Ed Kilgore, managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, and self described Christian progressive (we won’t hold it against him), liked these words from Obama’s Notre Dame speech:
[T]he ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.
This doubt should not push us away from our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, and cause us to be wary of self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open, and curious, and eager to continue the moral and spiritual debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame.
Fundamentalism, particularly in its political application, is typically based on the redefinition of “humility” as a rejection of civility and mutual respect as an act of obedience to God, whose revelation of His will, through scripture, teaching or tradition, is so clear that only selfishness and rebellion could explain the persistence of doubt. This inversion of the “fear of God” as requiring aggressive and repressive self-righteousness has been responsible for endless scandals of faith over the centuries, quite often in conjunction with the divinization of culturally conservative causes from slavery to nationalism to patriarchy.
Now, how do we get actual fundies to associate the word “fundamentalism” with doubt and humility?