January 10, 2014

The problem with evangelical tribalism is that it isn't religious at all

Fred Clark has had a lot of good posts of late.  In this one, he noted that Hobby Lobby may consider birth control a violation of their religious liberty, but they have no problem doing business with China where they force women to have abortions.  Or hell, the one where Franklin Graham chastised Christians for for not supporting racism enough.  

But this one seems to take the cake.  For years, I was told that Israel was God's chosen people, and that we as a nation had to stand behind them (even when they attack civilians).  Evangelicals have supported the current Israeli regime's bloodlust toward Iran and would cheer them to war any day.  But here is the funny thing, evidently Israel has a very pro-choice approach to abortion--far more than we have here, yet the evangelical response is to support Israel and badmouth Obama.

Leighton made the point years ago that the conservative response was tribal, and that has been an incredibly useful lens through which to view modern politics.  Yes, politics.  Evangelicals like to claim that they are Christians first and foremost, and conservatives only second.  They hate it when we point out that they seem to be a permanent committee for the RNC.  Yet, their response to almost every moral or political question is to side with the Republicans. They have opposed healthcare for the sick, and food for the hungry, after all.

But this abortion issue was supposed to be their line in the sand.  Republicans who dared cross that might not get their support.  But Israel has exposed that to be a lie.

Conservative Christians aren't Christian first.  First and foremost, they are part of a conservative political machinery focused on achieving political power, undermining social safety nets, cutting regulations on worker safety and protecting the environment, and making sure that the rich and powerful remain rich and powerful.  WWJD?

January 6, 2014

Why Duck Dynasty's racism and bigotry matters

I post this because far too many people have responded to me with the idea that the opinions of a reality show are unimportant.  Of course that is true, and I have never suggested otherwise.  Their significance lies in who defends them and how.

Fred Clark does it better than me--noting that people like Franklin Graham believe that racism and homophobia are Christian values: "The problem with American Christianity, according to Franklin Graham, is that it’s not sufficiently homophobic, misogynist and racist."

Or maybe Graham doesn't actually believe that.  Maybe he just identifies with the Duck Dynasty people because they are in his tribe, and their enemies are his enemies.

Either way, that isn't good for our democracy, and it certainly is not good for evangelical Christianity.