Tag Archives: history

Making History Again (And Again Nobody Notices)

Last year we featured a trip to Washington by a group of fundy pastors who wandered about, met with a few staffers, sang on the Capitol steps and then congratulated themselves roundly on how they’re changing the course of our nation’s future.

Well…this week they’re back at it again.

(notice the cover of the New Testament this guy is handing out)

…and of course the Internets are full of their tweets

…and again they make a photo op out of singing on steps

…and again it’s a lot more about being seen than actually accomplishing anything.

I’m sure Washington will never be the same.

SFL Flashback: The Founding Fathers

This post was originally featured on SFL in June of 2009

To many fundamentalists, the Founding Fathers rank right up there with the Twelve Apostles as men to be admired and followed. Their crowning achievement was to plant this country, the Baptist States of America. This name was later changed to the “United States” by the evil left-wing Department of Education who, according to WorldNetDaily, also recently mandated that all public school children must take an oath of allegiance to Satan.

There is no doubt that the founding fathers were a pretty amazing bunch of guys. They were smart and driven, and they loved freedom. The Constitution they drafted stands as one of the most amazing documents in modern history. But while most of these founders were religious men, strangely enough not one of them was a Baptist. In fact, the plurality of them were Anglicans with a good number of Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Quakers mixed in. One would suppose that good fundamental Baptists would be a bit perturbed by their denomination being underrepresented in the founding of the nation but somehow it never actually comes up in the sermons on God and Country Sunday.

Back when the country was founded, it was a great place. The Founding Fathers outlawed Democrats, rock music, and votes for women. The pregnancy rate for fourteen-year-old was high, but since they’d already been married for two or three years by that point it was to be expected. Everybody went to church on Sunday and most folks worked hard from sun-up to sundown doing things like selling slaves, planting tobacco, and displacing Indians from their homelands. It’s easy to see why these times would evoke nostalgia in many fundamentalists.

If fundamentalists had a process for canonizing saints, one can rest assured that the Founding Fathers would find their place enshrined in their lists, right down to the last beer-swilling, slave-owning philanderer among them.

A Brief History of Fundamentalist Time

Time in fundyland is neatly sliced into three categories as follows.

The Glorious Past

The Glorious Past encompass everything from the time that Noah put the dinosaurs on the ark up through the time when our old senior pastor still ran the church and had dinosaurs running the music program. These were the days when things were done right. The biggest sin anybody committed was chewing gum in church and those people were summarily stoned to death. It was the era when missionary stories still happened in real life instead of just on flash cards. People were white, women were silent, and life was good.

The Glorious Future

This time will come only when fundamentalists end up running things. The jury is still out on whether that’s done by sweeping into office on the Republican ticket or by coming back to earth and just killing all the infidels in a post-Tribulation bloodbath. Either way the fundies are really excited about the prospects. A good time will be had by all (except the infidels).

The Present Conflict

Life in the present isn’t like it was in the old days so we’ll spend our days working to usher in the glorious future instead of wasting time on the present world. Don’t bother with art and music and culture, it’s all going to burn. There is only one mission and that is to swell the ranks of fundamentalism and prepare the troops for battle. Payday will be someday but not now. Life now is mostly pain and drudgery as well it should be. As it is written: He hath given us all things richly to enjoy the promise that some other day we’ll have fun. To the work!

How It All Began

In the beginning were fundamentalists and they were very good. We know they were very good because they’ve told us so. And their word is God’s own truth.

For when it came to pass that the forces of Baby-baptizers and Bible-changers and Beer-drinkers were threatening to destroy the very Church that Christ himself promised would not fail, then were published a series of writings known as The Fundamentals. And certain of leaders of the congregation who knew a golden opportunity when they saw it, seized upon the chance to use these writings to draw a line between Us and Them. And upon that line they built a Wall of Separation, and in front of the wall they dug the Moat of Standards, and then they forbade any of those within their congregation to get within spitting distance of the wall lest they be tempted to peek around and see the wonders of the world outside.

And there behind that wall the people lived for many years and had many children and even more grandchildren. There they built for themselves good solid fundamentalist churches, and perfect fundamentalist homes for their families, and fundamentalist schools and colleges for their children. They read the right books, and listened to the right music, and watched only the right movies and shows. And if they were not strictly speaking “happy” then at least they were content that they were safe.

Their leaders also were good men, strong and brave who often told them stories of the world outside the Wall of Separation and the horrors that they had seen there. And the leaders warned the people that they should never go outside the wall alone but only in groups of two or three and only such as were strong enough to go on the weekly rescue missions to save dying souls outside. For outside the wall was godlessness and debauchery and music with an unnatural anapestic beat to snare the unwary into the lust of the flesh.

To avoid these evils outside the wall the people also were given many new rules to follow each week depending on what mood their leader was in that day. They were told where they could go and what they could do there and who they could do it with. They were told what to read and what to believe and who to love and to hate. And they were told that true freedom was a thing to be feared most of all.

​And so it came to pass that after many years of isolation from all the evils of the world, that it was discovered that the leaders who so many were trusted were not at all what they had seemed. Many were the stories of their treachery and how that they had used and abused the people for their own gain and exploited the weak and preyed on the helpless. For it seemed that these men were the very monsters that they had always warned the people about and the safety behind the wall was nothing but a sham.

​​​Some of the people refused to believe these stories, of course, choosing rather to claim that the victims were all liars and that the leaders were good, godly men who could never be guilty of such sin. But there were a few souls who with heavy hearts looked at the Wall of Separation and though that it could hardly be worse to live with the evil outside the wall than remain with the evil within it. And so they left. And as they came limping with slow steps out of that guarded realm which had been their home for so many years, a wondrous and unexpected thing occurred: they found beauty and laughter and freedom such has they had never known.

And those who had fled from behind the Wall of Separation and had crossed the Moat of Standards, stood beckoning to those who still lived under the shadow of fear and the oppression of their leaders. “Come and join us!” they called. “It’s so much better out here! There is music and dancing and so many wonderful things!” But those behind the wall turned their backs on the site of this celebration as their leaders screamed even louder warnings not listen to those who were enjoying the milk and honey of the lands beyond the wall. And those behind the wall trembled with fear.

But no matter how loud the men screamed or ordered the people to ignore the things happening outside the wall, the music of that distant celebration would still be sometimes heard. And once in a while in a quiet moment or while pausing from their busy schedules, one or two would wonder if maybe there could be life beyond the supposed safety of their separation and standards. And they tried to imagine what it would be like to live a life that was unafraid.