Outstanding article about US evangelist churches being swallowed up by politics


Frank Schaeffer comments on this Atlantic article:

His take is a little different from that of Russel Moore.

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Paywalled, unfortunately.

I could only read the first paragraph. I guess I have already used my quota of free Atlantic reads.

Yes, the unholy marriage of the Church and the Republican party has done great damage to both.

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Paywalled article. :frowning:

Over on Reddit, both r\christianity and r\atheism are talking about it and, although they have two different takes, neither seems to be viewing it positively. Top comments from each thread are:

I think I understand the impulse to preserve Christianity. But why so much concern over preserving Evangelical Christianity? Would Christianity really suffer without Evangelicalism? Evangelicalism has been around for less than 300 years. Christianity survived 1,700 years without it.[1]

If they don’t like that label, wait til they find out what it means! – “Evangelical” is becoming a dirty word to young evangelical Christians.

Addendum: Google cache version of the article


Of course. Change is more likely when it comes from within, though.

See above; the remarkable aspect of the article was that progress was coming from within the institution.

Thanks for finding the cached version, Tim. Sorry for the paywall, but I did not realize that people here read more than five articles from The Atlantic per month. :wink:

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I don’t see it as particularly “remarkable”. My memory is that the Evangelical leadership initially endorsed candidates other than Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries, and were wrong-footed when their followers supported Trump anyway. Most of the leadership seemed to thereafter make their peace with that, and with Trump. Moore seems to be part of the small, increasingly marginalised, ‘Never Trump’, faction of the Evangelical leadership that didn’t. This would obviously leave him (and like-minded institutional thinkers) both unhappy with this new status quo and with little influence with which to modify it.

The problem really isn’t so much Trump as that Evangelical followers had been, for decades, primed to follow whatever demagogue came along to play on their prejudices. Fox News deserves a considerable amount of blame for this, but so does the culture that Evangelical institutions have inculcated into their followers – institutions that Moore himself has long been a leading figure in.


I took a closer look at Moore’s piece to try to determine what solution he was proposing.

His proposal seems to boil down to prayer and Bible-reading. Have Evangelicals stopped praying and reading the bible in recent years? Do the Trump-voting, QAnon/2020-election-steal-believing Evangelicals pray less or read the Bible less than their brethren, or do they perhaps just find different passages in the Bible resonating with them?

Will praying and reading the Bible a little more inoculate Evangelicals against the exaggerations and lies from Fox News, conservative Talk Radio, and other similar sources, that they have been steeping in for the last few decades? I doubt it.


“No no, say this prayer instead, and read this stuff over here it’s much better.” - Sophisticated Scholar

The Bible is such an amazing book you can go to Walmart and get books that tell you how to read it:

I like the promises for everyone. Men, women, women of color.

I’m interested in Ray Comfort’s Scientific Facts in the Bible. It appears to be a quite short book.

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Or they could cut out the middle-man and buy whatever book on how to pray, and how to read the Bible, is advertised, and/or has its author guested, on Fox News and conservative Talk Radio. :smiley:

“100 REASONS to Believe the Bible is Supernatural in origin”

How about PRAYERS FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES with the subtitle When You Don’t Know What To Pray!

“Dear God, I have no idea wtf is going on. Maybe send a horse, or update Mitch McConnell’s firmware?”

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I had assumed Mitch’s pause was for a firmware update followed by a cold boot.

(It will be interesting to see what happens to McConnell as far as another re-election bid. Microsoft already announced that they are ceasing software updates at the end of 2023.)

Short but packed full of misinformation which boggles the mind. Ray Comfort not only interprets the Bible in bizarre ways in order to come up with his “amazing facts in the Bible” (which aren’t in the Bible at all), he does so with a reckless, ridiculous, and even creative abandon which almost demonstrates some sort of (perverse) talent. I would call it nonsense on steroids. It has very little to do with what the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible actually state.

Nevertheless, he also reminds me of a stopped clock which provides the correct time twice per day. The modern banana truly is a product of intelligent design—just not for the reasons that Ray Comfort assumes.


You are mistaken. McConnell Special Darth Vadar Edition™ is a “‘special-purpose device’ that performs a fixed function and thus do not require new user experience features”, and so runs the LTSC version of the Operating System, and so has “Five years of mainstream support” (10 years for the IoT version) from Microsoft.


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