As time passes and Independent Baptist Fundamentalism begins to fade in our collective rear-view mirrors, there is a realization that slowly begins to dawn: “Everybody is somebody’s fundy.” Unless you believe absolutely nothing, have a strong opinion on absolutely nothing, and never ever draw a line between right and wrong, wise and foolish, or the Eagles and all those other loser NFL teams, someone at some point will probably accuse you of either being a fundy or “acting just like them.” And the accusation will probably come from someone else who acts in their own way like a bit of a fundy too. We all have our moments.
Let not your heart be troubled when the label fundy is flung at you like a Holy Hand-grenade. Sometimes this word is used in complete ignorance and the person who is leveling that accusation may simply be unaware of the massive baggage that surrounds the word “fundamentalist” for those of us who spent years being proud of that title. More frequently, however, when this accusation is hurled it is done so because the person hurling it knows that it’s the quickest way to raise your ire and start a fight. After all, what better way to gain an upper hand than by accusing someone of being the very thing they loath? The Internet is full of such who delight in nothing more than performing verbal hit-and-run attacks.
So what shall we do then when we are called fundamentalist for no greater crime than believing that some thing is true and worth defending? The answer is simply this: refuse to engage the fight. Return blessing for cursing. Love your enemies. And smile a lot so they’ll wonder what you’re up to.
For in some way we all have beliefs that are fundamental. We all have core principles we cannot compromise. We all believe in something and that belief shapes us both inside and out. But we can surely do better than to fling the word “fundamentalist” at those with whom we merely disagree as if it is the most distasteful thing we can think of. Let’s save that word for the real fundies. They rather seem to enjoy it.