Bogeymen

The lore of fundamentalism is rife with the terrifying specters of a thousand faceless enemies that threaten to destroy your life, wreck your home, pervert your children, and embarrass your pastor. These threatening figures come cloaked in all manner of cunning disguises. They look like your co-workers, your neighbors, and maybe even your own family members. They are the bogeymen of fundyland and the tales of their evil should keep you from ever straying too far from home.

There’s hardly a group that isn’t a card-carrying member this fearsome horde of evil. Why, if I stand upon the front porch of my house and gaze past our massive Scripture verse lawn signs, I can see the faces of the enemy all around me…

Look, right down there at the corner there’s the nice Catholic grandma who always waves hello to people and gives them cookie as she tries to send them to hell with her idolatry. Also I’m pretty sure that fruitcake she gives out at Christmas has alcohol in it. Every time she gives me one I hand her a tract about how wrong it is to worship Mary so hopefully I’m getting through…

And there is Miguel and his partner Jim. They always offer to cut my grass in the summer and shovel my walk in the winter time but I know that’s just their way of making me accept their filthy lifestyle that is going to be the ruination of our entire country. They do have a really nice lawn, though…

And then there’s that Nigerian family that just moved in on the other side of the street. The man said something about being an Anglican but I sure hope they’re not secretly bringing us any of that African voodoo. I’ll get my loudspeaker system and KJV Scourby tapes ready just in case we need to repel the darkness…

Well, I’d better get back inside now. One of the neighbors just started his car and I can hear it playing that terrible rap music nonsense. Better get inside and make sure the windows are closed so the kids aren’t exposed to it…

In fundyland a healthy dose of paranoia isn’t nearly enough. The bogeymen are everywhere.

246 thoughts on “Bogeymen”

  1. I’ve frequently shocked many of my fundamentalist friends with the revelation that I am (gasp!)(horrors!) a *scientist*!!!! One of those godless, amoral demon spawn intent on dismantling the ‘Godly’ nation our fundamentalist forefathers supposedly built. Nevermind the fact that I still submit myself to Christ (not necessarily to the church) and trust in the Bible for moral guidance (and secondarily as an historical narrative, where it can be backed up with other documents or archaeology). Because I believe that an eternal God could create a universe significantly older than 6,000 years, and that God’s most miraculous creation was DNA and natural selection, for some reason I’m construed as rejecting the reality of Jesus Christ. I just don’t see the connection.

    1. I don’t really see how Natural Selection can be considered God’s greatest creation… especially since it’s entire premise is pushed forward by death. Not saying it doesn’t happen, of course it does. I just don’t see death being a major part of God’s plan for humanity and His creation.

      Unless you mean the computer game. Which is pretty awesome. But I don’t think God made that.

      1. When man fell, God specifically did appoint death to be our lot. Did you miss that part? Our lives here on earth are very much determined, limited, and guided by the reality that each of us dies and our bodies return to dust, a significator that the earth has dominion over our bodies. Resurrection is a miraculous thing, not a natural thing. Death is what is natural for us. Sucks to be a sinner.

      2. Natural selection is pushed forward by reproduction. Individuals who successfully reproduce propagate their genes to future generations, allowing for that genetic line to continue. The genetic information of both parents is commingled, resulting in unique individuals as offspring who share many of the traits of both parents but also come up with their own twists on the formula. The process is inherently driven by life, and the creation thereof. Over time (lots and lots of time) you get the massive diversity of life we see today.

        The fact that God can create all the life we’ve observed so far using ultimately only a very limited set of components (26 amino acids and 4 nucleic acids–ultimately these break down to carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus) speaks to me of an infinitely powerful mind, operating over eternity.

        The fact that life has been shaped over eons by natural forces governed by predictable natural laws shows me that God is active in His creation at every moment. And ultimately that process has led to us, created in His image–and being continually remade with every generation. I really don’t see how any of that is contradictory to the nature of the God we see in the Bible.

        1. @ Fundystan: anytime! I generally get along with most people, even though I keep to myself. Of course, I can do the trifecta with my former fundy associates when I tell them that I’m 1) a scientist; 2) working for the government; and 3) a supporter of women’s rights (and for that matter full and equal rights for everyone not convicted of a crime). I won’t even get into my voting record, or that I don’t believe Ayn Rand wrote a missing gospel. 😆

      1. Its hard being any intelligent *anything* in a Fundy church.
        I would probably make a pretty scary bogeyman myself. I am not a Fundy with a capital “F” and though I do follow all of christians the true Fundamentals of the faith I have had a hard time convincing fundy-types of that. I grew up methodist, but would be happy to attend any denomination. I have even been to a catholic church and have been accused of taking Mass, which actually isn’t true. (My father suffered the same accusation) I am not American, i am Irish. My political views have changed over the years from extreme right-wing to left of centre. I do not worship the nation of Israel. I am a scientist by inclination and training. I do not believe in a Six-Day Creation. I believe the world is older than 6000 years. I like modern praise music as well as the old hymns, and i do not dress up to go to church. I use the NIV and i am open to the idea that Spritual Gifts are for today. I seldom wear a tie, and no longer even own a suit. I have a beard ( trimmed short now, but once rather Bin-Ladin-ish) and wire-rimmed glasses. I have had hair long enough to wear in a polytail (now short) I have a lot of tattoos all over my body. I have tried attending a couple of churches that would be the Northern Ireland version of IFB but have been made to feel like a pig in a synagogue. But I love Jesus because He first loved me.

    1. [I don’t know of any Christ-honoring Christians who have had tattoos placed on their body.]
      I do. We just don’t have time for nattering nabobs like this know-nothing. Lots of words, little knowledge.

      1. I just wonder what effect that sort of article might have on a new Christian….. I’ve been a Christian for a while now, but if people keep asking me, directly, or indirectly if I’m SURE I’m a Christian, I sometimes start to wonder…..

  2. This past week I had a chance to worship with some of the bogeymen fundies warned us about. The music was loud and rhythmic, many people had their hands raised, there were jeans and some tattoos, some men had shaggy hair, the ESV Bible was read, there were references to movies like “Heat” and “Gladiator”, yet overall there was so much humility and transparency, and so much focus on the Gospel and being true to Scripture. I loved it. I loved that a group that fundies would judge for being “liberal” or “back-slidden” are actually sold-out for God, seeking to reflect Christ in our culture.

    1. The IFB claim to be reflecting Christ, but they’re often only demonstrating their own self-righteousness and extraBiblical standards. My desire is to show love, peace, joy, gentleness, humility, compassion, and service.

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