Q: What in the world is a fundie?
A: FUNDIE (fun'dee) n. and adj. (Var. Fundy; pls. Fundies, Fundys),
A member of a conservative religious movement that believes
in biblical inerrancy. This movement had its roots in the
nineteenth-century orthodox reaction to the higher (historico-
literary) criticism of the Bible that originated among European
theologians and was accepted by American "modernists".
Fundamentalism owes its name to the "Five Fundamentals", a list of
five beliefs that the Presbyterian General Assembly drew up in 1910
as being essential to the Christian faith. Among those fundamentals
was the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.
Fundies (scientifically: Homo nesciens idiotus) come in two
varieties; (about more later) but are united by the belief that each
and every word ("jot and tittle") of the Holy Writ (at least, their
latest authorized version) is unequivocally true. When they find a
text convenient to an argument, it is quotable as the ultimate truth.
But when confronted with an apparent contradiction, however rational
and logical, they sail away upon the wings of a symbol, an analogy of
hidden or recondite significance.
Although two separate and distinct "kinds" of fundies exist,
(H.n.i. var. ruralensis and H.n.i. var. urbanensis), they can be
typically identified by their ubiquitous possession of a heavily
thumped (but seldom read) Bible; an almost cataleptic and
unquestioned adherence to dated dogma and the extraordinarily
annoying ability of being able to interject their own personal
version of ethics and morality into almost any subject, no matter how
abstruse. As a group, they are exasperatingly uni-dimensional.
H.n.i. var. ruralensis can be typified as a backwoods rustic living
among the 'possums, 'coons, 'dillos and magnolias who is functionally
illiterate. Though some may become transplanted to more municipal
settings; they stubbornly adhere to old habits: mouth breathing,
barefootedness and brainless Bible-based bleating.
A macroevolutionary jump (although most would argue that it is
really a regressive event) is responsible for the other variety:
H.n.i. var. urbanensis. They arose from their humbler cousins in the
deep, dark, dank backwoods but have evolved to exploit the trophism
of bright lights, television cameras, teleprompters and wireless
communication. Basically, a member of this group can be described as
a country bumpkin of the wacko-right turned religious zealot and
usually named Billy, Jimmy, Oral or some other familiar sobriquet.
They drape the mantle of Christian piety around their shoulders
(which they carefully interweave with the American flag), and
stomping off on a witch hunt; ferret out "fellow travelers", "one-
worlders", that archenemy of all right thinking people: the "secular
humanist", and other assorted bogeymen. With a primitive view of
this world and a psychedelic view of the next, they harangue lost
sinners (and those with the ability to think for themselves) in an
impassioned and declamatory style to "REPENT!" and be born again.
Ranting and raving; and spouting smoke, fury, fire, brimstone and
stained glass blather; they pace whatever stage they can usurp like a
whirling dervish with a caffeine addiction. The venue may change,
but the song always remains the same.
Usually, such narrowly unspecialized organisms as the ones cited
above represent an evolutionary dead-end. In these cases, though, it
is more of a U-turn.