I was keenly interested in Kathryn Joyce’s The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption, a book about the evangelical adoption trend and the industry it’s driving, from the moment I heard about it. My own evangelical parents adopted two children from Haiti, and I had just read
After James Holmes gunned down moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, a friend of mine asked me if I ever woke up to the news of a mass shooting and expected to know the shooter from our past lives as homeschooled conservative Christians. Given the isolation and the violence we sometimes saw, part of [...]
I could have become Michele Bachmann.
Reading a recent Bachmann profile in The New Yorker felt like attending an awkward cocktail party with former best friends whom I now stalk on the internet but haven’t spoken to in years.
The story describes Bachmann’s influences – including figures like Francis Schaeffer and David Noebel, [...]
Are back-alley abortions coming back to America? In her latest column, Michelle Goldberg points to several examples of women who faced prosecution for inducing their own abortions. One particularly difficult story involved a 17-year-old Utah girl whose impregnator is now facing charges of child pornography. She did not have transportation to the abortion clinic [...]
Yesterday, Fitz argued that evangelicalism won’t split because it’s eroding instead. I agree, and I would add that this erosion factors heavily into the debate over whether young evangelicals are staying conservative or shifting to the left.
Christian conservatives have been trumpeting new numbers that show the evangelical kids are holding on [...]
Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell has just been indicted on eight counts of murder—and just one page of the grand jury report should reshape the abortion debate. The 281-page report describes severed baby feet in plastic containers, a clinic stained with cat urine and blood, unlicensed employees administering dangerous medications, and sedated women [...]
A side point jumped out at me while reading this story in The Economist. The author asserted that evangelical women like Michele Bachmann, Nikki Haley, and Jan Brewer turn to politics because it is easier to thrive there than in “the stiflingly male evangelical subculture.”
The evangelical woman is an endlessly fascinating, complex [...]
On her Facebook page today, author Anne Rice says she has quit Christianity—in the name of Christ.
For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.
In a followup post:
As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.
Rice, who has spoken openly of her conversion from lapsed Catholic to Christian, is not saying anything especially new. But she says it eloquently. It sounds raw and exasperated and expresses some of the exhaustion surely all of us have felt at trying to figure out what it means to follow Christ…
Here’s an interesting piece for those of us who identify with the term “post-evangelical.” In U.S. Catholic, Heather Grennan Gary writes about what Catholics can learn from evangelicals. It says Catholics should take three lessons from evangelicals: “building relationships, creating a culture of conversion and discipleship, and teaching young people how to tell their faith stories.” It is replete with language I consider evangelicalese: “encountering Christ,” “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” and “experiencing God.”
Here is a quote from Father William J. O’Malley, about Catholic catechism:
They’ve substituted formulas and catechism answers for an experience of God. … No one is converted at the end of a catechism.
Much of the article seems to come down to “Catholics should feel more.”
As long as we’re on the topic of conversion, the funny thing, of course, is that a lot of evangelicals drawn to Catholicism think “Evangelicals should feel less. They should think more, like Catholics do.” That emotional “experience of God” is impossible for many of them to sustain without the thinking and the catechism and the long, dry tradition of scholarship. It’s what they find lacking in evangelicalism. It’s ironic: Catholics think Catholics should be more evangelical, and evangelicals think evangelicals should be more Catholic.
Is the political evangelical a mythical creature? It’s become a truism and a source of angst that non-Christians see the evangelical church as too political. But Mark Chaves points to a survey that says white mainline Protestants, black Protestants and Roman Catholic are overall more politically active than white evangelicals.
Odd, given the image. Andrew Sullivan weighs in, quoting Joe Carter, who says “the typical reaction at the grassroots level to almost every political initiative in the ‘religious right’ is “lot’s of talk; little to no action.”
Let’s aside the eternally tedious “young evangelical” and look at the old evangelical. It’s true. When I really think about it, not a lot of the white conservative evangelicals I know are all that politically involved. They vote Republican, of course. They get CitizenLink emails but don’t call the Congressmen like it tells them to. I don’t know anyone who went and rallied against health care. They sympathize with Tea Partiers but have never rallied there, either. They’re pro-life, but that basically means voting Republican.
However, when I look at my own parents and their friends, the nature of their political involvement has changed.
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