Bible Study Curriculum

 

Current Issue


IN THE APRIL EDITION:

The Significance of Holy Week
What is Advocacy--and Why
    Should We Care?
Chaplains Help Others Grieve,
    and Learn to Grieve
    Themselves

Baptists Today news journal contains original content found nowhere else. Subscribe now.

 

Search Baptists Today

 

 

Baptists Today Video

 

 

 

 

« Have faith, and avoid being spoiled American Christians | Main | Bear the light »
Monday
Oct212013

Now, that’s familiar

By John Pierce

Recent Tea Party antics may have you thinking, “I’ve seen this show before.” If so, perhaps you recall the Fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

More than mere parallels can be observed. In some cases, the same persons are involved.

Last week, a Southern Baptist editor turned his editorial page into an open letter to President Obama that not only challenged policy matters. It questioned the president’s professed faith and expressed fear for his eternal security.

A friend wondered if such concern would have been expressed had the Mormon candidate in the last election made it into the Oval Office.

The editorial was the typical litany of right-wing political ideology, along with highly judgmental religiosity, masked as spiritual concern and true patriotism.

Such is the most distinctive parallel between Christian Fundamentalists and the Tea Party — while acknowledging that the two groups have great overlap and are in many ways the same group.

In both cases, these groups seek to capture certain descriptive terms exclusively for themselves. They, and they alone, are the true “conservatives” and unblemished “believers” in the Bible/Constitution.

Any challenge to these claims or refusals to align with their causes bring harsh dismissal and accusations of being less than true believers or faithful Christians/patriots. There is no room for “loyal critics” from within; you are either with them fully or on the evil side.

Anyone who questions their positions or tactics becomes the enemy who endangers “our way of life” — and therefore should be excluded.

That’s why the acronym “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) has been heard so much over the last couple of weeks. Even a former POW and long-serving Republican senator is charged by a fellow GOP legislator with aiding the enemy in the same way committed missionaries and professors were said to not trust the Bible.

So even insiders who walk out of step with the declared vision of truth or who question aggressive, unethical tactics will get enemy treatment.

Guilt by association is a favored weapon too. Cooperation is equated with capitulation. Staying “pure” (a word that literally defines a Pharisee) is required. 

Fear and a desire for more control drive the ever-tightening circle of inclusion until only self-congratulators remain. And the growing loss of relevance gets lost on them.

So excuse those of us who feel like we are watching a rerun. We know the script.

And the resulting carnage of Fundamentalism, whether political or religious or the always dangerous blending of the two, is not a pretty sight.

References (4)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: social
    Now, that’s familiar - John D. Pierce Blog - Baptists Today, The Source for Daily Baptist News for You and Your Church
  • Response
    Response: hair loss in women
    Now, that’s familiar - John D. Pierce Blog - Baptists Today, The Source for Daily Baptist News for You and Your Church
  • Response
    NFL is seriously a single of the largest sports in America. It has a big following.
  • Response
    Response: click web page
    Now, that’s familiar - John D. Pierce Blog - Baptists Today, The Source for Daily Baptist News for You and Your Church

Reader Comments (5)

Excellent comparison that hits the bulls eye. Well said.

Oct 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob Patterson

I had been thinking the same thing, Johnny. Truly, it's the very same attitude that sought power over the SBC 35 years ago. My daddy often said to me, "We should never presume to know the mind of God."

Unfortunately, the temptation to do just that is too great for many. To those who claim to be speaking on God's behalf (and they all do, whether Fundamentalists of the SBC or the Tea Party), compromise and collaboration come to be seen as signs of weakness & defeat rather than what they truly are - evidence of grace and humility before a sovereign God.

Oct 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Jones

Last week, a Southern Baptist editor turned his editorial page into an open letter to President Obama that not only challenged policy matters. It questioned the president’s professed faith and expressed fear for his eternal security.

Does that mean he didn’t have the same right you have in saying this:

The editorial was the typical litany of right-wing political ideology, along with highly judgmental religiosity, masked as spiritual concern and true patriotism.?

Sometimes when people throw stones they actually throw boomerangs.

Oct 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Clark

Good commentary. I do appreciate Jim's point and - having not read the Baptist editor's commentary - am slow to opine. However, in John's defense, there is a difference between *accusation* and *observation* ... it may be only a hair's difference, but one worth splitting.

For several years I have said I don't object to Baptists -- I grew up in the denomination, most of my family and friends are Baptist, and my personal faith rests on a Baptist foundation. I don't object to Republicans -- I have probably voted Republican more times than Democratic over my lifetime. However, I am deeply bothered that folk are increasingly confusing the two.

Oct 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Nelms

SBC, Tea Party, fundamentalists, right-wing ideologists...oh, they are all so exhausting. Great editorial, Johnny.

Oct 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie Volkmann

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>