A lot of readers found it ironic that in order to locate all the re-shelved Bibles during last Saturday's scavenger hunt, I entered the mindset of someone who I figured was a Christian fundamentalist. I thought, "If I were going to spread God's Word to the heathen masses, where would I put them?" So, it was a no-brainer finding Bibles re-shelved in Erotica, Alcoholic Beverages, Sexuality, War, Romance and Sci Fi.
As you know, it turned out that the culprits were not fundie Christians but some ardent Atheists who felt that the Bible needed to be relocated to areas of the store that best reflected its contents. In the end, the mind of the fundie Christian ended up mirroring the mind of the ardent Atheist. And so, I am lead to ask the obvious question: what makes a fundie a fundie?
When I first left the Jehovah's Witnesses, I spent a lot of time on discussion boards. First, an ex-jw one that became my second home. Then, as the ex spent much time on religious boards debating young earth creationists and other Bible-defenders, I ended up on those kind of boards and ultimately on the Richard Dawkins forum.
Over time it seemed to me that those on both sides of the line, ardent atheists and fundamental Christians, were more similar than different. While their beliefs were at opposite ends of the spectrum, their method of delivery was often just as vitriolic.
And so, I wonder if the fundie label is less about beliefs and more about the intention behind them as well as the manner in which said beliefs (non-beliefs included) is delivered. When I first made the gigantic leap from god-believer to non-believer I took my fundamentalist attitude with me. In the early days of this blog, I felt that I had to defend atheism, as my new-found non-faith. In my head, I found the same kind of judgment for believers that I once had for non-believers. And then, my soul went Uh-oh. I realized that I was just trading hats.
Today, I prefer to identify myself as a humanist rather than an atheist. For me, the term atheism puts me on a scale of belief that I see no need to be on. Granted, I understand that with all social evolution, there is a tendency to swing to the extremes before a balance is found. I trust that in time, the pendulum will swing back to centre, to a state of humanism, where our worth as humans is not dependent on belief systems one way or another. Because really, are any of us what we believe?