Two Views of the Christian Right

This morning, as I was catching up on my RSS feeds, I came across two opposing views of the Christian Right.

The first comes from fellow misbehaver, Joel Watts from Unsettled Christianity. Joel posted this comic:

The other view comes from Matthew Lee Anderson over at Mere Orthodoxy as he discusses a book The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right by John Shields. In discussing the book, Anderson writes:

But oh, there’s more.  Shields argues that rather than being hostile and intolerant, the Christian Right has invested an incredible amount of energy in inculcating the virtues necessary for virtuous democratic participation, namely: “(1) the practice of civility and respect; (2) the cultivation of real dialogue by listening and asking questions; (3) the rejection of appeals to theology; (4) the practice of careful moral reasoning; and (5) openness to alternative points of view.”

My experience with the Christian Right is closer to the example provided by Watts.  And, I would have to disagree with Shields’ characterization of the Christian Right. (1) I’ve had my Christianity called into question by the Christian Right because I disagree with their views. Civility and respect? Hardly. (2) I’ve been totally ignored or dismissed by members fo the Christian Right for putting forward a differing interpretation. Not exactly real dialogue. (3) Members of the Christian Right that I interact with quite often appeal to theology. No rejection there. (4) Moral reasoning? Only if you toss out the rules of logic! The “reasoning” of the Christian Right is often filled with fallacies. (5) In my experience, the Christian Right is only open to alternative points of view and long as they are somewhat close to their own points of view.

Now, I will also fully admit that it is dangerous to characterize a whole group based on interaction with a few. But experience points towards the former characterization.


3 thoughts on “Two Views of the Christian Right

  1. Thanks for the link and the feedback. Just to clarify, I point out in the bottom of the overview that Shields suggests the Christian Right don’t actually practice openness to alternative points of view. So there’s that, at least.



    • Sorry Matt, for some reason your comment went into spam.

      I did see that point about the openness, but felt that all five did need commented on, at least from a liberal Christian’s view.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. The darkness hates the light. Jesus said it would happen, telling His followers,
    “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.”
    “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

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