AZspot

blue bits. red rocks.

evangelicals

…I just want to highlight this growing rift between Billy Graham’s son and his grandson. What’s at stake here is the legacy of Billy Graham, which means that what’s at stake here is, in a sense, the future of white evangelicalism in America. The Fall of the House of Graham

Often, the Christian defense of what they believe is their religious liberty is framed as fundamental hatefulness, homophobia, and misogyny, rather than disagreement grounded in morality. Much to the shame of the faith, a few who claim to be Christian really are motivated by hate. Those who disagree with them see little point in engaging with them on these issues, which is understandable, but it’s unfair and counterproductive to extend that attitude to all evangelical Christians. If the evangelical worldview is deemed invalid in the public sphere, then the public sphere loses the value of being public. American discourse will be marked by paranoid conformity, rather than principled and earnest disagreement. And our ability to prophetically speak to one another and to our nation’s troubles will be restrained. Is Evangelical Morality Still Acceptable in America?

The problem with banishing members of the tribe for this thought crime, though, is that it gets everyone else thinking about it too. And now, thanks to those hyper-vigilant gatekeepers and those hysterical fundraisers and apocalyptic political campaigners, everyone has had a chance to think about this a bit more for the past 10 years. It turns out that 10 years is a long time to think about something you’re expected and required to oppose without at some point along the way noticing the utter lack of any convincing argument against it. Gatekeepers are losing their grip

…abortion did not precipitate the Moral Majority and the conservative evangelical platform. Segregation/integration in Christian school education did. The IRS in the early 70s began to apply pressure on Bob Jones University for its discriminatory policies and that governmental action led to a gradual but powerful congealing of forces around — mark this down — not the right to segregate but the invasion of religious freedom. That is, conservative evangelicals defended the right of a Christian school to establish its own beliefs and policies and the government had no right to pry into a religious school’s ways. I distinctly remember this debate creating concerns among evangelicals. It was not until about 1978 that abortion became the rallying cry of the pro-Republican evangelicals. So it was not Roe v. Wade but Green v. Connally that galvanzied evangelicals. Jimmy Carter: Progressive Evangelical President

When some Evangelical magazines and websites wrote snarky things about my participation in my gay son’s wedding, several prominent Evangelicals contacted me in private and said, “You did the right thing.” One told me that the hardest part of his job as a denominational executive was hearing from the parents of gay children who were driven out of churches in his denomination. He couldn’t change the denomination without splitting it, he said, and he was glad that he could retire soon because he couldn’t stand the agony of being part of causing pain for so many gay people and their families. A charismatic leader told me had had performed a wedding in private for his gay grandson. People would be shocked how many people seem to support the status quo by their public silence, but privately aren’t there. Brian McLaren

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

It is passing strange that a queer martyr is beloved by evangelicals. Not only do Bonhoeffer’s life and death rebuke the intolerance of the American religious right and their Tea Party fellow travelers, but Bonhoeffer was himself one of the enemy. Then again. evangelicals are experts at adopting heroes, since their community produces so few with both moral standing and intellectual firepower. They have adopted G. K. Chesterton, a hard-drinking Roman Catholic; C. S. Lewis, an alcoholic high church Anglican who didn’t believe anyone went to hell unless they decided to stay there after they died (!); and my late father, Francis Schaeffer, who, until he was identified with the religious right because he was against legalizing abortion, was better known for running what amounted to a hippie commune in the Swiss alps and his work pointing people to the importance of art, profane “pornographic” art included. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Was Flamingly Gay– Deal With It

The most dangerous part of Christianity is when we claim to “know” what other people need. It goes from a “learned set of belief” to buying into my set of beliefs should just be “common sense”. We’re convinced that what we know is the absolute truth, that if you don’t believe this or that you’re going to be eternally damned, but if you do believe this or that you’re going to receive eternal salvation. [Re] Defining Evangelicalism

The gatekeepers declare that there cannot be any such thing as an LGBT-affirming evangelical Christian. Every time an evangelical Christian affirms the humanity and equality of LGBT people, they simply reclassify that person as a “post-evangelical.” Mastering this bit of doublethink makes it easier for them to tell the lies that follow: “Don’t read that person — she’s an unbiblical liberal!” I heard that lie numerous times from otherwise decent-seeming white evangelicals. The only evidence they ever offered for this “unbiblical liberal” accusation was the only evidence they had and the only evidence they required: She’s a, you know … a lesbian. ‘God and the Gay Christian’ is not a new thing

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

It’s interesting that many evangelical groups are quick to break ties with anyone who does not believe that being gay is a sin, yet are cautious and claim that it’s not their right to “adjudicate” when it comes to sexual abuse of children. Evangelical gatekeepers have made another thing clear: sexual abuse and the subsequent cover-up is acceptable within their tribe. Evangelical gatekeepers, sexual abuse, and gay marriage

Face it: White aging evangelicals are the backbone of the Republican Party. Face it: Literal belief in the Bible snaps your brain. Face it: the brain-snapped evangelicals believe in Noah but not in science, especially not in the science of climate change. Face it: American evangelicals are therefore, the greatest threat to life on earth the world has ever known. Frank Schaeffer

A GNT creation ©2007–2014