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Location: Ann Arbor, MI // Madrid, Spain

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Which of the following does not fit?

The answer is "C". Pogs (A) and Bonaduce (B) are no longer popular. On the other hand, using the term "fundamentalist" for any person who believes in God but does not qualify that belief with the statement, "I think organized religion is [x, y, or z]" is the popular equivalent of what Stussi was for 15-year-olds in the year of our lord, 1996.

Having finished my exams, I've had some time to read several books that have been on que for some time. While reading one of those books, "Promise Land, Crusader State" by Pulitzer Prize winner (and my former professor at Penn) Walter McDougall, I was struck by the candid religious statements by some of the nation's founders. I wonder how the following three statements would have been discussed in the Editorial Pages of the Times.

1738: Ezra Stiles: "God has still greater blessings in store for this vine which his own right hand hath planted." FUNDAMENTALIST!

Surely, John Adams never thought the Bible offered "the only system that ever did or ever will preserve a republic in the world." I bet he lives in a 'red state.'

George Washington: "Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue?" Washington believed in "Providence"? What a pawn of the fundamentalists.

I could go on and on. The point is, people need to stop using the word "fundamentalist" for every person who happens to believe in a God and happens to be more "conservative" in their beliefs. That's not what the word "fundamentalist" means or EVER meant. To use it in that way makes you the equivalent of some sorority girl wearing ugg boots and a north face liner-jacket, i.e., a popularity whore. Lets go back to the time where words actually had long-standing definitions that didn't change during election years. If not, could you put some more fundamentalist in the fundamental? Have a good fundamental, I'll see you in the fundamentalist.




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