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The Problem with Fundies




I was pleased to read about the "ambiguously Christian" pastors of Catalyst Church ("Beer Me, Jesus," Aug. 19). The contrast between Dan Davis and Baptist pastor Larry McCain is the worldwide religious problem in microcosm. People seek certainty in the kind of fundamentalism that McCain (and Islamic fundamentalists and Jewish fundamentalists and Hindu fundamentalists) preach, even if their doctrines are based on selective reading of their sacred texts and selective history.

McCain is for "traditional marriage," but which tradition? There is the tradition where the parents arrange the marriage and the bride's father pays the groom a bribe in the form of a dowry to get rid of his daughter. There is the tradition where a man has multiple wives. There is the tradition where a man may divorce his wife if she does not produce sons. All of these are Biblically sanctioned forms of traditional marriage, so why should they be a hindrance to McCain and his ilk?

Anyone who can declare the Bible inerrant when its various books cannot agree about the day of the week on which Jesus' crucifixion occurred, much less what he said and did during that foundational moment of the Christian religion, should have no difficulty sweeping minor discrepancies in marriage practice under the carpet. In contrast, I find Davis' view of the Bible as literature and his willingness to reevaluate his stance on gay marriage refreshing and realistic. Would that more people could gracefully accept the ambiguity that is the reality of life.

Stephen Sottong, Eureka

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