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  • Lance Mannion
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Kara McNair

One thing that's really been bugging me in the press lately is the conflation of the terms 'evangelical' and 'fundamentalist'.
Especially since I recently learned the difference.

Evangelicals focus on the 4 gospels (as opposed to the creepy old testament), and on personal salvation. A bit Buddhist-like, actually.
Fundamentalists take the Bible literally and like to tell others they're going to hell.

Jimmy Carter is an evangelical.
Pat Robertson is a fundamentalist.

I think that the distinction is an important one, especially for liberals to make, so we don't end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater - it's all too to look 'anti-god' if you paint them all the same colour.

I'm all for Christ's Christian morality - some really, really good stuff in there. The rest of the book? Not so much.


Er, I suppose this would be the wrong time to quote an old college phrase: "F-- 'em if they can't take a joke?"


I was sorry when it came out that there was more than instant messaging in the Foley scandal. Such a pathetically sexless sex scandal, I had thought, how typically right-wing. At least our sex scandals had actual sex in them. Now there was some pathetic sex involved after all. Well, we still have sexier sex scandals.

Anne Laurie

Excellent essay, Lance -- you're right, it really is ALL about s-e-x (or rather, the fear of sex) with this particular branch of the All-American Fundamentalist-Authoritarian Travelling Sociopolitical Circus. One further thread you might want to weave into your next redaction: The roots of NASCAR Fundamentalism, its deep Holy Roller ancestry, run back to the Scotch-Irish settlers who came to the Appalachians as bond servants. And both the Irish Catholics and the Lowland Scots in the 'old country' used a deeply embedded fear of s-e-x as the best available form of birth control. Unlike most of their European peers, these Celts discouraged marriage among teenagers and even young adults, largely because a couple who married in their late 20s would have fewer surviving children to divide the family farm plots in the next generation. We no longer live in a society where every added infant risks the destruction of the whole extended family, but the resentful terror of anyone who seems to be enjoying The Nasty has become a part of our cultural DNA. Thus, among other strange theories, the whole eugenics "those people, breeding like rabbits, who will overwhelm our culture and destroy our precious resources" meme, coming from people who've never been within a hundred dollars of missing a meal in their lives...

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