In defense of ‘fundamentalists’

The mere title of this post will probably garner some unfavorable reactions from the PTB, if they are looking in. Why should it, though?

These days, most people have heard or read the term ‘fundamentalist’ applied only to members of a certain religion — do I dare to mention it?

But even when the term is applied to what I call simply “old-time Christians”, it’s a pejorative, usually, meant to apply to what one blogger, whose post I just read, called ”fanatical zealots” or some such name.

I feel very defensive about the use of disparaging or outright hostile terms applied to fellow Americans who are nothing more than old-fashioned Christians who — imagine this: — actually believe in the Bible. I guess that is unimaginable to lots of people, after all it’s the current year, and nobody (that is, nobody that the critic considers normal or sane) actually beieves the Bible in its entirety. Yet just about every American of a Christian background has ancestors who did actually believe the Bible, including the miracles and other “unscientific” parts.

What does it say that we are willing to dismiss as ‘zealots’ and ‘fanatics’ our own ancestors, who happened, in most cases, to have been good and decent people, though these same critics tolerate many not-so-decent people, simply because they believe in the present-day ‘gods’ of Science and “open-mindedness” and all the rest?

At least they’re not ‘fanatical zealots’ like those awful Puritans, of olden time, right? Or those modern-day fundies who live in the past ,and believe absurd things?

I had a beloved Grandmother who was what the critics call a ”fundamentalist.” And what does that word mean? If you look in a present day dictionary you will probably see it defined as ‘fanatic’ because that seems to be the consensus among the ‘respectable’ people looking down on the ignorant “fundies”. Even some ‘Christians’ will use the word ‘fundies’ when talking of people who uphold the old-time Christian beliefs.

Incidentally, lest anyone think that the discredited TV ‘evangelists’ represent fundamentalism, they most decidedly don’t, in most cases. I am ashamed to say that most TV preachers represent the new Christianity that compromises unashamedly with the ‘world’.

My Grandmother had a deep influence on me, as did her whole generation. That generation, especially rural Southrons, were the last of their kind, I’m afraid. My Grandmother had been raised as a ‘Primitive Baptist’, another name that is being mentioned in a negative way — after all, the word ‘primitive’ is part of the label, so it can’t be anything but a backward group of people, right?

As for me I was baptized in another one of those churches that are more common in the South — and, like the Primitive Baptists, very Bible-believing. I guess that means I am in the ‘backward’ category, too, according popular wisdom.

As a people, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by ‘drawing circles’ that shut each other out. It strikes me as a form of status-signaling, if not virtue-signaling, to go out of our way to make invidious remarks towards our own folk and their religious practices. Those of us who are Christian, and I mean Christian by deed and not just by name , are brothers and sisters in Christ, should we be found ‘othering’ each other, on grounds of our differing ideas of Christianity? And can we afford to do that?

I don’t object to being called a ‘fundamentalist’ because it originally did not carry such negativity. It simply meant those who accept the Five Fundamentals of the Christian Faith.

I ‘m not writing to try to impose my Christian beliefs on anyone, and I often refrained from mentioning my religious beliefs lest I alienate someone, though Christians are not to hide our faith, but rather share it.

Now, when it seems that we are up against some serious travails and troubles, faith is needed; ”Science” has proven itself to be dishonest and compromised; being only based on human perceptions, it is as flawed as its human origins. As we humans aren’t all-knowing or all-wise, where do we look for guidance? Do we put our blind faith in ‘Science’, falsely so-called?

I can’t write in the inspired way in which Cambria Will Not Yield writes. This post is simply to make the point that slurring Christian neighbors , our ancestors, and our fellow-Christians, is misguided, counterproductive, and not the thing that our side should be doing. We expect this from liberals and other nonbelievers, but from our own folk? Et tu, brute?

I realize many people out there do not share my faith, or my variety of Christianity. It isn’t my purpose to preach the particular beliefs in which I share, though I happen to believe that we need to rediscover the Faith of our fathers, and to cast aside all of today’s prejudices against that ‘Good Old Way’ which strengthened them so much. It seems that we lack the strength and serenity that I saw in the older generations. But those qualities can’t be attained by “positive thinking” or ‘self-help’ or any of the nostrums of today.

Ultimately that ‘fundie’ that is being disparaged is your kin as well as mine, and he is not a dangerous ‘fanatical zealot’; he is simply someone who does not chop and change with the winds, or the seasons, or the prevailing prejudices of our times.

Uncharted waters

Does it seem as though the world is getting darker and darker? I mean, in the sense of becoming murkier, more uncertain, more unsettled. I’ve been saying this to people for some years now. It’s just something that’s palpable to me, and it’s distressing.

It seems so many recent events are odd, unprecedented, and things are spiralling out of control. Maybe some few don’t feel it, and think I am exaggerating or magnifying things.

The line from Yeats, ‘Things fall apart; the center cannot hold‘ comes to mind. Well, for years I’ve been quoting the rest of that poem, especially the part about ‘the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Was Yeats prophetic? I ask rhetorically, though Yeats was unlikely to have been divinely inspired; he was a dabbler in the occult — more than a dabbler, actually; he was involved with the Aleister Crowley cult, Crowley touting himself as the world’s most evil man, or something of the sort.

At this point, it’s people who dissent from the present day’s orthodoxy who are considered ‘evil’ — people who question the leftist, PC consensus. It’s they and their subservient media who control the narrative and the dialectic.

Thinking back to when I began blogging — that was 13 years ago, I think — there still seemed to be reason to hope that America might wake up from its stupor and see what was transpiring, but no; it seems in retrospect that people were reluctant to open their eyes, and wanted to remain in the dark.

But when I began, I thought there was hope in trying to awaken our folk to our history, our heritage, our traditions — and yes, we did and do have a culture. I hoped to exhort people to some kind of healthy pride and awareness of where we came from, and what we had in our way of life and our very identity. But as time went on, and with the changing of the guard — the passing of the older generations and the new ‘young adult’ generations — there no longer seemed to be a receptive audience to the message I tried to convey. Cynicism is the order of the day, and to be honest it’s partly the fact that some of the younger ones never learned the history of their folk or of this country. History and heritage don’t sell. There is no demand for that it seems.

The pietas to which Cambria Will Not Yield often alludes must be found and restored. But are we ready to do that?

If I had my wish, I would focus on our history, and on our fellow-feeling, our love for our own, for our folk. That, to me, is of value; the political situation is very worrying and maddening at times. I don’t believe there will be a political solution to our crisis.

It seems we’re far from home, without a compass or a map.

Acknowledging we are lost is hard in times like these, at least for those who, like me, tend to be optimistic — though cautiously, much more cautiously so, in these times. We have to be honest and acknowledge that we are in uncharted waters. But then we can’t lose heart and lose hope.

Having just read CWNY’s latest post, his last paragraph says some of what I am thinking:

There are no supports left for the Christian European. Everything Christian and European has been torn asunder. Only our hearts are left. Inside His Kingdom of the heart, we must find the strength to resist liberalism and cling to our European hearth fire. All is indeed cheerless, dark, and deadly – we have only our “trembling faith,” and His promise that He will be with us “alway, even unto the ending of the world.” +