July 13, 2006


Nailhead, vol. II

One of my favorite things to read in just about any periodical is the letters to the editor. It's fascinating to catch these glimpses into the mind of the public. Some are ignorant, myopic rants, while others reveal thoughtfulness, heart and the craft of words. Being an occasional LTE writer myself, I revel in the freedom of expression that editors give to my kind (though I was miffed at how Vanity Fair once truncated one of my missives - clipping what I saw as the best part, too). Here's one from a recent Chattanooga Times - Free Press letters section that is sure to be a longtime favorite:

Monday, July 2, 2006

Religion approached as ‘all or nothing’

Fundamentalists holding to the literal truth and inerrancy of the Bible fear that if any part of the Scriptures is called into question, the entire basis for our morals, ethics and values is in danger of immediate collapse. Theirs is an "all or nothing" approach to religion and almost everything else. The founder of the Moral Majority and a University named "Liberty," of all things, claims the Bible "says what it means and means what it says."

But when shown that the Scriptures can sometimes be inconsistent and self-contradictory — if taken literally, as they insist — fundamentalists begin interpreting like "fuzzyheaded liberals." I guess they want it both ways.

The saddest thing coming out of the neofundamentalist movement has been the conservative revolution within our most evangelical — in the very best sense of that word — denomination.

This movement climaxed with the firing of seminary professors who dared examine the Scriptures objectively in a scientific and historical context. Once setting the standard for others in funding missions, schools and hospitals, they now spend lavishly on "family life centers" to rival country clubs and YMCAs and in propagating the gospel according to Karl Rove.

Rossville, Ga.


"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." - Sinclair Lewis

I can't be non-analytical, which is why I can't hang with church folk. When they say "The Bible is God's word", I say, "But it was written by people, not God". Then they say "Yes, but it was inspired by God", and I say "So was the Spanish Inquisition." They then stop trying because I'm "prejudiced against The Word, and not open to reasoning".
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."

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