The sign reads “Beware of Religious Fundamentalists.” I first saw this warning sign on my walk from there to nowhere a few years back. It seemed then that most people fearing the fundamentalists were pot-smoking libertarians living in the free-trade district; that once-prestigious part of downtown that gave way to the sprawling fever once Americans exchanged their nationalist coffee for a free trade brew. But now these front door warning labels have become quite the trend. Books, billboards, and bumper stickers! I think I even saw a young lady with something like “Fundamentalists are Fascists” tattooed on her ankle… or was it her big toe? I am not sure anymore. What I am sure of, though, is that this new “peace in the pantheon” craze has spread like pinkeye in a culture hell-bent on giving everyone eye-to-eye butterfly kisses.
I needed to get to the bottom of this. Truth be told, I was freaking out! Most everyone in town knew I worked with Local 10:34, a Roman Catholic union named after the now-famous sword-text in St. Matthew’s gospel. If fundamentalists were scary, then we were every child’s nightmare!
We said some pretty crazy stuff, I guess. We were pretty bold, saying things like “outside the Church there is no salvation” and that the modern ecumenical movement is tantamount to institutionalized religious whoredom. Many fundies had backpedaled over the years, but not us. Benedict XVI apologized to his “Muslim brothers and sisters” after quoting Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos during his now-famous Regensburg lecture. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell both apologized for connecting the obvious dots between national immorality and national disaster. Billy Graham and Mel Gibson wept before the bright lights after being busted bad-mouthing Jewry and its Lobby. These fellas were diminished to bootlicker status. We weren’t like them. We said what we meant, sure. But we went further and meant what we said. The audacity of conviction!
But yesterday’s boon is today’s bust, or so it appears. And if Dr. “Scary” Gary North was in hot water, then members of Local 10:34 were in hellfire!
A few days later I found myself talking to someone who appeared to be part of the opposition. I don’t recall what it was that gave her away. Was it the fact that she had “COEXIST” detailed across the hood of her car? Maybe it was her “I Luv thePrayer Summit of Assisi” T-shirt. No, it was probably the “Got Questions? Ask me!” button. I guess it really doesn’t matter. What did matter was that I spoke to someone in “the know” about this.
“These fascists are so intolerant,” she said. “They are so full of hatred.”
“Who are they?” I asked.
“Them!” she shouted. “All the fundamentalists. Not just Muslims.”
Not just the Muslims? What??? This terrifying group of foaming-at-the-mouth “Islamofascists” who tear their beards out every time someone mentioned voting machines in their presence?
The entire conversation was quite confusing. It all appeared to be so hypocritical. We needed to hate hatred. We had to be intolerant of all intolerance. Freedom of religion for everyone but not for everyone. Freedom of speech protects blasphemy and porn, but “fundie talk” must be forbidden. Confusing to say the least.
But the Tolerance Tyrants are a pretty complex herd.
The more radical libertines advocated playing arm-chair eisegesis, finding in every religion and sacred text some super-secret hidden proof of hyper-inclusivism. Reading between the lines would result in discrediting the plain-as-day exegesis of yesteryear. These folks have mastered the arts of reading between the lines and the invisible writing on walls.
The “Agree with us or die” handbook from the First Church of Americanism is quite helpful for those exclusivists trying to understand the ecclesiastical structure for this unpleasant tribe of New Worlders. A woman at the gas station up the road from my home gave it to me along with a pack of American Gold cigarettes and handful of peanut gallery cashews. It appears that America’s founding fathers are high priests who had magical insight into the way things ought to be. Thomas Jefferson, who penned “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” a gospel gutted of supernaturalism, is the chief guru. Jefferson is accompanied by George Washington, the Grand Master of the Freemason’s Alexandria Lodge 22, whose own pastor at Christ’s Church questioned the legitimacy of his confession after years of Washington’s refusal to take part in communion services. The works of Mr. “The bloody Christian faith” Thomas Paine are prominent, with Common Sense and Rights of Man being treated like Chick tracts. Apologists for this “second Israel” see in the Bill of Rights what Paul VI saw in the United Nations: the last hope for mankind and for world peace. It’s even ready-made with its own Magisterium, the Supreme Court of the United States. The devil couldn’t have penned a better catechism!
A few hours ago, right before penning this, I noticed a number of city folk parking in front of the house. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was all about, so I went to the door. Bad idea! Turns out that one of their more vocal apologists, a certain Jay Batman, wrote a piece entitled “The Problem of Violent Fundamentalism: Religious Freedom and Responsibilities Thereof.” A harmless little blog, really… or at least it was until it got into the hands of radical inclusivists. Now they are chanting outside my home! Some even have signs reading, “Peer pressure him into submission!” They went so far as to hire a negotiator. “Mr. Bannister,” he said, “fundamentalists can’t hug their children with nuclear arms.” I tried convincing him that I wasn’t down with nukes and that I’m not a fan of the war hawks, but there was no convincing him. Mass hysteria set in strong, and it couldn’t even wait until I was done with my evening walk.
I’m not sure how all of this will turn out. There is no saying, really. We are dealing with a strange breed; the type of person that will demand you hug your neighbor while aiming a gun at your head. There seems to be no exits, so I’m stuck having to fight my way out of this nonsense. I’ll leave you, then, with my favorite line from my favorite propaganda film, Flight 93: “Let’s roll…”
Here is a link to a previous video You Tube took down.
Molechism is alive and well in America…and it thrives in our churches as well. The greatest repulsion, to many of us, is not that abortion is still going on, rather, that people have the audacity to keep talking about it.
When the sheer ugliness of the concept is shown, proponents want to cover it up. Those who revel in the “freedom” infanticide delivers hate to be conftronted with the reality of what it actually is: infanticide.
If freedom is your god, and the sacrifice is the unborn, I that is the sacrament of Freedom…how does Freedom taste?
This goes out to the Hodges’ kids in Georgia. We miss you all so much!
Jan. 9, 2007
On the first day of my Writing and Rhetoric II class, my professor took us for a field trip to the bathroom… yes, the bathroom. We walked down the hallway and when we got to those bathroom doors he asked if we noticed anything different about them. I looked at the doors in front of me and all I could think to say was that they were opposite of each other, one opening to the left and the other to the right.
Apparently I was way off track. He looked at me, pointed to the doors and said,
“This one says men and this one says ladies.”
Well, of course. I had taken notice of this, but I really didn’t consider it to be of any real significance. He went on to ask,
“Well, why don’t they say men and women or ladies and gentleman?”
We then walked back to the classroom in order write about what we thought it meant. Was it significant? Why?
My mind was in a whirlwind. The topics he was getting at (gender sensitivity and feminism) are issues that get me a tad ticked off.
While I failed to voice my opinion in class, I did make sure to write what was on my mind. It seems like almost anything offends women these days, and it has become quite dangerous.
The question that stuck in my mind revolved around the hypocrisy of the whole thing. I mean, why are the very people who say we have to accept people for who they are so intolerant of people who don’t believe the way they do?
Here is a good example: The Vagina Monologues. Olivet College, where Paleo and I attend, is putting on a rendition of the Vagina Monologues this year. I guess they have done it for many years now. But why is it that colleges like ours, and those all around the country, have no problem with The Vagina Monologues, but students have to be careful when talking about the Bible or religion in class? For that matter, why is it that the Women’s Resource Center has plenty of “safe sex” material and more than a handful of condoms for the taking, but finding pamphlets about abstinence or the dangers of abortion are almost non-existent?
All of this is really peculiar coming from Olivet College. Olivet was founded as a Christian college. Just looking at the college’s sticker on my laptop I can clearly see the words, “Pro Christo Et Humanitate,” which is Latin meaning “For Christ and humanity.” The seal also has the word Torah in Hebrew! I can only wonder what the founders, and especially Father Shipherd, would say about the current state of affairs. More on that in my next post.
But let’s get back to the bathroom doors. I highly doubt that it was put there by some sort of egotistical womanizer who expressed his chauvinism by referring to women as ladies. The likelihood that the person intended to make women feel inferior to men by referring to them as ladies is rather slim. Actually, I think it is kind of a compliment.
I am curious to know if anyone considered the possibility that it was done in good will. What if it was meant to make a woman feel respectable and dignified? Who really knows?
It’s one thing to fight for a woman’s right to be treated fair. It is another thing to take exception to being referred to as ladies rather than women on a bathroom door. As for me, I am glad they chose to refer to us as ladies. If only more began acting ladylike.