sex control mission among themselves. This is another way of restating points number 1 and 3.

    It's all very unlikely, which is why the numbers of fundamentalists are overwhelmingly conservative.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:05:16 PM PDT

  •  A CHRISTIAN fundamentalist and a liberal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deedogg

    If you place emphasis on the four anonymous Gospels as opposed to Paul or the Old Testament...then yes, it's possible.

  •  You are not a Christian (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minerva, deedogg

    if you vote for Republicans.

    If you are not willing to die for your freedom, your freedom will die.

    by Levi the Oracle on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:16:16 PM PDT

  •  I'll tell you what's hard. (5+ / 0-)

    It's hard to be what most people consider a fundamentalist christian and a Christian.

    These people give up following what the Bible and Christ actually say in order to follow Conservative leaders and populist preachers.

    By their fruit shall they be known and the fruit produced by those leaders is poisoning true Christianity.

  •  Interesting fictional playlet (0+ / 0-)

    But no, fundamentalism (as understood by both Christians and critics of Christianity) is at odds with liberal politics.  However, since this diarist's commentary is almost exclusively "tip jars" I don't see much point in discussion here.

  •  Republished to Street Prophets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deedogg

    also added Street Prophets to your tags.

    Thanks for posting.

  •  Let's see (0+ / 0-)

    see also:

    Wikipedia Entry on the term Christian Fundamentalist

    I think you will find that it says quite clearly that it's "genesis"   as movement was direct response and AGAINST Liberalism!

  •  Gordon Allport's definition of liberal was someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    who rejected the supernatural non rational beliefs for a richer more allegory based view of the New Testament.  Jefferson even took a razor to his bibles cutting out all of the parts of the Bible that were the product of an inferior mind (Paul) and left those parts in from the superior mind.  Jefferson also claimed that the different parts were as easy to distinguish as "diamonds in a dung heap".  The Jefferson Bible is easily found on line. Deists like Jefferson are true liberal minded people.  I personally believe that thinking like a man and giving up the likelihood of personal survival after death is preferable to thinking like a child.  I knew one guy who left his church because the minister would not assure him that his dog would be with him in heaven.  He shopped around until he found one who would do that and tithed to him.  Thinking like a child.

    Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends.

    by J Edward on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:33:45 PM PDT

    •  Listen, if my priest said my dogs didn't go (0+ / 0-)

      with me after I die, I'd find another priest too!

      Anyone that understands dogs KNOWS they have a soul.

      I've met a lot of soulless people... never a soulless dog.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:38:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it is like this (0+ / 0-)

    The teachings of Christ are Liberal/Socialist.  If a person claims to be a follower of the teachings of Christ, they must be a Liberal.  Now, many Fundamentalist/Conservatives deny that the teachings of Christ require his followers to be Liberal, but they are wrong.  No amount of spinning by them will change the teachings from the Sermon on the Mount and many of the books of the New Testament.

    I have told people on many occasions that my Christian views require me to vote for Democrats.

    Hey! glad to see you. Hope you are doing well.

    by deedogg on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:49:29 PM PDT

    •  You could be orthodox Christian (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany

      Christian Fundamentalist....you are not

      A third strand—and the name itself—came from a 12-volume study The Fundamentals, published 1910-1915.[15] Sponsors subsidized the free distribution of over three million individual volumes to clergy, laymen and libraries. This version[16] stressed several core beliefs, including:

      *The inerrancy of the Bible
      *The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ's miracles, and the Creation account in Genesis.

      *The Virgin Birth of Christ
      *The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ
      *The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross

      By the late 1920s the first two points had become central to Fundamentalism.

      •  So how do they explain the TWO (and (0+ / 0-)

        some suggest three) different Genesis accounts??  Or.. do they somehow conflate them?  Or.....?????????

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

        by cany on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:39:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Depends on what part of the Bible (0+ / 0-)

    one is "fundamentalist" about.  If, like the church I came from, you believe a woman's place is in the home, you think gays are an abomination because Leviticus says so, and you think the Old Testament is a model for public policy, then no.  If none of that applies to you, I would argue that you're not a "fundamentalist" and you're instead playing clever word games and changing conventional meanings.

    "It's very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage. Or, as I like to call it: 'marriage.' You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn't gay park it." - Liz Feldman

    by Chrislove on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:50:16 PM PDT

  •  I would say probably not. (0+ / 0-)

    The contradictions would be impossible to reconcile. On the other hand, I don't consider the teachings of Jesus to be liberal/socialist. Such statements are wackily anachronistic. Jesus  was communitarian, if we're flexible about the concept of family & community,  & radically pacifist. But extending the teachings of Jesus to political ideologies & structures has always been problematic for Christians, & it is possible to be very liberal or very conservative in politics & social values while remaining well within orthodoxy.  But fundamentalism takes away the "wiggle room" that has always been characteristic of orthodoxy since the formation of a creedal  church.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:02:21 AM PDT

    •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

      pacifism, being against wars, refusing to serve in armed forces, & disengagement from politics are all qualities of certain types of fundamentalism, particularly in the Appalachian Mountains.

      "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

      by DJ Rix on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:09:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Get your congregation out to vote for Obama" (0+ / 0-)

    would be a big "no-no" for any churches that claim tax exempt status.

    Real fundamentalist churches all know this rule. They carefully avoid endorsing this or that candidate. They would do a lot of nudge-nudge wink-wink sort of thing though. Wehn I was a fundy nutbag myself, I witnessed a church member actually announcing his candidacy (I think it was some local office in Los Angeles) in the church. The MC told us "well, as a tax exempt organization we are not allowed to endorse any candidates. But I'll just say this- if you have any confusion about who to vote for- you come see me!"

    Another preacher at the time of the '92 election used to say "I'm not allowed to endorse anyone, but when my son brings home his report card, I always tell him - a B is nothing to get excited about, but it is better than a C"

  •  fundamentalism is still idiotic (0+ / 0-)

    The root of fundamentalism is a literal translation of the bible. The bible simply CANNOT be translated literally and be in any shape believable. It states unequivicably that every word is true and yet, in the descriptions of the same battles in different parts of the bible, it gives different accounts for the number killed. In other words, it simply does not agree with itself. One part of the bible may be true but only if another part is false. Therefore, a literal translation is just downright idiotic.

    Just because we wish something to be so does not make it so.

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