There is a tendency to view fundamentalists as anti-intellectuals and it’s true to a point that they do tend to like their facts and figures hand-picked and of a certain slant (then again have you seen what they’re teaching in public schools these days?). However, I’ve yet to meet a fundamentalist who’s children were illiterate when it comes to reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic.
In fact, fundamentalists put a great deal of stock in school. Most fundy churches over a few hundred members have at least an elementary school, with some going so far as to have a high school, college, seminary, and school of home economics all housed withing their walls. Fundamentalists publishers such as A Beka Book and BJU Press make millions of dollars each year selling to both church schools and more home schools than you can shake a McGuffey Reader at.
Fundamentalist kids may not be able to tell you who Immanuel Kant was or why the Beatles were important to musical history when they graduate but most can diagram the living daylights out of a compound-complex sentence and calculate a tithe plus three percent offering on their gross income without picking up a calculator. If they’re like I was they’re also likely to have read more books in the last month than the average kid will have done in the last year.
Anti-intellectual? Perhaps “selectively-intellectual” would be a better term. My mom and dad who sacrificed so much to give their seven children the best fundamentalist education they could afford have my heartfelt thanks.