Moreover, provocateurs and ridiculers expose the stupidity of the fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are people who take everything literally. They are incapable of multiple viewpoints. They are incapable of seeing that while their religion may be worthy of the deepest reverence, it is also true that most religions are kind of weird. Satirists expose those who are incapable of laughing at themselves and teach the rest of us that we probably should.
So this is fundamentalism: "fundamentalists are people who take everything literally" and "are incapable of multiple viewpoints." You can't take Brooks literally to understand what he says, so maybe I'm not a fundamentalist, because he really means, fundamentalists take everything their sacred book says literally. And yes, folks like me take everything in the Bible literally, that is, grammatically and historically, or in other words, we understand scripture according to its plain sense.
A man like Brooks doesn't understand the Bible or literal interpretation (yet he's a "conservative"). I suspect he's someone who questions parts of the dietary restrictions or the talking snake or the man swallowed by the big fish, which also means he doesn't understand history (as told by God in the Bible).
One, to take the Bible literally, you believe the supernatural parts, which are almost everything in it. If you don't want to believe the supernatural stuff, you have to allegorize it all, that is, make it mean what you want it to mean (otherwise known as rewriting it). You run into trouble on the first sentence, especially "God created." Once you've accepted the greatest, all the lesser, everything else in the Bible, is easy. Believing in God is to believe the supernatural. God is the point of the book.
Brooks though has got to have the Bible be an all natural book with an all natural interpretation. That takes God out of the equation. Have a good time with that.
Two, if you take God out of the Bible, you're then left with multiple viewpoints. There's a ratio even to this. The less God there is in the Bible, the more multiple viewpoints, the ones made-up by people rewriting the Bible according to their own imaginations.
Without God, multiple viewpoints are valid, so the Bible doesn't matter much any more. The Bible already doesn't matter to Brooks, so he shouldn't lecture people, who believe the Bible, to take multiple viewpoints, which includes lecturing God, Who won't be lectured by him.
You've heard people say it takes more faith to believe in evolution than in creation. I think it is good enough to say that it takes faith to believe in evolution. With over one hundred twenty necessities to support human life, before he even considers the existence of the human body, he's believing in his own kind of supernaturalism: perhaps the god of coincidence.
Three, on scripture, Brooks has fallen off the back of the turnip truck -- figuratively -- because we understand that some of scripture uses figures of speech and symbolism. But that's lost on the shallow and unsubstantial. Give him a warm beverage and point him toward a beautiful view -- figuratively.
Four, the discontinuity of scripture proceeds from God's sovereign love. God condescends to man to save him at various times and in diverse, non-contradictory manners. The annals of a nation Israel arose as a monumental portion of God's historical arch. Through the seed of Abraham would all the nations of the earth be blessed.
Five, the apex of stupidity is losing your own soul, even for the whole world, let alone a commentary gig on PBS and a slot on the New York Times op ed page. When Brooks wrote, "stupidity of the fundamentalists," and "most religions are kind of weird," he took the role of provocateur and ridiculer for a moment. Most fundamentalists are stupid, just on average less stupid than most others, and most religions are kind of weird, all of them but one. Intellectual suicide, which Brooks commits, is both stupid and weird.
When you believe in one God, who is the Author of scripture, you have to believe one interpretation of scripture. The founding fathers only meant one thing when they wrote the constitution and they were quite fallible human beings. Since God wrote scripture, you're stupid and weird to take the self-contradicting position of several truths, like Brooks does with his embrace of "multiple viewpoints." He compares to a fifth grader looking for another interpretation for "clean your room."
Multiple viewpoints arise out of necessity from a relativistic society, which don't represent the Bible or even a legitimate God, let alone the one and true God, the God of the Bible. Brooks, gazing over the side of El Capitan at Yosemite, doesn't take several viewpoints on gravity. If he sees writing in the sand, he isn't okay with "the wave or the wind caused that." He's just not that stupid or weird.