A short while ago, someone queried: 'Just what is a fundy?'. To end all the confusion, her

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A short while ago, someone queried: "Just what is a fundy?". To end all the confusion, here follows a brief description: FUNDIE (fun'dee) n. and adj. (Var. Fundy; pls. Fundies, Fundys), A member of an American 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. I hope that clears up any confusion. Indeed.


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