Photo By Jojo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
*tap tap tap* Is this thing still on? So…It’s been a while. How is everybody?
Let me start by saying that this is NOT a reboot of SFL. As the last three years have gone by I’ve thought about this blog and all of you with nostalgia and warmth but with no real desire to return to regular writing here. It was fun while it lasted.
So why this post? I’m glad you asked.
A short walk from my house is a fundamentalist church that I sometimes pass by on a quiet Sunday morning and count the six aging cars outside. Six cars — never any more than that but sometimes even fewer. There’s a deceptiveness there in those tiny numbers, a temptation to assume that because the IFB movement continues its slow slouch towards irrelevance that fundamentalism itself is all but dead. Have a care. It is not dead but sleepeth.
Scan a social media feed, listen to a podcast, pick up a newspaper (if you’re of a certain age) and the kinds of behaviors that fundamentalism has long cherished leap off the page. Try as you might, you cannot avoid the yelling white men in the suits and ties. They bully and belittle. They spread fear and lies. They inspire people to the very worst bargains, offering safety in exchange for your son’s inheritance and security in trade for your daughter’s humanity. “If you’re not with us, you’re the enemy,” they say. We can’t all just get along.
It’s all very familiar — but this time Fundyland has gone mainstream, unencumbered now by the outmoded guise of morality or spirituality. It’s plain at last that many evangelicals may have long embraced the right but never righteousness. After all, why be good when you can be great instead? It seems that the proffered pottage of a little power is all it takes to steal the birthright of millions of the pious. So it goes. So it has always gone. All that has changed is the pretense.
So how then shall we live? What is our way of being in the world? The same as always, I suppose. Be kind. Speak the truth. Love each other. These things are needed now more than ever. Live them in your community. Encourage them in your friends and family. Vote them whenever possible.
The good news is that we’ve all seen this kind of thing before and we know that eventually it collapses under the turgid weight of its own hubris and avarice. Until then I hope to hear that you all are well. Thank you for everything.