Sun 21 Mar 99 11:57
Don Martin
Fundy Test

A titbit from a Molly Ivins column of the past:


Just last week I learned that the MMPI (Minnesotaa Multiphasic Personality Inventory), the diagnostic tool used by psychologists, can sppot two personality traits without fail. The MMPI is so respected that it is now used by many police forces around the country to screen out candidates who shouldn't be allowed loose with a gun. The two behavior patterns the MMPI reveals are tule-breaking in a way that can and often does lead to criminal behavior and...fundamentalism. Maube the shrinks should consider declaring it a personality disorder.

One of the problems we have as a society in dealing with fundamentalists is that the larger society values tolerance but fundamentalists don't. We're prepared to tolerate them and their behavior, and they're not prepared to return the favor. (A wise friend of mine once observed that he did not care for the word _tolerance_ because it smacks of condescension. "I tolerate you" means "I deign to recognize your right to exist." He could be right: tolerance is not respect.)

I persist in thinking that fundamentalists are misunderstood, frightened (with some cause), and generally get damned little of the empathy and compassion on which we liberals so pride ourselves. I also think they shouldn't be allowed to touch the Constitution or even PBS. Liberals have this revolting tendancy toward reasonable compromise: "I mean, really, what harm is some nondemoninational prayer in the schools going to do to anyone? Or a moment of silence, for heaven's sake?" Trouble is, we're compromising with people who don't understand compromise. Tolerance, inadequate though it may be, is still an absolute requirement in a democracy.


(If you have never encountered Molly Ivins, I can recommend her. The above is from her recent collection of columns, _You Gotta Dance with Them Whut Brung You_. New York: Vintage; 1998. p. 46.)

... Through a Jaundiced Eye Darkly--Rheum With a View

* Origin: Nerve Center - Where the spine is misaligned! (1:261/1000)


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