In his column today in the Knoxville News Sentinel, he offers a welcome, and some advice to evacuees entering our fair town. A laudable effort, and most of the column is of the down-home, breezy sort we usually ascribe to Sam Venable. But he does mention this:
"You'll likely meet folks from a lot of religious traditions, but fundamentalist Christians predominate, and they'll do their best to save you - body and soul. Don't be put off."Um, Don? I know you're so far left that it just seems this way, but everyone who gets up on Sunday morning to go to church isn't a "fundamentalist". In his view he apparently counts every Baptist church as well as any church that doesn't lean liberal as "fundamentalist". And now you've gone and colored the perception of those just coming off the plane that read your article to believe we send missionaries to the airports to hand out Chick Corea tracts and take up Lottie Moon offerings when we hand you your fries at McDonalds.
fun·da·men·tal·ism Pronunciation Key (fnd-mntl-zm)I grew up Baptist in Knoxville, and switched to the Methodist Church several years ago. In all that time, I've never considered the religious community in town to be predominantly "fundamentalist". Strict, perhaps. Conservative, absolutely. But Fundamentalist?
1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
1. often Fundamentalism An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
2. Adherence to the theology of this movement.
The word "fundamentalist", taken literally from the definition above, might be fairly accurate but that's not what Don means - he means, "Fundamentalist", with a Capital F. You know, the bible-thumpers, the sin-shouters, the far-right-conservative-fire-and-brimstone preachers that pronounce doom and gloom on everyone who doesn't believe the way they do. The ones that denounce and ridicule the people who dare to think differently than they, that look down on those less "enlightened" than they.
Methinks the columnist doth protest too much.
But Don's columns used to be interesting, giving the alternate liberal perspective to a, true, predominantly conservative mindset in Knox County and East Tennessee. But like so many other Democrats and liberals their hatred for Bush winning the 2000 election automatically required them to hate and protest the war in Iraq and hate all the folks who support it, so what can you do? I mean, really, it's right there on the membership card. To vote Democratic in the 21st Century means you have to consider Bush the worst threat to peace in the last 1000 years and oppose all that he and his administration stand for in the War against Terror. There's no discussion, no room for actual thoughtful consideration of facts and logic. Liberal? Sign here, pick up your blinders at the next table and Fundamentalist manual as you leave.