1. If I thought about sex half as much as the fundamentalists I encounter online, I wouldn't have time to do anything else. They're like weasels in heat. And the really sick thing is...they seem to want to mostly think about my sex. (The feeling is not mutual.)
2. Dan Erlander, in his excellent booklet Baptized, We Live: Lutheranism As a Way of Life, in speaking about Jesus' absolute trust in God, notes:
We live by trust and not by certitude. Not knowing if our actions will produce the best results, we boldly act and then boldly trust God's forgiveness if we are wrong...we trust that God is good, that God means us well. We even face death, the end of our striving, clinging only to the promise we believe -- God is good. Until death we obey, even if we see no results. We trust that God will bring the shalom.My interactions with fundamentalists and their theological kinfolk lead me to think that they don't trust that God is good and means them well. I don't think they trust that at all. Their attitude -- toward God, toward other people, toward their own enfleshed existence -- leads me to believe that they believe God's default attitude toward creation in general and human beings in particular is one of contempt and disgust. Their belief that God afflicts human beings with pain and suffering either as punishment or in order to somehow spin the situation into a means for self-promotion creates an image of what someone on a Beliefnet forum described as a "de Sade God."
If anyone ever needed to be evangelized it's these folks, because the news they perceive in the witness of Scripture isn't good news at all -- they've twisted it into very bad news. But I don't have either the temperment or the vocabulary to engage with fundamentalists. I just can't do it. They make me crazy. Keeping my distance from them feels like a defeat for me, but I don't have a better solution for dealing with them.