Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Was Johnny Hart a "fundamentalist"?

GetReligion on the obituaries and articles written about Johnny Hart after his death:
All together now. Please take out your copy of The Associated Press Stylebook and turn to page 213 (in the edition currently on my desk) or look up the “religious movements” reference.

There you will find the following, which has been quoted many times here at GetReligion:
fundamentalist The word gained usage in an early 20th century fundamentalist-modernist controversy within Protestantism. In recent years, however, fundamentalist has to a large extent taken on pejorative connotations except when applied to groups that stress strict, literal interpretations of Scripture and separation from other Christians. In general, do not use fundamentalist unless a group applies the word to itself.
I have been planning to bring this up all week because of MSM coverage of the death of cartoonist Johnny Hart, but have been delayed by sickness, academic work, and various online issues.

Thus, it is no surprise that a journalistic friend of this weblog, Frank “Bible Belt Blogger” Lockwood at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette beat me to it. Here is a part of what he had to say:
A reminder to the New York Times and the Washington Post — Many American Christians consider the terms “fundamentalist” and “fundamentalism” to be pejorative. In the 1910s and 1920s, the term referred to a Christian who believed in the “fundamentals” of the faith — the Virgin Birth of Christ, his sinless life, his atoning death, his bodily resurrection, and his second coming in the clouds of glory.

Since then, however, the term “fundamentalist” has been hijacked. Today, it is an insult, a slur, a code word the Manhattan media and others use to marginalize people. It’s not nice to call someone a fundamentalist when they’re alive. It’s even worse to use the term in an obituary. (the article)
Source: GetReligion: "Fundamental" problem in B.C. obitsSource: The Scriptorium: B.C. by Johnny Hart: “This Warm, Mischievous Feeling”

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