Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fundies say the Darndest Things

Fundies say the Darndest Things (FSTDT) is a web site. On it you can find a compilation of statements made by fundamentalist Christians. It has two companion sites called Racists say the Darndest Things (RSTDT) and Conspiracy theorists say the Darndest Things (CSTDT) but FSTDT is the money site.

Some of the stuff that pops up there is frightening. All the quotes have citations so you can go back and check the original. Some of the quotes are from well known people. Quotes from Andy Schafly and his mom, Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, Ray Comfort and Pat Robertson appear with some regularity. But most of the quotes come from people that frequent the forums around the Internet.

Some of the people quoted I actually know from my days at the now defunct General Apologetics on Christian Forums and that’s really scary.

The themes repeat themselves in various forms and various degrees of absurdity and ignorance. If you explore the archives you will find rants associated with the following topics.

Evolution is clearly the #1 fundy demon. You can find a constant stream of assertions to the effect that evolution is false, evolution hasn’t been proven, all the physical evidence contradicts evolution and evolution violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

All of the assertions are of course incorrect and most demonstrate not only an ignorance of evolution but of the facts, science, logic and history. What is clear is that these people will accept and repeat the most inane statements as long as those statements support their preconceived truth.

One of the problems is that most of them appear incapable of differentiating between evolution, abiogenesis, cosmology and atheism.

Abortion is clearly their #2 demon. The big problem here is they don’t seem to understand the issue. The accuse people of being “in favor” of abortion.

No one is “in favor” of abortion.

The primary question is whether abortion can ever be justified. Depending upon how you answer that question determines where the conversation goes. Some fundies actually will answer “No, abortion is never justified.” This strikes me as an irrational position.

I would say that abortion MAY be justified in cases of rape, incest, where the mother’s life or health is endangered by the pregnancy and when the fetus is genetically or physically flawed to the point where any rational quality of life is impossible.

Please notice that I said MAY. The fact of the matter is that it’s not my decision. If the mother chooses to risk her life in order to bring a fetus to term, decides to keep the child of her rapist or accepts having to care for a genetically flawed offspring, then she is entitled to make that decision.

Pam Tebow chose to risk her health and life in order to carry Tim Tebow to term; Sarah Palin chose to carry a Down’s syndrome child to term and I respect those decisions.

I would not presume to dictate that any woman, under any circumstances, must abort a pregnancy and neither should anyone else.

However, the reverse must also be recognized. Just as no one can dictate that an abortion must occur, neither can anyone dictate that a woman must take a fetus to term if she feels there are good and valid reasons not to.

Despite the right wing crap flying around, abortions aren’t done on a whim. It’s a soul wrenching decision that is, in the overwhelming majority of cases, taken only as an absolute last resort.

Are many abortion decisions based upon economic reasons rather than health reasons? Yes, I’m sure they are. Is that the wrong thing to do? Perhaps, but I don’t have the right to enforce my view upon someone else. It’s not my decision.

And that’s where the battle lines are drawn. It’s just simply not someone else’s decision when an abortion is necessary. It is solely the decision of the woman involved. As for the rights of the husband, if the woman is married, or the parents, if the woman is a minor, those are conversations for another time.

This one seems to be the #3 demon. As far as your average neighborhood fundy is concerned homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that God hates.

Occasionally you will encounter a fundy that might almost accept that it’s not a choice, but then their position is that it must be suppressed. It’s ok to have homosexual desires as long as you don’t give in to them.

They are also totally convinced that one can be “cured” of homosexuality through what is known as “Reparative Therapy” despite the opinion of most psychiatric and psychology experts.

Let’s not even talk about gay marriage. Fundies think homosexuality should be outlawed with penalties ranging from forced reparative therapy to summary execution.

Other Religions
Fundies appear to despise and will disparage virtually every other religion but recently Islam has become their main target.

I assume this is because most fundies are of the American right wing airhead variety and view Islam as “the enemy.”

The fact that most of them know absolutely nothing about Islam and can’t differentiate between religious and cultural aspects doesn’t keep them from criticizing Islam in general, all Muslims and the prophet Muhammad with the most vile and ignorant accusations you can imagine.

I’ll admit that I have my problems with the Islamic culture and Islam itself but these yokels are way over the top. They also have no understanding of history. I’ve seen more than one accusation thrown against Saladin who was probably, making allowances for the barbarity of his times, the most chivalrous Paladin that ever existed.

Global Warming
They hate the whole idea of Global Warming and consider it a big hoax. Exactly why this is the case is unclear. Possibilities include this is what the fat cat Republicans say so it must be true, Al Gore thinks it’s true so it must be false and God is in charge not man so it can’t be true.

They don’t know what it is, but they know they hate it.

I got something of a new insight from a recent post. Someone pointed out that public schools were actually “Socialism” and the fundy replied that they couldn’t be because they weren’t persecuting her.

WTF? Has someone been telling fundies that Socialism = Christian persecution? It wouldn’t surprise me since most of them think they're being persecuted whenever they’re not allowed to shove their religion and their idea of morality down everyone else’s throat.

Certain People
In general fundies hate anyone who disagrees with them but certain individuals and groups come in for special attention.

Barack Obama heads the list. They hate him with a venom that is shocking at times. Fundies have called him a closet Muslim, a foreigner, someone who hates America, someone who is planning to destroy the American economy and the anti-christ.

Following not far behind poor Barack are atheists, liberals, scientists and the ACLU. I’m proud of the fact that I’m a member of all of those four groups they hate and I voted for Obama and will most likely vote for him again.

Those are the biggies. It is absolutely amazing the amount of pure ignorance contained in these posts but perhaps the biggest eye opener is the “facts” they make up. Everything from “the bible has been demonstrated to be 97% accurate” to “liberals tend to be fatter than conservatives.”

Needless to say there is never any citation to back up their assertions because the assertions are invariably flat out not true. I have no idea what the hell “97% accurate” means but it’s easy enough to verify that the liberal Blue States have a significantly lower obesity rate than the conservative Red States as well as lower crime rates and murder rates.

If I had to generalize I would say that these people have no idea of the difference between opinion and fact, have no particular problem with making things up to meet their needs and no particular problem with redefining history to meet their needs.

The crusades are an embarrassment? No problem, convert it into Christians helping the Jews defend their lands against Muslim invaders.

The founding fathers devised a secular constitution? No problem, assert that, despite all of the writings to the contrary, they based it upon “Christian principles” whatever the hell they are.

If something supports their opinion, they accept it as true without any need for verification. If it contradicts their opinion, they will rationalize it away or simply reject it out of hand.

These people call themselves patriots yet would gleefully scrap the most fundamental principles of American Democracy.

If they had their way the Separation of Church and State, which they claim is a hoax foisted upon the country by liberals, religious freedom and equal protection under the law would all be suppressed in favor of their theocratic authoritarianism.

Christian prayer would return to the schools, Christianity would be the official religion, homosexuals would go back in the closet, atheists denied fundamental political rights and women would again be forced to rely upon back ally quacks when an abortion was necessary. Or at least poor women would; rich ones could always take a short vacation to Canada.

These people would just be ludicrous clowns if one of our major political parties wasn’t bending over backwards to gain their support. That makes them potentially dangerous. The Republicans are playing a risky game. They think they can control these fruitcakes and exploit them for their votes.

Well, perhaps they can, but the German industrialists thought the same thing about Hitler. The one thing the fundies lack, the one thing that could make them a serious threat to American Democracy is a charismatic leader. This leader wouldn’t have to be a fundy, just be able to convince them he was.

No comments: