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The Ultimate Fundie Reading List


Guest AudreyParker

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Guest Anonymous

A couple of days ago, ladyaudley made this reading list for a fundie FJer: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17010&p=540182#p540182

It started me thinking: If you could recommend a reading list for a fundie (either generally or for a specific person) what would it be? Would you suggest The Handmaid's Tale? The God Delusion? Some Bible Lit-Crit? An afternoon on Youtube listening to Staceyann Chin?

What have you read lately that has made you think 'If only "X" could read this'?

I think we should put together the ultimate fundie reading list.

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hah, I thought about starting a thread like this! Thank you. I'm at work just now, I'll be sure to add to the list ^^

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More Than a Theory by Hugh Ross He's a Christian Evolutionist.

I would stay away from anything too radical. It would just scare them off.

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Stranger In A Strange Land

Elmer Gantry

The Stand

Any or all of the FLASHMAN books (especially for Dougie Phillips since he loves manly adventures)

Siddhartha

The Master And Margarita

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I don't think Hugh Ross is an evolutionist. Wikipedia says he is an "old earth creationist" who believes in "progressive creationism" where a supernatural force created different lifeforms at different stages. He does believe the earth is billions of years old, but he rejects the scientific consensus on evolution and abiogenesis.

I think if I could recommend a book for fundies it would be a basic science textbook - as in, one written for kids.

I would also recommend biographies of inspiring women.

And I would recommend "Good Without God," although, admittedly I have not read it! It might clear up some misconceptions that fundies have about evil atheists who have no morals.

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I don't think Hugh Ross is an evolutionist. Wikipedia says he is an "old earth creationist" who believes in "progressive creationism" where a supernatural force created different lifeforms at different stages. He does believe the earth is billions of years old, but he rejects the scientific consensus on evolution and abiogenesis.

I think if I could recommend a book for fundies it would be a basic science textbook - as in, one written for kids.

I would also recommend biographies of inspiring women.

And I would recommend "Good Without God," although, admittedly I have not read it! It might clear up some misconceptions that fundies have about evil atheists who have no morals.

Hmmm... That's not how his book read when I read it a couple years ago. Maybe I should go back and reread.

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Delirium, by Lauren Oliver. Pretty much any dystopia, really, as it would show the true effects of giving the state control over personal lives (1984, maybe?), but I picked this book in particular because there are fundie-relevant themes. Love is treated as a disease to be cured; thereafter young adults are paired up with suitable partners with whom to have babies. They also have a holy book, which is clearly propaganda; for instance in the story of Abraham and Isaac Abraham sacrifices Isaac for becoming infected with love (no last-minute ram). This might make fundies think about how the bible could be used as propaganda (but probably not, because they'll just see theirs as true and others as false).

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Things I can think of off the top of my (very ill at the moment) head:

A Vindication of the Rights of Women - Mary Wollstonecraft

A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head and Callling Her Husband "Master" - Rachel Held Evans

The Divine Comedy - Dante

Paradise Lost - John Milton

Woman's Domestic Body: The Conceptual Conflation of Women and Interiors in the Industrial Age - Beverly Gordon in Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 31, No. 4, Gendered Spaces and Aesthetics (Winter, 1996),pp. 281-301 (for the SAHD advocates)

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Last week I finished Are You There Alone? which is about the Andrea Yates trial. I think the Yates case really outlines how religious fanaticism can go wrong. Yes, Yates is seriously mentally ill, but she would likely have been so much better off had she and her husband not fallen under the influence of an extremist "pastor" who preached fire and brimstone and pushed the Quiverfull lifestyle despite Yates's recurring postpartum psychosis.

Relatedly, it might also be useful for fundies to read it so that they might gain some insight into why birth control is sometimes not teh ebil. I think Andrea Yates is a prime example of what could happen if your belief system prohibits you from using contraception even when you really, really should.

I imagine, however, that any fundy who actually did read the book would just say that such severe mental illness is clearly the work of Satan, and isn't it great that Andrea and her husband continued practicing Quiverfull despite the detrimental effects on her health and the ultimate outcome.

(I'd actually recommend this book to everyone. It was a fast read, though obviously pretty wrenching. I was fairly young when the murders happened, and was only vaguely aware of the details surrounding the case. Reading the book really emphasized for me just how sick Andrea was and how many times someone could have stepped in and gotten help for her, because she so clearly needed it. It just seems like everyone around her thought she'd "get over it" and continue popping out kids and being a good housewife. I can't imagine what that poor woman's life has been like.)

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Honestly, I'd start them off the the Anne books & maybe Little Women too. They would need something easy to begin with if all they are used to the the Little House books & the Bible being read to them by their fathers.

Maybe a textbook or essay that covers ancient myth & the origins of abrahamic religion?

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Gisèle Halimi "The cause of women." This is a woman who has made ​​it possible to legalize abortion in75. This book takes place several arguments on "when life begins" and "is the religious debate should interfere with the political debate" which are very convincing, even for a fundamentalist.

Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex. I do not like this author (Sartre? Really?), but when she talks about women, it is genial and truth. And that which is the continuation of Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler. I have not read this book, only interview with her, but I agree with his theory.

Elisabeth Badinter " the Conflict, wife and mother", about the links between feminity and motherhood.

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John Milton's essay "Areopagitica" (of which sections are visible here). The basic argument behind free speech, plus some really deathless prose:

I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary...

Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates and hearing all manner of reason? And this is the benefit which may be had of books promiscuously read...

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Delirium, by Lauren Oliver. Pretty much any dystopia, really, as it would show the true effects of giving the state control over personal lives (1984, maybe?), but I picked this book in particular because there are fundie-relevant themes. Love is treated as a disease to be cured; thereafter young adults are paired up with suitable partners with whom to have babies. They also have a holy book, which is clearly propaganda; for instance in the story of Abraham and Isaac Abraham sacrifices Isaac for becoming infected with love (no last-minute ram). This might make fundies think about how the bible could be used as propaganda (but probably not, because they'll just see theirs as true and others as false).

I agree... Just finished all three books in this series.

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If I had a young fundie lady to corrupt (I'm assuming she has a young reading level), I'd start her with Grace Livingston Hill and Janette Oke. (Mainly Christian-based romances, but with independent thinking and autonomy. Plus, in this one forum-thing for girls that Sarah Maxwell used to run, there was quite a bit of talk about the "Pansy" books, which were written by Grace Livingston Hill's aunt, so they might be somewhat acceptable)

When she got a bit more comfortable with my heathenish ways, I'd slip in some Agatha Christie, Gone With the Wind, maybe Elizabeth Peters.

Then I'd start her on fantasy. Gail Carson Levine (author of Ella Enchanted), Diana Wynne Jones (Howl's Moving Castle), Patricia C. Wrede (Dealing with Dragons), maybe C.S. Lewis? Eventually, we'd go to Mercedes Lackey and R.A. Salvatore (but he'd have to wait awhile).

I don't normally read horror, so I have NO idea how to introduce that to an impressionable youth. The best I have is Agatha Christie, lol. I'd probably ask around for recommendations about ghost stories, and then we could have a nice little argument about ghosts and whether or not they exist.

I'm honestly not sure if I'd try to make a fundie read one of the anti-fundie books or not. Maybe after she'd become more acclimated to the real world.

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The Bible. All of it, not just the pleasantries.

When I started college as a Christian biology major I was drawn to god by the miraculous order and beauty in my science classes.

When I chose to take religious thought and other Bible classes, I was thoroughly unimpressed and turned off by what I read.

Man have said that people create God in image of themselves. I do not understand how any loving, all-knowing God could be constructed from his/her character in the Bible.

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I'd love to see the kids be able to read wonderful childrens books. Goodnight Moon, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Caps for Sale, etc. I bet many of them aren't allowed to read books like that, books that actually stir the imagination.

ETA: Also, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rainbow Fish, and books with beautiful illustrations.

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I think that dystopian novels, etc., would run into the same wall of non-understanding that caused a reader to complain to C.S. Lewis that his Screwtape Letters were demonic. Remember, to a fundamentalist, simply mentioning a thing means preaching that everybody everywhere at all times should do that thing, and the worst possible interpretation will be placed on anything that wasn't pre-approved by the pastor or the headship. So a dystopian novel about a wildly distorted Bible used to justify destroying people who love too much would be rejected for "revising the Word of God."

I would start adults off with Jeri Massi's Secret Radio series, a roman a clef about life in a Bible college, and I would write the URL for her Blog on the Way inside the front cover. For children, the Narnia books (yes, they include misogynist and racist passages, but fundamentalist kids probably won't even notice at first).

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'This Perfect Day' by Ira Levin. I think they'd be able to totally relate to a population being passive, obedient, and controlled but would have a lot of trouble with the controller as computer vs. Jesus, the casual sex before marriage, and the two-child limit for those allowed to marry.

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Material World, Women in the Material World, Hungry Planet. The Essential Gandhi. A Simple Path by Mother Teresa. The Prison Angel. Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! by Arthur C. Clarke. The Creation and anything else by E. O. Wilson. Little Women. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Deepak Chopra. Thich Nhat Hanh.

Children's books - anything by Patricia Polacco and Children Just Like Me published by Dorling-Kindersley.

Basically, books to attempt (in vain, most likely) to convince them that the world is full of wonderful, beautiful, intelligent people who have different beliefs and that's...OK.

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The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shalin

It is, IMO, a brilliant expose on how goddess worship was slowly lost over the years and replaced with worship of masculine deities as written language developed. The theory has to do with the thinking shifting more from being right brained to left brained. I find it fascinating, and aside from exploration of the theory, it's a pretty comprehensive history of civilization and religion. It really helped me understand the origins of the Bible and Christianity, and did a lot to help get me to the place where I no longer feel enslaved by religion.

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Abortion in America by James C. Mohr

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund

The Weaker Vessel by Antonia Fraser

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