On this site we often focus on the preachers and teachers within fundamentalism who are shocking and perverse. The bullies, the screamers, the jokesters, the criminally insane, and so on. Truth be told, these are really not the most dangerous people within fundamentalism because although their presentations will gather a certain number of loyal followers they will inevitably turn most people off with their unusual antics.
In fact, the most dangerous of all fundies is the one who gains your trust with reasonable-sounding words and a smile. He is no less a fundamentalist than the crazy variety but he masks his rhetoric in pleasantries and humor. He speaks in soft tones and cajoles rather than confronts. Beware, a man can smile and smile and be a villain.
One such fundamentalist is defender of Creationism — and more recently convicted felon — Kent Hovind. He’s a man who (if you didn’t know anything else about him) you can listen to for a few minutes and instinctively feel you can trust. This just goes to show that your instincts should be locked away somewhere safe where they can’t hurt you.
Consider this video…
He sounds so reasonable and so easy to believe…right up to the second where he endorses a book full of distortions and half-truths by a woman from the lunatic fringe of fundamentalism that is anything but reasonable.
Some days I miss being that trusting.