I remember when John Dehlin put up a post with a video (no longer available) about the difference between “fundamentalists” and “curious people.” John originally just entered it as a link that said “The curious, my kind of people.” Then later he put up this post which changed the tone to by tacking on “or does Mormonism Inspire Curiosity?”
The idea of the video was that there are two kinds of people, those that fit the facts to their worldview and those that accept the facts and enjoy what life brings.
I came down hard on the whole video and John Dehlin’s point because I had just finished reading The Black Swan, which convincingly made the case that “the curious” don’t exist in any meaningful sense and we’re all just “fundamentalists” the way the video defined them.
One more thought: Find me someone that claims to not be curious and claims to be a “funadmentalist” in the sense that he uses the term here.
Is there anyone who claims to not be curious? Is there anyone that claims to filter the facts by their belief system and ignore the facts when not convenient? Even Christian fundamentalists would not claim the label “fundamentalists” as it’s used here.
We speak so openly of “Christian Fundamentalists” as if there is some well understood and accepted group of people out there that fit the label and accept it willingly. We scare people with them, point to them as the source of evil in the world, and make sure people know we aren’t one of them.
But take someone that is a self professed “Christian Fundamentalist” and see if they believe they “aren’t curious” or if they “fit the facts to their worldview.” See if they feel V for Vendetta was really about them. (I even made fun of these “Christian Fundamentalists” myself here.)
It not entirely clear if “Christian Fundamentalists,” as the word often gets used, even exist at all in any meaningful sense.
Further, John’s post, far from showing a difference between these Christian Fundamentalists and himself, actually showed a similarity, albeit one that we all seem to share.
It might be time to recongize that the word “fundamentalist” is well on it’s way to being a boogeyman – that which lives under our bed to scare us. As such, I’m no longer sure it has a clear meaning any more and soon may have no meaning at all.
It also might be time to admit that the fact that we use the term makes us, in a limited sense, fundamentalists ourselves by demonizing those we’ve decided fit the label. But aren’t they also real people with real needs?