(This was the first, absolutely the first image that Google gave me. Honest.)
In connection with the recent Great Evolution Inquisition among my Lefty comrades, a branch discussion emerged about Fundies, or Evangelicals, or tub-thumpers, or literalists, or what-you-will. Everybody knows who we're talking about, right?
Wrong. Here's one of my Red correspondents -- let's call him Strelnikov:
For the past 15 years at least, I try to spend at least an hour a week listening to AM radio religious stations that feature shows like "Focus on the Family", a key element of this movement. It is truly toxic stuff.Of course, the first question that leaps to mind is: For God's sake -- or rather, for Marx's sake -- why? It's really difficult for me to imagine a worse and more useless way to spend your time than listening to Focus On The Family. It won't tell you anything about the world, and it's no fun.
Strelnikov disagrees on at least one count, though: he believes it's informative to put himself through this ordeal. (We shall return to the question of fun in a moment.)
Strelnikov is a born and bred secular New York Jew and I bet he hasn't met many people who take the Bible seriously -- least of all the New Testament, as we shgutzim presumptuously call it. So he really thinks Focus On the Family is informative. He thinks it tells him something about the thought processes and feelings of Bible-readers and Darwin-doubters in flyover country.
Now this is an elementary error. Focus on The Family is a radio product; that is, it's a commercial enterprise with a political angle. It's a show; everything on it is contrived and scripted. It's a fishing boat, and the "Fundies" -- for lack of a better word -- are the fish. Some come into the net, of course, and others do not.
Strelnikov has never swum with the fish in question; he knows nothing at all about their lives and feelings and thought processes. What does a trawler tell you about fish, except that they can be caught and sold?
Now let's come back to the question of fun. I think -- maybe this is harsh and cynical of me, but I still think it -- that Strelnikov actually gets some fun out of listening to Focus On The Family. It's hard to believe that somebody would do something week after week, year after year, without getting some fun out of it. And I think the fun comes from feeling superior to these poor benighted souls.