homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Evangelicals and fascism (Page 1)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Evangelicals and fascism
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I was trying to decide if this thought fitted on any existing thread and thought maybe it was too much of a tangent.

So the background is that I have been thinking about the Holocaust, 1930s Germany and the contemporary rise of fascism.

Anyway, I was in an Evangelical church (small, non denom, typical of this area) this morning and the preacher was talking about the Beatitudes. He was being fairly direct but wasn't really a shouty Hell-and-Brimstone preacher.

At the end of a fairly ordinary half-baked discussion of the Beatitudes, he launched into a rant about the declining moral standards of society in particular focussing on gay marriage.

It is a long time since I've heard that kind of statement preached from the front, but it made me think about whether Evangelicals in particular leave themselves open to fascist tendencies because presumably a candidate who focuses on push button issues for Evangelicals (abortion, gay marriage) sounds more similar to the message from the front than one talking about protecting refugees.

As my wife said afterwards, this position is incoherent anyway - on one hand evangelicals talk about doing things that are "against the worldly way of things" and the importance of taking a personal conscience position. On the other hand they seem to think it is appropriate to use the state to enforce politically their religious view on everyone else.

I also wondered if we are seeing the beginning of a Bonhoeffer style Confessing church. It is hard to see gay marriage as more of a problem than fascism and Trumpism, in my opinion, even if you believe gay marriage is evil. Either we oppose fascism or we are appeasing it.

Thoughts?

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I wouldn't have wanted to sit through that sermon mr. Cheesy.

We do seem to have entered a period in history where many folk are hell bent on calling each other nazis.
It really is quite difficult to see where things are headed at present. A lot of things are messing with a lot of people's heads and... (switching of the irony detector for a moment), mass internet communication doesn't appear to be helping much.

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3110 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Mmm well I think fascism is quite well defined and people can legitimately call something fascism when it is fascism. Nazism is not a term I use because it has deeper implications even beyond fascism and one risks hyperbole by bandying it about.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Steve Langton
Shipmate
# 17601

 - Posted      Profile for Steve Langton   Email Steve Langton   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
by mr cheesy;
quote:
As my wife said afterwards, this position is incoherent anyway - on one hand evangelicals talk about doing things that are "against the worldly way of things" and the importance of taking a personal conscience position. On the other hand they seem to think it is appropriate to use the state to enforce politically their religious view on everyone else.
Which is why I'm an Anabaptist rather than that (actually rather less 'Bible-believing' [Smile] ) kind of evangelical....
Posts: 2149 | From: Stockport UK | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Which is why I'm an Anabaptist rather than that (actually rather less 'Bible-believing' [Smile] ) kind of evangelical....

1. Not sure anyone cares
2. Not sure that this really counts as a meaningful contribution to this topic anyway.

I am not an evangelical. That's got nothing to do with the OP either.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm with Steve on this.

And I would also say that, in my experience, many evangelicals tend to prioritise "personal ethics" issues (including marriage etc.) above the wider ills of society (human rights abuses, political injustice, wealth inequality) which, to my mind, are more important. I'm not sure why that should be so, and of course it's not universal.

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Mmm well I think fascism is quite well defined ...

Since it's been my experience that people have found it all to easy to trade 'fascist' about as a convenient insult, to take this discussion anywhere useful, I think you'll need to define exactly what you understand the words 'fascism' and 'fascist' to mean.

Do you mean:-
-Anything vaguely more right wing than you are?

-Being a follower of Mussolini?

-Conducting public affairs based on authoritarianism?

-Demagoguery as a substitute for a political philosophy?

-Enterprise being supported or otherwise depending on whether it furthers the state's goals?

Or what?

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7392 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

 - Posted      Profile for ThunderBunk   Email ThunderBunk   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Ethics is by nature an interpersonal exercise. Morals are intrapersonal. The inability of evangelicals to tell the difference is responsible for a lot of the mess the Church of England is in now. It tries to do ethics as if they were really morals.

The substitution of moral for ethics in turn creates the quietism which becomes fascism when it fully embraces its own deep lack of concern for anything beyond its own boundaries, unless it has the exciting opportunity to condemn it for not resembling what is within them.

[ 29. January 2017, 16:06: Message edited by: ThunderBunk ]

--------------------
Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 2147 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, that's a fair challenge.

Wikipedia defines it better than I can, but I'd say in brief it is a tendency to believe that blame for society's ills can be put onto particular groups of people; that the solution is to have the "correct" people in charge and a tendency towards militarism, authoritarianism, violent crackdowns and the erosion of civil liberties.

Where it intersects with Evangelicals is that in the 1930s it drew popular support by appealing to causes which were on the minds of the respectable and the religious whilst at the same time punishing those defined as weak.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Penny S
Shipmate
# 14768

 - Posted      Profile for Penny S     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The connection between Evangelicals and fascism is shown in Sinclair Lewis's "It Can't Happen Here" published in 1935.
Posts: 5778 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
There are several definitions of fascism around, some of the 'here are eleven traits, pick any eight' variety.

I'd say you need a combination of populism, authoritarianism, and militarism.
Militarism is the glorification of war, and a desire to run the country as much as possible like an army.
Authoritarianism is the cult of a strong leader, and suppression of dissent.
Populism is an appeal to 'the people'.
Combined with authoritarianism, populism becomes a movement defining the people against various groups within society who are Not part of the people. It is anti-egalitarian although happy to attack elites that are opposed to its agenda. It's also anti-intellectual where the intellectual criticises the agenda.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10424 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
roybart
Shipmate
# 17357

 - Posted      Profile for roybart   Email roybart   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Attributed ( probably incorrectly ) to Sinclair Lewis:
quote:
When fascism comes to America it will be carrying a flag and waving a cross.
Key phrase, it seems to me, is "to America." This may have to do with the USA'S distinct history and mix of cultures. I'm not so sure about European evangelicals

--------------------
"The consolations of the imaginary are not imaginary consolations."
-- Roger Scruton

Posts: 536 | From: here | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It horrifies me. My prayer today in church was that the church could be a witness to righteousness, rather than abetting evil. I immediately felt that this was not a prayer that was going to get an OK from above.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5841 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

 - Posted      Profile for Eutychus   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by roybart:
I'm not so sure about European evangelicals

I'm all but certain a significant number of French evangelicals will vote Marine Le Pen in both rounds of our forthcoming presidential election and do so through a combination of misplaced nationalism and "Christian" values.

Her niece, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, is the grand-daughter of an Assemblies of God pastor not too far from where I live (although not protestant-friendly in her soundbites).

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

Posts: 17316 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I would suggest that any strongly held religious position could, under the right (or wrong) circumstances be channelled in an unhealthy or fascistic direction.

The RC Church in Franco's Spain for instance.

Or Pentecostalism under Rios Montt in Guatemala.

It's something we all have to be vigilant about.

What I'm also wary of, though, is the use of the term 'fascism' in a very loose sense.

I think we'd be better looking for alternative terms - 'extreme authoritarianism', 'extreme nationalism' etc ...

There's such a thing as 'Islamo-Fascism' of course characterised by extreme anti-Semitism and scarily fundamentalist approaches to issues of morality, sexuality and so on.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15529 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I absolutely believe there are fascist tendencies in many religious groups, but that wasn't what I was asking. Let's not get into whataboutery.

Incidentally, I think a "fascist tendency" is to give tacit support to fascists, one isn't necessarily a fascist oneself. I think overt evangelical fascists are rare.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

 - Posted      Profile for anteater   Email anteater   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Mr Cheesy:
quote:
it made me think about whether Evangelicals in particular leave themselves open to fascist tendencies because presumably a candidate who focuses on push button issues for Evangelicals (abortion, gay marriage) sounds more similar to the message from the front than one talking about protecting refugees
I have a number of issues with this.

1. Do you really believe that issues such as abortion, gay marriage are specifically Evangelical issue as opposed to Conservative Christian issues? I was not aware that either the RCC or the Orthodox churches are soft on these. So I think your argument should be framed in terms of socially conservative christians.

2. Most people would define Fascism as entailing the suppression of democracy, and would see the two evils twins as Communism (totalitarianism of the Left) and Fascism (ditto of the right). Where we have had fascist governments in Spain, Portugal, Venezuela etc, these have all been in Catholic countries and supported by the RCC, which means that Evangelicals were often given a hard time (e.g. in Franco's Spain) and are therefore pretty prejudiced against fascism, which they see as a Catholic aberration, generally conceded now as a thing of the past. I've never met any Evangelicals who are not strongly pro-democracy, especially if they are from a Dissenting tradition.

3. I do agree with you that Christians in general are stronger on private morality than political morality, and I think this is one area where Evos are weaker through standing aside from politics. Of course, from about 30-ish years ago, the US Republican party successfully politicised the Evo church, such that it is now associated in many minds with support of Trump, largely for the reasons you gave..

--------------------
Schnuffle schnuffle.

Posts: 2529 | From: UK | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
I have a number of issues with this.

1. Do you really believe that issues such as abortion, gay marriage are specifically Evangelical issue as opposed to Conservative Christian issues? I was not aware that either the RCC or the Orthodox churches are soft on these. So I think your argument should be framed in terms of socially conservative christians.

Whataboutery. I'm not asking about the Orthodox or RCC largely because I don't know anything much about them.

And no, I don't believe that all Conservative Evangelicals believe in influencing the law on gay marriage to try to get the whole country to conform to their norms.


quote:
2. Most people would define Fascism as entailing the suppression of democracy, and would see the two evils twins as Communism (totalitarianism of the Left) and Fascism (ditto of the right). Where we have had fascist governments in Spain, Portugal, Venezuela etc, these have all been in Catholic countries and supported by the RCC, which means that Evangelicals were often given a hard time (e.g. in Franco's Spain) and are therefore pretty prejudiced against fascism, which they see as a Catholic aberration, generally conceded now as a thing of the past. I've never met any Evangelicals who are not strongly pro-democracy, especially if they are from a Dissenting tradition.
Again I'm not getting into whayaboutery. I know plenty of Evangelicals who believe that the State should enforce their views on abortion and gay marriage and who are therefore anti-democracy in the sense of not accepting that they live in a plural society and not accepting that the State needs to be fair to everyone.

quote:

3. I do agree with you that Christians in general are stronger on private morality than political morality, and I think this is one area where Evos are weaker through standing aside from politics. Of course, from about 30-ish years ago, the US Republican party successfully politicised the Evo church, such that it is now associated in many minds with support of Trump, largely for the reasons you gave..

I'm not sure I said that. I said that Evangelicals often seem to want to spread their beliefs into wider society by political influence.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

 - Posted      Profile for anteater   Email anteater   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Mr Cheesy:
quote:
Again I'm not getting into whayaboutery.
Why then did you specifically question whether Evangelicals had these problems, as opposed to Chritians? Has you not done so I would not have pointed out that your argument doesn't really work as a specific critique of Evangelicals.

I don't know how well you understand evangelicals, given you admit you are not one. Neither am I but I was for many years.

It's easier to see problems in traditions that are not yours.

--------------------
Schnuffle schnuffle.

Posts: 2529 | From: UK | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Why then did you specifically question whether Evangelicals had these problems, as opposed to Chritians? Has you not done so I would not have pointed out that your argument doesn't really work as a specific critique of Evangelicals.

Huh? No idea what that means.

quote:


I don't know how well you understand evangelicals, given you admit you are not one. Neither am I but I was for many years.

It's easier to see problems in traditions that are not yours.

I have been in and around various Evangelicals in Evangelical, Baptist and Charismatic Anglican circles for decades. I don't know everything there is to know about Evangelicals outside of the circles I have moved in, but I know what I know.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

 - Posted      Profile for Gamaliel   Author's homepage   Email Gamaliel   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sure, but I must admit I was also wondering why you were singling out evangelicals rather than conservative Christians of whatever stripe?

Was it because you happened to attend an evangelical church this morning?

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15529 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
It's easier to see problems in traditions that are not yours.

Actually I'd say it's just the opposite. I know things about Orthodoxy that most of you non-O's have no idea about. Conversely Lamb Chopped could probably tell us things about the WI Synod that we otherwise wouldn't have even suspected.

It may be easier to condemn others' problems and justify our own, but it's far easier to see our own.

[ 29. January 2017, 18:39: Message edited by: mousethief ]

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63203 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

 - Posted      Profile for anteater   Email anteater   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Mousethief:
quote:

It may be easier to condemn others' problems and justify our own, but it's far easier to see our own.

Actually yes, I think that's correct, so I withdraw my comment.

--------------------
Schnuffle schnuffle.

Posts: 2529 | From: UK | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel: Sure, but I must admit I was also wondering why you were singling out evangelicals rather than conservative Christians of whatever stripe?

Was it because you happened to attend an evangelical church this morning?

Err possibly but I don't see how that invalidates my thought.

Maybe other Conservatives seek to influence the law in this way, I have no idea. And I'm not really able to engage with that tangent.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Steve Langton
Shipmate
# 17601

 - Posted      Profile for Steve Langton   Email Steve Langton   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Which is why I'm an Anabaptist rather than that (actually rather less 'Bible-believing' [Smile] ) kind of evangelical....

1. Not sure anyone cares
2. Not sure that this really counts as a meaningful contribution to this topic anyway.

I am not an evangelical. That's got nothing to do with the OP either.

On 1) it seems that you do care (though of course negatively) that there are evangelicals who "think it is appropriate to use the state to enforce politically their religious view on everyone else". I'd have thought you ought to also care that there are evangelicals who take a different view to that and who might do so because they are more consistent with the Bible than the evangelicals you complain of.

On 2) As evangelicals who don't seek political enforcement of their views by the state are pretty much by definition 'anti-fascist' (and you know, as I do, the UK 'Hutterites' who fled Nazi German persecution), I'd have thought such evangelicals quite relevant to a thread on "Evangelicals and fascism" - and to its OP as well.

Posts: 2149 | From: Stockport UK | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

 - Posted      Profile for Barnabas62   Email Barnabas62   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Time for my Jim Wallis story, I think.

Jim was brought up with conservative evangelicals, rebelled against that over both civil rights and Vietnam, but returned to the church in the early 70s, seeking to proclaim a much more radical understanding than the one he was taught. But as a result of his repentance, he and a couple of like minded young Christians used to get invitations to speak at conservative evangelical churches. They did not often get invited back, and this story might explain why.

He and his friends used to turn up at these churches with a Bible which had apparently been defaced. Sections were cut out of pages, whole chapters were missing. This Bible was a sorry, tattered mess.

The first act in the talk was to show this defaced bible, and the initial response was nearly always outrage. Then came the introductory kicker.

"This is Bible from which we have removed every reference to God's heart for the poor, the marginalised and oppressed, and what our response should be to them.

IS THIS YOUR BIBLE?"

And then, into the inevitable shock, they would quote from the missing passages to illustrate that both a personal and social concern for the poor, the oppressed and the marginalised was not an optional extra for people of faith, but a Divine imperative.

Now what evangelicals have in common is a high view of scripture. But for a whole lot of historical reasons, there is partial amnesia in many parts of evangelicalism about this widespread content in scripture. As others have indicated, for too many people, faith has become over-personalised, individualised, privatised. The worst form of this is the so-called "prosperity gospel", but there are milder versions of the same disease.

This is not a universal criticism. But it is a justifiable criticism, one that evangelicals need to hear.

Once you "get" that criticism, I do not see how it is possible for the changed understanding to co-exist with any kind of fascism.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20935 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

 - Posted      Profile for anteater   Email anteater   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Barnabas:

Do you think that may be due to a sort of neo-Marcionism whereby the OT was rather relegated, which matters, as it is there that you find most of the social teaching.

This was particularly a feature of Dispensationalism, which is still influential, even if not believed as literally as it was by Schofield et al. Hence the evangelical retreat from politics with the view that the world was going to Hell in a handcart, and we just had to hunker down. There was no longer any christian nation and care for the poor tended to become limited to members of your religious group.

One thing with this was, that you didn't get your hand dirty, because once the Church involves with politics, it will get it wrong quite a lot of the time. My alma mater, the JWs, were like this, and it did mean that they did well in countries where other christians had collaborated, say with Franco or the Communists. But they exercise no imfluence for good in wider society.

--------------------
Schnuffle schnuffle.

Posts: 2529 | From: UK | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
This was particularly a feature of Dispensationalism, which is still influential, even if not believed as literally as it was by Schofield et al. Hence the evangelical retreat from politics with the view that the world was going to Hell in a handcart, and we just had to hunker down. There was no longer any christian nation and care for the poor tended to become limited to members of your religious group.

Then Reagan came and, in the US at least, dragged the Evangelicals out of their hidey-hole and back into political activism, although only on two subjects.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63203 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
And I would also say that, in my experience, many evangelicals tend to prioritise "personal ethics" issues (including marriage etc.) above the wider ills of society (human rights abuses, political injustice, wealth inequality) which, to my mind, are more important. I'm not sure why that should be so, and of course it's not universal.

It was not of course always thus, given the importance of evangelicalism in the campaign to abolish the slave trade.
Looking at Wilberforce's campaign record, he was paternalistic - against measures to allow union representation for example, but for measures to reform factory conditions. Also, he helped found the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10424 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, I'd thought of Wilberforce. But I was thinking of "now".
Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

 - Posted      Profile for Barnabas62   Email Barnabas62   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
anteater

I'm trying to avoid the "true Scotsman" excuse. Personally, I think the gospels are also packed full of moral imperatives about Christian behaviour to the poor, oppressed and marginalised. So I guess both cessationism and dispensationalism tend to place a greater emphasis on Pauline teaching re personal salvation and the imminence of the parousia. I don't think that is particularly Marcionite in outlook, rather an unbalanced view of both scripture and tradition taken as a whole.

The DH dimension of this has been discussed there, particularly with reference to Steve Chalke, whose radicalism re the gay issue and social responsibility has got him into hot water with many UK evangelicals. Personally I think Steve is more of a "true Scotsman" than his critics. But I'm in a minority.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20935 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

 - Posted      Profile for Og: Thread Killer     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Which is why I'm an Anabaptist rather than that (actually rather less 'Bible-believing' [Smile] ) kind of evangelical....

1. Not sure anyone cares
2. Not sure that this really counts as a meaningful contribution to this topic anyway.

I am not an evangelical. That's got nothing to do with the OP either.

Aaaaa...but you misunderstand what an Anabaptist is.

Way back nigh on 500 years ago, the European state you lived in automatically decided what your religion was. Even after the Reformation, state decided religion did not really change in most of Europe.

Now, lots of people rejected this, thus leading to dissenters and other groups. All those groups find their ultimate proto group in the first few Anabaptists, the people who rejected paedo-baptism and thus had to reject the state.

So, yes, as an Anabaptist, the idea that the state should decide what morality is maintained is fundamentally against our beliefs. Thus when anybody talks about the weirdness of such a view, we all generally say "Welcome to our world."

--------------------
I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

Posts: 5021 | From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
# 16119

 - Posted      Profile for Kaplan Corday         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I have been thinking about the Holocaust, 1930s Germany and the contemporary rise of fascism.

This is a quasi-Godwinian, ridiculously melodramatic ("Confessing Church" indeed; you don't have the faintest understanding of what Bonhoeffer was up against if you imagine it was remotely comparable to your situation) attempt to smear evangelicalism. on about the same adolescent level as calling one's parents or teachers "fascist".

You are just venting and self-dramatising.

All the references to "whataboutery" in the world don't constitute a wriggle-out from the facts that all the features of fascism enumerated are also true of communism, or that Christians have been anti-fascist and victims of fascism, or that when Christians have been involved in political tyranny, they have been just as likely to be RC or Orthodox as evangelical, making your target completely arbitrary.


quote:
a candidate who focuses on push button issues for Evangelicals (abortion, gay marriage) sounds more similar to the message from the front than one talking about protecting refugees.
I have heard far more about refugees than about abortion and gay marriage from the pulpit in my present and former evangelical churches.

And anyway, it is not an either/or situation, because the Bible teaches both social responsibility and personal morality.

quote:
they seem to think it is appropriate to use the state to enforce politically their religious view on everyone else.
All Christians, not just evangelicals, engage in politics in democracies to influence policy in their particular religiously-informed direction.

As for gay marriage, there is no single monolithic evangelical position.

It is possible for evangelicals to think it is silly and meaningless, and wrong theologically/morally, but at the same time support its legalisation on the same civil rights and pluralist grounds as freedom of religion (my own position, FWIW).

Posts: 3238 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

 - Posted      Profile for Gee D     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I don't doubt that, as you assert, you know what you know. You might like to read Robert Paxton's definition of fascism, part of which is in the wikipedia page you mention - part, but only part. That might help with your dealing with the question.

By Paxton's definition, only Mussolini's Italy was purely fascist. In the period between WWI and WW II, many of the governments of Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland, the Baltic States, Rumania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria all had strong elements of fascism. Greece did from time to time. None of these was a Protestant country. After WW II, the same could continue to be said of Spain and Portugal, along with Peronist Argentina . Batista's Cuba and most other Central and Southern American countries were old-fashioned military dictatorships. Even extending the description to all these though, you'd not call any Protestant or Evangelical.

So what you have to do is properly define what you mean by both fascist and evangelical, and in neither case use the word as a term of abuse.

FWIW, the only churches here which could be called politically conservative are the groups espousing the prosperity gospel, and they tend not to be concerned with social justice issues. The mainstream churches across the theological spectrum have been strong opponents of the policies of successive governments on refugees, and a range of other social issues. There is much greater disparity on SSM.

I have no idea what you mean by "Whataboutery".

--------------------
Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6775 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Many years ago I lived in Portugal and became friendly with an American evangelical missionary family who had arrived in the last year or two of the "Estado Novo" and lived through the 1974 Revolution.

They had arrived with the common American view that right-wing conservative politics and evangelicalism go hand-in-hand; they also had the strong American respect for political freedom. So it came as a shock to them to discover that the ruling regime was both right-wing and repressive; if you like, they experienced a kind of cognitive dissonance.

Matters came to a head when they witnessed riot police brutally breaking up a peaceful anti-Government rally. Although I think that they still held to a fundamentally conservative political mindset, and must have found some of the extreme left-wing parties that were active in late 70s Portugal very distasteful, they remained firmly anti-fascist and committed to the democratic ideal.

Interestingly, folk from their organisation who arrived post-1974 and who witnessed only the inevitable political chaos which followed the Revolution found it hard to understand their point of view.

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Og: Thread Killer:


So, yes, as an Anabaptist, the idea that the state should decide what morality is maintained is fundamentally against our beliefs. Thus when anybody talks about the weirdness of such a view, we all generally say "Welcome to our world."

Yes. I am aware that anabaptists exist who say that they're not evangelicals (some who say that they were never really part of the Reformation and are therefore not Protestants at all).

In this instance I do actually believe that Anabaptists have something to say to the Evangelical tendency I've described* because they're arguably closer to the Evangelicals (if not actually Evangelical) than most others - my main issue with the reply to Steve Langton was that he was giving a one-line "yes, this is why I'm an anabaptist *smiley face*" stock answer.

*although the history of German Mennonites suggests that when fascism comes, anabaptists were not immune to appeasement either.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
This is a quasi-Godwinian, ridiculously melodramatic ("Confessing Church" indeed; you don't have the faintest understanding of what Bonhoeffer was up against if you imagine it was remotely comparable to your situation) attempt to smear evangelicalism. on about the same adolescent level as calling one's parents or teachers "fascist".

It's not Godwin because I didn't say Evangelicals were Nazis, and I've not even said they are Fascist. I've actually said that there are few open fascist Evangelicals. The point is that the tendency to look to law change on a few hot issues leaves Evangelicals open to electoral pitches on those issues which leads to tacit support for fascism.

And I'd also say that you appear to know little about fascism given that it is always a gradual process. I know a reasonable amount both about how fascism develops and how Bonhoeffer opposed it from the beginning, even before it became obvious how awful it was going to get.

quote:
You are just venting and self-dramatising.
Thanks.

quote:
All the references to "whataboutery" in the world don't constitute a wriggle-out from the facts that all the features of fascism enumerated are also true of communism, or that Christians have been anti-fascist and victims of fascism, or that when Christians have been involved in political tyranny, they have been just as likely to be RC or Orthodox as evangelical, making your target completely arbitrary.
No I don't think it is arbitary for several reasons. First, it may well be the case that the Orthodox in some places are tacit supporters of fascism. I'm not talking about that because I don't know - if you want to talk about it, open a new thread with your knowledge and I'll be interested to read the discussion.

In the countries where most of us are from - primarily the USA, the UK - Evangelicals are a far bigger force than Communists or the Orthodox. It may be true that the Roman Catholics are a stronger force still in the places where we live, I don't know. If you know, start another thread and talk about it if you want to.

The whataboutery (if you don't know what it means, look it up) is an effort to deflect discussion from a specific topic onto a more general topic by saying "ah yes, but what about.." What about nothing. I'm not here talking about anything else than Evangelicals and their susceptibilty to fascism.

quote:
I have heard far more about refugees than about abortion and gay marriage from the pulpit in my present and former evangelical churches.
Interesting and good to know.

quote:
And anyway, it is not an either/or situation, because the Bible teaches both social responsibility and personal morality.
Yes, I see what you are saying here, but as I've described above, there is a tendency within Evangelicalism to equate the one with the other on push-button issues. So we have campaign groups like the Christian Institute in the UK (who I believe have quite a lot of support within a certain section of British Evangelical churches) who campaign to influence the law on those issues.

quote:
All Christians, not just evangelicals, engage in politics in democracies to influence policy in their particular religiously-informed direction.
No they don't. As suggested above, an example of the Anabaptists come to mind who do not believe in the state as a moral actor and thus do not seek to have it enforce their values.

Although I suppose you do highlight an interesting point; if one is an anti-State Anabaptist, is not campaigning, marching, protesting trying to change the state's views? I wonder what the justification for that is.

quote:
As for gay marriage, there is no single monolithic evangelical position.
Correct. I said this above.

quote:
It is possible for evangelicals to think it is silly and meaningless, and wrong theologically/morally, but at the same time support its legalisation on the same civil rights and pluralist grounds as freedom of religion (my own position, FWIW).
Correct, I said that as well.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
I don't doubt that, as you assert, you know what you know. You might like to read Robert Paxton's definition of fascism, part of which is in the wikipedia page you mention - part, but only part. That might help with your dealing with the question.

By Paxton's definition, only Mussolini's Italy was purely fascist. In the period between WWI and WW II, many of the governments of Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland, the Baltic States, Rumania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria all had strong elements of fascism. Greece did from time to time. None of these was a Protestant country. After WW II, the same could continue to be said of Spain and Portugal, along with Peronist Argentina . Batista's Cuba and most other Central and Southern American countries were old-fashioned military dictatorships. Even extending the description to all these though, you'd not call any Protestant or Evangelical.

I don't accept Paxton's definition and I don't accept that a country can be Protestant or Evangelical. Either way, that's irrelevant because I'm not specifically talking about the country but about the kinds of languages and habits that some Evangelicals habitually use which make them open (to an electoral pitch, let's say) to extreme right-wing politics.

If you don't want to use the word fascist, fine, call it hard right or whatever you like. Why did so many Evangelicals vote for Trump and look to be voting for Le Pen when they otherwise seem to display few attractive Christian characteristics? Could it be because they're promising to do something about the few push-button issues that Evangelicals habitually hear in church?

quote:
So what you have to do is properly define what you mean by both fascist and evangelical, and in neither case use the word as a term of abuse.
I'm not using Evangelical as a term of abuse. I'm using fascist in a narrow, and I believe accurate, sense.

quote:
FWIW, the only churches here which could be called politically conservative are the groups espousing the prosperity gospel, and they tend not to be concerned with social justice issues. The mainstream churches across the theological spectrum have been strong opponents of the policies of successive governments on refugees, and a range of other social issues. There is much greater disparity on SSM.
That's interesting to know.

quote:
I have no idea what you mean by "Whataboutery".
Look it up.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Why did so many Evangelicals vote for Trump and look to be voting for Le Pen when they otherwise seem to display few attractive Christian characteristics? Could it be because they're promising to do something about the few push-button issues that Evangelicals habitually hear in church?

Clearly that must be true to a point - but I think it is not only unfairly lumping all Evangelicals into the same religious and political mind-set but suggesting that they must all be politically naive. Some will be, but not all. And I suspect that American and French Evangelicals will think differently to British ones, having a different history and living in a different social context.
Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Clearly that must be true to a point - but I think it is not only unfairly lumping all Evangelicals into the same religious and political mind-set but suggesting that they must all be politically naive. Some will be, but not all. And I suspect that American and French Evangelicals will think differently to British ones, having a different history and living in a different social context.

I clearly didn't say all Evangelicals, and I'm not talking even about the evangelicals outside of the circles in which I've lived the past decades. There may be a large number of Evangelicals out there who either are not making faith statements about gay marriage and abortion or are not seeking to have those faith statements become law. I have no idea.

But I think those Conservative Evangelicals who use this language are a large consistuency in the USA and UK. I don't know how big they are in France or elsewhere.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

 - Posted      Profile for Eutychus   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Why did so many Evangelicals vote for Trump and look to be voting for Le Pen when they otherwise seem to display few attractive Christian characteristics? Could it be because they're promising to do something about the few push-button issues that Evangelicals habitually hear in church?

Marine Le Pen's position on Dead Horse issues is not entirely clear, but she seems to be pro-choice and not against gay marriage.

She actually appears to be more liberal than the mainstream right-wing François Fillon on these issues.

I suspect the enthusiasm of some evangelicals for her is more to do with immigration, law and order, and the nostalgia for a France of a bygone era.

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

Posts: 17316 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Marine Le Pen's position on Dead Horse issues is not entirely clear, but she seems to be pro-choice and not against gay marriage.

She actually appears to be more liberal than the mainstream right-wing François Fillon on these issues.

I suspect the enthusiasm of some evangelicals for her is more to do with immigration, law and order, and the nostalgia for a France of a bygone era.

Interesting, I stand corrected.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

 - Posted      Profile for Gee D     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
mr cheesy, despite your response to me, you really have not defined your terms yet. To say that you're using the term "fascism" as equivalent to "hard right" does not take matters far. You've made no attempt to give an explanation of evangelical.

--------------------
Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6775 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
mr cheesy, despite your response to me, you really have not defined your terms yet. To say that you're using the term "fascism" as equivalent to "hard right" does not take matters far. You've made no attempt to give an explanation of evangelical.

I'm not entirely sure what the problem is: I'm talking about churches which identify themselves as Evangelical and which engage in political posturing on dead-horse issues from the front and via political groups like the Christian Institute.

I fully appreciate that Evangelicals are a wide group who define themselves in different ways, however there seems to me to be a cross-cutting group of Evangelicals who think it is appropriate to campaign to change the law on (for example) gay marriage - because they have a conscience position on what "real marriage is" - and who therefore may be attracted to a far-right or fascist candidate who says they are going to do something about it.

I don't think it matters exactly how they're defining Evangelical. In this context, I think what matters is how their views are expressed at the front and the extent to which they think their identity is defined by opposition to gay marriage (and a small number of other issues) in the political sphere.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In this context, I think what matters is how their views are expressed at the front and the extent to which they think their identity is defined by opposition to gay marriage (and a small number of other issues) in the political sphere.

Yes, I think that's right. But I have no idea as to the proportion this group represents of all those who self-identify as "Evangelical", nor if they can be specifically linked with any church polity (?Baptist, ?FIEC, ?New Church for example).

[ 30. January 2017, 09:11: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes, I think that's right. But I have no idea as to the proportion this group represents of all those who self-identify as "Evangelical", nor if they can be specifically linked with any church polity (?Baptist, ?FIEC, ?New Church for example).

Yes, I don't know that either.

I think the role of the Evangelical Alliance is interesting in all of this. On the one hand they've taken quite a strong line on Steve Chalke and gay marriage. And they've certainly got workers whose role it is to engage with politics at Westminster and elsewhere.

But I don't see them overtly pushing a political agenda to change the law on (say) abortion and gay marriage. Maybe I'm wrong to think that.

I wonder if they're contributing to that ecosystem, however. Maybe they're upping the anti within those churches who are most engaged with their work and message - and as a result those same churches may also be involved in more direct political activity via the Christian Institute and others. I've seen the two things going alongside each other, but I don't know how widespread that might go.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think I would say a couple of things here.

1. I do believe that the EA is encouraging the churches within their constituency to get more involved in politics generally. They certainly tried hard to get folk engaged in the EU Referendum and the last General Election without (as far as I remember) "pushing" any politial line.

2. Same-sex marriage and (I suspect to a lesser extent) abortion are both toxic and divisive subjects for evangelicals. This means presumably that the EA has to read very carefully when it talks about them!

3. I think there are other Evangelical organisations (I'm thinking of "Care for the Family" but I may be strong) which may be more actively encouraging Christians to lobby about these matters along traditional lines.

Posts: 9477 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

 - Posted      Profile for Eutychus   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
2. Same-sex marriage and (I suspect to a lesser extent) abortion are both toxic and divisive subjects for evangelicals. This means presumably that the EA has to read very carefully when it talks about them!

I think they are pretty clearly against both, aren't they? The French equivalent, the CNEF, certainly is.

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

Posts: 17316 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

 - Posted      Profile for Gee D     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thank you - we're now getting somewhere. There is apparently a strong link between such churches in the US and the new right of politics. I've not seen any such links in the UK and most certainly they're not here. Even the staunchly evangelical Moore College Anglicans would take a liberal approach to questions such as admission of refugees, and our treatment of them. Not for abortion or SSM - but advocacy for/against them is not linked to the left or right in politics.

--------------------
Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6775 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think they are pretty clearly against both, aren't they? The French equivalent, the CNEF, certainly is.

I think they are, but I don't think the EA goes the next step and suggests that the law should be changed therefore to ban gay marriage and abortion. There are a number of other groups who do.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10327 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools