Fundamentalists: When They're Right, When They're Wrong
By Bryan Caplan
Here are my two Laws of Fundamentalism:
1. In any textual dispute between fundamentalists and moderates of the same creed, the fundamentalists are almost always correct.
2. In any substantive dispute between fundamentalists and moderates of the same creed, the moderates are almost always correct.
The logic is simple: Fundamentalists take the writings of their creed seriously, so they genuinely struggle to figure out their true meaning. Moderates of the same creed, in contrast, want to be right without admitting that their creed could be wrong. So they get the substance right, but do violence to the texts.
Thus, fundamentalist Christians see that the Bible prescribes the death penalty for homosexuality, and (if they’re extreme enough) actually want to apply it. Moderate Christians see that this is an absurd and monstrous position, so they struggle to “reinterpret” their sacred text to make it consistent with common sense and common decency.
More examples? Counter-examples?