There is a great exodus taking place in Christian circles. Can it be called a loss of faith? I don’t think so. It is rather a loss of confidence in everything at once. Christianity has always been about “the Word,” but these days, words don’t seem to matter. They’ve lost their power to describe and convince in the face of horrible deeds, from climate-change denial to the persecution of trans people to the wholesale abandonment of Christ’s teachings in favor of abusive meanness. The hard-right white evangelical voter gave us Trump. The church sat silent as industrial oligarchs ruined the earth.
According to news reports in the Guardian newspaper and other sources, the president of Liberty University urged students, staff and faculty at the Christian school to carry concealed weapons on campus to counter any possible armed attack like the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. That didn't surprise me. His dad, Jerry Falwell Sr. once told me seriously that if he had a dog that did what "those homosexuals do, I'd shoot it."
There is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God. In the evangelical alternative universe of the home school movement, tightly knit church communities and the following of a number of big-time leaders and authors, physical punishment of children has been glorified for years.
I Helped Start the Religious Right: Here's How We Tried to Undermine Secular America -- and Build a Theocracy
As someone who participated in the rise of the religious right in the 1970s and 1980s, I can tell you that you can’t understand the modern Republican Party and its hatred of government unless you understand the evangelical home-school movement. Nor can the Democrats hope to defeat the GOP in 2016 unless they grasp what I’ll be explaining here: religious war carried on by other means.
I am a white, privileged, well-off, 61-year-old former Republican religious right-wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago. The New York Times profiled my change of heart, saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious-right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.”
The Republican Party base is white evangelicals. So it's no wonder that GOP lies about the country, the economy and the president worked. The folks who base their lives on religious mythology have spent lifetimes being trained to believe lies. On Tuesday they won. Lies won.
Jesus never could have been the pastor of a contemporary evangelical church nor a conservative Roman Catholic bishop. Evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics thrive on drawing distinctions between their "truth" and other people's failings. Jesus by contrast, set off an empathy time bomb that obliterates difference.
The following is an excerpt from Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace by Frank Schaeffer. Click here to buy a copy.
The battle over gun control has exposed a truth the mainstream media is apparently too shy to mention: A bunch of far-right, white, mostly Southern, paranoid extremists are preparing for armed revolution and apocalypse. They speak treason: literally.
The American political process is being hijacked by a reckless, whining dangerous gang of psychologically damaged white men who are far-right ideologues. I used to be one of them. It's time to tell the truth about our white male problem.