I came across an interesting sentence that I thought reflects the thinking of our elitist classes. It went like this,
“One might add in parenthesis that a conversion of this sort, a rejection of youthful misdemeanours (sic), a ricochet towards ardent piety, has been the sign of many fanatics in history, not all evil but some sanctified (such as St. Augustine).”, p. 50The comment is about a young Catholic raised in Protestant England in the 16th century. As he grew older he lived a wild life until he seems to have become serious about his faith. At that point he reformed his behavior and later became involved in a plot to blow up Parliament and King James.
I will concede that blowing up the government might be a bit over the top, but what we see here is a popular and successful author labeling as fanatics all people who become serious about their faith and try to live it. Notice that she labels Augustine as a fanatic. It would follow that anyone who gets devout in their faith and lets it influence how they live is a fanatic.
It is this thinking that brings forth comments like “cling to their Bibles and their guns.” It is this thinking that goes through life with the assumption that anyone who seriously believes in Jesus and allows that to reform their life is a simple minded, red-necked, naive boob.
Be aware of how this thinking pervades our culture. Keep in mind that these “fanatics” are the ones who built colleges, founded hospitals, ended slavery, and countless other staples in our lives that we take for granted.
I guess I am a fanatic and have no problem with that.
Fraser, Antonia. The Gunpowder Plot, Terror and Faith in 1605. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1996.
homo unius libri