Category Archives: Public Life

E-mails from Fundies: Depression Diagnosed

I have been humbled and touched by the outpouring of positive responses I have received from my recent post about my struggle with depression.

On the other hand, I also received this from “Brian.”


You’re depressed? I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. You mock God and you wonder why? Actually, I am sure there are some IFB churches as you describe and other denominations messed up in other ways, as NO ONE person is perfect and ALL churches are made up of those imperfect people. So? I hear people like you talking about the “angry fundies” and all I can do is scratch my head. I’ve been saved since December 1985, and I have served in 6 different churches, and, although I am sure there are SOME “angry people” in those churches, as there are in all groups of people in society, I have found ALL of those churches to be the exact opposite of what you describe. In fact, these churches have contained some of the happiest, joyful and most well-rounded people I have ever met. Check out my current church’s website. http://www.heritagebaptistnashua.com/ Look around it and see if you detect any unhappiness, anger or unacceptance of people from any walk of life. You won’t find it. Like all the churches I’ve been in, it is a place of grace and love. I am sorry you’ve had bad experiences, perhaps in “churches” like the Westboro Baptists, but My almost 30 years experience has demonstrated, across the board, the exact opposite of what this site represents. It’s seems perhaps YOU are the one with the narrow-minded view and cannot see past your bias? Just remember, God is not mocked,and you are mocking His people. BTW, I’m not angry. LOL

Thanks, Brian! You’ve helped me remember why I continue to do what I do.

Forward we go.

Permanent Marker

Let’s imagine that you’re a fundamentalist who got a couple of coupon books that you’d like to pass along. But egads, there’s the name of a pagan holiday splashed boldly across the cover!

What to do? How can we can sanctify this and made it fit for use by good Christian folks?

We’ll just grab a permanent marker and…voila! You can now go consume your fast food without the pall of a demonic cloud hanging over your head.

Friday Challenge: Be Resolved


image by Nevit Dilmen

Christmas is now over for everybody but the billion followers of the liturgical calendar. For the rest of us, it’s time to do our penance for our celebrations by setting goals for the new year to be nicer, get healthier, and stop yelling at traffic.

Today’s challenge is to make a fundy resolution. Make it high-minded to the point of being impossible, self-righteous to the point of being intolerable, and just weird enough to make sure nobody else will have already shared it the next prayer meeting when you tell everybody how the Lord “laid it on your heart.”

I personally am going to take my Bible everywhere I go. My big family Bible that weighs 8 pounds. Even to the bathroom.

The Impossible Dream

Go out into the world and do the impossible — it is your sacred duty.

Go win the lost world whose culture you don’t even begin to understand with antiquated materials and sales pitches that have been gathering mold for decades.

Go tithe and give since God had opened the windows of heaven on you and blessed you with $11,000 a year in income from your ministry job.

Go hold to standards that are both illogical and onerous and convince your friends, your neighbors, and your children that they are the only possible way to live.

Go live a life of perfect adherence to rules that constantly flex and change to suit the needs of fallible leaders — who will always claim that they have just been following their unchanging and infallible Book the entire time.

And when you falter, when your faith is weak, when you throw up your hands in despair and say “this is impossible!” then they will smile sweetly and tell you that you serve a god of the impossible. If you aren’t managing to eke out daily miracles to help resolve the paradoxes of fundamentalism then that must be YOUR problem. No doubt there’s something about it in the book of Genesis.

Dream and dream and dream the impossible. The altar awaits the penitent who just can’t seem to make it work.

SFL Flashback: A Small World

This post was originally featured on SFL in February of 2011.

Although Baptist fundamentalists make up less than 1% of the overall population of America, you’d never know it to hear them talk. How many pastors have we heard introduced as “one of the most influential men in America”? How many times have we been told that some church of 300 or 500 people is at the forefront of the battle to bring the entire nation back to God? Yet somehow with all this influence, the powerful fundy church with its amazing pastor can’t even manage to get the liquor store down the street to go out of business.

The accolades of power and prestige that both fundy churches and pastors heap to themselves range from the ridiculous to the outright hilarious.

– “Adviser to the Governor and State Legislature” (He met them once at a fundraiser along with 632 other members of the clergy.)

– “Books and Tracts have influenced Christianity greatly” (Except that nobody who doesn’t shop at the church bookstore has ever bought a copy of any of them. The missionaries who received complementary copies in lieu of Christmas presents have long since used them for kindling.)

– “One of the most dynamic and powerful churches on the West Coast.” (Also one of the most oblong and unceremonious. I mean if we’re just going to throw around meaningless adjectives let’s go for broke.)

– “Reclaiming their town for Christ.” (And they’re doing it one zoning board battle at a time. Take that, heathen politicians!)

Most fundamentalists just seem to have no clue that the average non-fundy has never heard of their church, its pastor, his alma mater, and their preacher’s fellowship. And as long as they are refusing to have any meaningful relationship with non-fundamentalists, it’s going to stay that way in perpetuity. Delusions of grandeur would seem to be a requirement to be a somebody in fundyland.