Losing a Game You Never Should Have Played

I’m glad to see editorials like this one, openly and publicly questioning the relationship between conservative Christianity and Republican politics and the impact it is likely to have on American Christianity going forward — but I can’t help noticing that there’s a rather significant bent of accusation aimed at liberal and progressive Christians here for not “going along with the message,” as well as a fair amount of apologia for Christian conservatives who vote for liars and sexual predators simply because they claim alliance with Jesus and wave the pro-life banner. A lot of talk about how such voters’ reasons are “nuanced” and “well-intentioned” but their critics (including their fellow Christian critics) are simply being hostile.

For example: “In general, we have witnessed few Christians among these critics taking the time and effort to understand the views of their conservative fellow believers or to delve into the social and political realities they might be coming from.”

The same holds true for the conservatives here, who have taken no time or effort to understand why voting for and supporting racists, rapists, white supremacists, and bigots might deeply offend and alienate those around them (not to mention how it perverts their spiritual message into blatant hypocrisy). Or as to why young people and people of color might reject the plaintive cries of an institution that, the second it gets the chance, gleefully scolds them and harms them in the political sphere. There continues to be no reflection as to why large groups of white conservative Christians voting for the likes of Roy Moore and Donald Trump might tarnish the message of Christianity for future generations and why this is leading to a resistance against a Christianity that treats the LGBTQ community, immigrants, Muslims, Mexicans, and women with contempt and oppression.

Ultimately, this loses me. It sounds way too much like “There are very fine people on both sides!”—when one of those sides is Nazism.