From the Daily Beast, describing The Religious Right’s Slow-Motion Suicide
I it’s not just same-sex marriage. The country has liberalized culturally in a range of ways in the past six or eight years, and it’s not only not going back, it’s charging relentlessly forward. ....
[The Christian Right is] a group that is losing power, and I think the leaders and even the rank-and-filers know it. Their vehicle, the Republican Party, is going libertarian on them. Rand Paul, whether he wins the 2016 nomination or not, is clearly enough of a force within the party that he is pushing it away from the culture wars. He is joined in this pursuit by the conservative intellectual class, which knows the culture wars are a dead-bang loser for the GOP and which finds the culture warriors more than a little embarrassing, and by the establishment figures, the Karl Rove types, who stroked them back in 2004 but who now see them as a liability, at least at the presidential level. There are still, of course, many states where these voters come in quite handy in that they elect many Republican representatives and senators.Of course, they aren't going easily. And they have a new bogeyman, the Christian Left.
A resurgence of the Christian left may seem a distant hope, but the idea of it has certainly spooked the Christian right. Such is the impetus for Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel & Damaging the Faith. It's a curious book from accomplished evangelical author Chelsen Vicari, who aims in it to address a "crisis" in evangelicalism — namely the rise of a Christian left.
Vicari's book is neither a principled critique of Christian leftism writ large nor a principled defense of a Christian right-wing; on the contrary, it's very narrowly focused on American Christians who align with the Democratic Party versus American Christians who align with the Republican Party. It's in favor of the latter, of course, but in so doing it visits a number of tired arguments that are only tenuously linked to Christianity, and are more thoroughly associated with secular partisan politics.
Are we on the Christian left really the Bogeyman? Do we really have that kind of influence?
Not yet — but we are working on it.
And it’s working.
And that’s what makes us so scary to Vicari and her readership.
When we were a voice that was constantly drowned out by the megaphone that is the Christian right and their maniacal stronghold on traditional forms of communication, Vicari probably thought of us as that annoying little dust bunny under the bed that just would not go away.
With the continued rise of new forms of communication and the way social media has given progressive Christians the ability to connect and be heard, we’ve become a threat. We’re no longer the annoying little dust bunny under the bed. We are the big bad monster that is ruining everything.
What conservative Christianity has become looks far too little like what the teachings of Jesus would encourage us to be.
Causing a crisis of faith in that kind of belief system? I’m all for it.