(Moment Magazine) Mark Pinsky—Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Evangelical?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For Jewish progressives who remember the dark days of George W. Bush and Republican control of both houses of Congress, evangelicals are the election cycle boogeyman. We’ve already seen a growing stream of books and articles about evangelical conspiracies supposedly aimed at using Republican presidential candidates, such as Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann, to turn the United States into a “Christian nation.” These include Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and Rabbi James Rudin’s The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right’s Plans for the Rest of Us. In a series for public radio, Rachel Tabachnick reported on the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), which aims to wage “spiritual warfare,” leveraging stealth political influence to take dominion over government, business and culture and hasten the second coming of Jesus.

Arcane, sensational theological doctrines like this are catnip to conspiracy theorists and their media enablers. Yet many of those most fearful of evangelicals know the least about them. Back in September, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart implicitly acknowledged that ignorance when he surveyed a clip of spectators at a Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. With his customary acuity, Stewart deconstructed the upscale audience in dresses, jackets and ties: “Look at this crowd. They’re not yahoos. This is not your torch and pitchfork angry villagers. These are people with firm opinions on which is the best brand of rider mower.” Kidding or not, Stewart at least recognized the evangelical Christians of the GOP base for what they are: moderate, middle-class Sun Belt suburbanites.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsOther FaithsJudaism

Posted November 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. sandlapper wrote:

True, we are not dangerous in the sense of the secularist sterotypes of us. Hopefully, we are still dangerous to the works of Satan. Christianity’s greatest conquests have come through teaching and service, by believers who were wise as serpents, harmless as doves, but it was conquest.

November 6, 6:34 pm | [comment link]
2. TACit wrote:

Is that right?  Did Jesus Christ’s victory come through teaching and service, through these conquering?  All this time, I thought His Sacrifice on the Cross and His Resurrection through the power of God’s Holy Spirit were the means of conquest.  This could be why some worry about the evangelical agenda.

November 6, 10:48 pm | [comment link]
3. sandlapper wrote:

TACit: I was thinking of the Christianization of Europe following the collapse of the Roman Empire. That was not a military conquest, but came about through long-term preaching and serving, as by the monasteries. People voluntarily responded to the Gospel.

November 7, 11:26 am | [comment link]
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