Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Always Gotta Check the List of Approved Stances

Image source.

Fred Clark's post Evangelicals notice predatory lending, agree it’s Bad contains this insight on white American evangelical culture:
The NAE is an umbrella group representing dozens of small Protestant denominations and more than 45,000 churches. These are white evangelical folk, so they tend to be very politically conservative. Or, rather, they tend to define their faith in terms that are politically conservative — their religious identity is both political and conservative. What that often means in practice is that they double-check their impulses and instincts to ensure they’re not getting out of line with orthodox conservative politics.

As I often note here, most of these folks are Very Nice People — far more like Ned Flanders than like James Dobson (even though, inexplicably, they mostly like Dobson). And like most Very Nice People, when they begin to understand the facts of predatory lending — to see the outrageous interest rates and cascading fees forced upon the poor and defenseless — they think it seems wrong. As in, there ought to be a law against it wrong.

Yet when they double-check to see if this is an acceptable reaction, they find that this view has been framed as dangerously liberal. It’s something championed by Satanic baby-killers like Elizabeth Warren and Eric Holder, and agreeing with people like that can get you in a lot of trouble in the white evangelical world.

This is TOTALLY EXACTLY how it works.

Back when I was a "good Christian," I knew there were certain things you could not agree with if you were a "good Christian." There were certain words that immediately raised little red flags, indicating the person using such words is not a "real Christian."

If you notice that LGBT teenagers face bullying and you want to say, hey, bullying is WRONG, you better throw in a lot of disclaimers about "BUT I don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle."

If you are imagining a situation where a woman is pregnant and the fetus has so many health problems that it would only live for a few hours after birth, and you start to think, ya know, maybe abortion is a good decision in this case- well you better not say that out loud. "Good Christians" know abortion is always wrong, logic be damned.

Other red flags: world peace, "God wants people to be happy", feminism, caring about the environment, evolution, safe sex, not believing in hell, and talking too much about love.

Like, for example, if someone says, "God is love." Wow, what a bunch of wishy-washy crap. Probably not a real Christian, right?

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