Give us that old-time religion! Some links

Slacktivist blogger Fred Clark has been discussing for years the degree to which racism is part and parcel of white evangelical theology. Case in point, the Southern Baptist Seminary decided not to remove slave-owning Southern Baptist names from buildings on campus: after all, we’re all sinners, right? Clark: “This is where we flinch, quaver, and look away. It’s almost impossible not to. Al Mohler’s inability or refusal to cast more than a passing glance at such horror is perfectly understandable. But if we do not make ourselves look, we will never come to see.” Clark also discusses and ponders how slaveowning shaped the SBC founders’ theology. “There is work to be done. For all of us. And it won’t be easy, or simple, or pleasant. But it is necessary.”

“For many white evangelicals, the 2016 election represented a last-ditch effort at preserving a way of life that seemed to be coming to an end.” Which may be why one legal effort claims supporting Black Lives Matter violates conservative Christians’ freedom of religion. As Fred Clark says, this is what happens when powerful people imagine they’re the persecuted ones.

“Andy Stanley reminds me a lot of Earl Stallings. Stallings fretted about Bull Connor the same way that Stanley frets about Donald Trump. He wanted to make sure people understood that he did not approve of that sort of thing. Not that he actually condemned it, mind you, but that he did not approve of it at all. Like Stanley, Stallings lived “in a time of intense political anger” and so his attempts to “put faith before politics” involved “grasping uncertainly at the line between speaking prophetically and making everybody mad.”

Some Trump advocates insist the Bible requires Trump’s enemies to pray for him. At the link, Libby Anne points out the Bible says the opposite in some places.

“White Southern Christians argued that any unbiased reading of the Bible proved that slavery was as legitimate a domestic relationship as marriage and parenthood.” As Frederick Douglass once said, “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.

Libby Anne also argues that when you deny reality enough to embrace creationism, it’s only a short step to conspiracy thinking.

Republicans say it’s wrong to attack religious faith — until they go after Democrats. No surprise: the fundamental tenet of right-wing American Christiniaty is that they have the right to punch down, but nobody has the right to punch back up.

Most of us are not exceptionally virtuous and heroic. Recognizing that is the first step in learning to become better, learning to speak out on behalf of others before it is too late for them or for us.”

“There’s so much potent, culture-shifting wokeness afoot, they complain. Democrats have no choice but to…reject it?”

A city uneasily decides it can’t win a First Amendment fight over a white supremacist church.

“This performance of piety in the face of evil is empty, because it does not deal with the core issue: white evangelicalism’s own racism.”

A false prophet insists as he and his ilk prophesied Trump would win, it must be true.

“I have never seen so much mobilized prayer in my life. If prayer was going to do it, Trump would be president until he was 90.”

“Public opinion surveys reveal a more deeply disturbing truth: that the lie of white supremacy — that white people’s lives are more important than those of others — continues to be one of the primary ties that bind Trump and the white evangelical world.” And evangelical support for Trump’s attempted coup suggests that instead of changing society by changing hearts and minds, they just want to win.

Others see the pandemic as an opportunity to sell their extremist views.

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