Evangelical phobia

I recently read yet another article where the author’s biggest fear seemed to be that evangelicals would gain political power, and I feel like I need to respond.

Most people would classify me as an evangelical. Some would call me a fundamentalist. I don’t choose those terms for myself; I simply call myself a Christian. As such, I cannot speak for all evangelicals; I only speak for myself. But I think most evangelicals would read my words and nod their heads.

What are you so afraid of? I want to ask.

Are you afraid that I want to install a theocracy like the ayatollahs have done in Iran? I have neither the desire nor the ability. My Bible says only Jesus has the power to do that, and if He wants to do that, He certainly doesn’t need my help.

Are you afraid that I’m trying to establish a state church and force everybody to attend? Yuck. I want the right to believe what I want to believe, to speak freely about what I believe, and to practice my beliefs in a way that does no harm to others. And I want you to have the exact same right.

Are you afraid that I want to install surveillance in your bedroom to monitor your morality? That’s a laugh. Zero interest in that. Less than zero. Am I interested in legislating morality? Depends on what you mean. I do think rape and robbery are wrong. I do think that six year old children should not be molested. And, yes, I do want to have political power over those who disagree with me on that.

Do you think I’m a white supremacist eager to subjugate African Americans? Come on! Really? I mostly don’t notice skin color unless someone brings it up and makes an issue out of it. My mind goes to an occasion where I promoted a Black man (I honestly hadn’t even noticed he was Black), and my liberal white colleagues shot it down and chose a white man instead because “he looks like us, and he sounds like us.” Hmm.

Am I a pawn of the “Religious Right”? I don’t think I’m a pawn of anybody.

What do I want?

For starters, I want to help people who are in poverty to get out of poverty forever. And, no, I am not at all impressed with the Right or the Left in this area. Not at all. Read my book. I want quality health care available and affordable for all. Again, I’m unimpressed with the Right and the Left in this area.

It’s on my radar that Christians are actively persecuted in 50 nations in the world, and actively discriminated against in another 50 nations. I don’t want that here. I don’t want anybody to be persecuted whether they look and sound like me or not. I’m an anti-totalitarian because history teaches me that totalitarian states are very dangerous places for good people who just want to live a good life. I want good people to be free to do what they want to do.

And so, to those of you who are afraid of evangelicals: Why would these things make you afraid? What is it that I am threatening?

Dwight

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