Tag Archives: Standards

Redrawing the Lines

lineA favorite fundy illustration is imagining that God’s laws are like a line drawn in the sand and that breaking a law is crossing that line. Not content to leave well enough alone, the fundamentalist then goes on to add this inevitable statement: “A lot of you like to stand with your toes right on the line when you should be as far away from the line as possible. Let me tell you where I think you should draw the line…”

But it does not end there. Not only must one re-draw the line, one must then build an impenetrable wall on the new line and shoot anyone who attempts to cross it. One must fortify this wall with obscure passages and long-winded preaching rants full of illustrations of those who crossed the line to their own doom. This is known as having “standards.”

In time, one may forget entirely that this line isn’t the one God drew at all. In fact, some may even decide to draw another even further afield, rejecting those who hold a different line as being too worldly.

Fundies aren’t the first ones to indulge in this kind of thing, however. Jesus even had a few things to say about some old-school line re-drawers. For details, check out Matthew 23.

Claiming Others Are the Crazy Fundamentalists

No matter how far to the right a group of fundamentalists may be, they will invariably be able to find a group even further off the map than they are to point to as the ‘real crazy’ fundamentalists. Whether it be dress codes, music standards, or theological vagaries, there’s always someone else who’s so much nuttier that by comparison even strict fundies look downright moderate.

Question a fundy about their rantings against Harry Potter books and they’ll point you to folks who don’t read anything but Christian fiction. They in turn will point you to a group who only allow their children to read approved biographies of missionaries. And even they will no doubt be able to dredge up some remaining Abecedarians to prove that by comparison allowing reading at all proves that one is reasonable and normal.

Compared to all that, just cutting out Harry Potter seems downright ecumenical. In the land of the full-bore crazies the only slightly unusual man is king.