Doritos & Fundamentalism: Why Christians Should Thank NARAL

A light-hearted Super Bowl commercial about a chip-loving baby demonstrated that fundamentalism never really goes away.

Our cultural engagement has to be more than those reductionist approaches. We have to do more than ask, “Does this cultural artifact (movie, book, show, Super Bowl commercial) agree with my worldview?” That is the fundamentalist approach, exemplified by the NARAL tweet and recent Christian history. Christians must go beyond our own “sympathetic press and evangelistic art” to engage with those who disagree with us. We should critique and evaluate culture, but we should do so at a deeper level than merely determining whether we agree with the propositional truth claims presented.

 

Who knew Doritos could spark so much conversation? A light-hearted Super Bowl commercial about a chip-loving baby demonstrated that fundamentalism never really goes away. It is just repurposed and adopted by a different viewpoint.

There are so many contradictions and absurdities crammed into one tweet that it’s hard to keep up. They criticize it for “humanizing” a human baby. Even if you want to use the word fetus that simply means “an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.”

If you doubt it’s a baby, ask the man who created the ad. The ultrasound video, minus the tricks, is the actual ultrasound of his now nine month old son Freddie. That’s not a blob on the screen. That’s a little boy named Freddie.

Also, if you want to dismiss the ad for humanizing a fetus, you might not want to refer to the man and woman in the video as a mom and dad. Even when NARAL wants to undermine and reject the humanity of unborn life, they still can’t help but use language that affirms it.

Not to mention, it’s hard to take you seriously when you chastise Doritos for perpetuating a stereotype of moms as being “uptight,” in a tweet where you are chastising a snack food company for a Super Bowl commercial. If anything serves to push that sexist trope, it’s a group purporting to speak on behalf of women displaying a complete lack of humor and perspective.

But it’s at this point where we can really see what has happened with NARAL. For all of their opposition to religious right, many on the secular left, like NARAL, have embraced its worst attributes. They have become the new fundamentalists.

New Fundamentalists

The cultural approach of previous generations of Christian fundamentalists was to evaluate everything purely by how well it lined up with a biblical worldview. If it deviated at all, it was to be completely rejected. Boycotts and protests were the preferred method of cultural engagement.

In the end, the Christian fundamentalist approach failed, in part, because it misunderstood culture and its place within it. They believed themselves to be in a position of ultimate power.

They were the “Moral Majority” and if they could just awaken all those who shared their beliefs, they could reshape culture in their image through acts of pressure and coercion.

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