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How To Make Fundamentalists

I’ve been corresponding with a reader, a Millennial who is a believing Christian, but whose faith was badly damaged by growing up in a hard-nosed fundamentalist church. I told him that when I was a lot younger, I always used to kind of admire fundamentalists from afar. I didn’t want to be one, but they struck me as being committed to the faith in ways that the soft Christians like me weren’t.

His response was interesting:

See, it’s the namby-pambies who create the fundies to a large degree. A lack of seriousness and rigor in one group breeds a perverted form of rigor in another.

What about you readers who have experience in fundamentalism — do you agree with my correspondent?

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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