Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 1 September 2018

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Religion: why faith is becoming more and more popular

Becky Clark Buildings for Mission Shout Out Loud: Why I welcome disagreement on caring for churches

Christopher Exeter Church Times The C of E must speak louder on medical ethics
“Society needs help to navigate the health issues arising from rapid technological advances”

‘Christians don’t like hearing the truth’
Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the first African Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, talks to Madeleine Davies for Church Times.
There’s a podcast of the interview here.

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Some reflections on Evangelical support for Trump
Here’s another article on the same topic from earlier this year
Michael Gerson The Atlantic The Last Temptation
“How evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory”

 

23
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
5 Comment threads
18 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
Cynthia KatsarelisSavi HensmanRoderick Gillisdr.primroseI_T Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
peterpi -- Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi -- Peter Gross

Michael Gerson’s excellent analysis was comprehensive and spot-on. I would never claim to be a religious person, but the more I see religion in action in the world of politics, the less religious I become. And, with all due respect to readers who consider themselves evangelical, the embarrassingly enthusiastic American evangelical embrace of (and swooning over) Donald Trump DESERVES the epithet of “hypocrite”. For three decades, American evangelicals have held themselves out as more moral-than thou, as the guardian of ethical behavior. They constantly berated their GLBT fellow citizens as being imperfect and immoral and not worthy of civil rights… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

For my entire life, evangelicals in the US have been morally regressive. On the wrong side of Civil Rights, science, equality of any sort – women, LGBTQI, people of color… Current events simply exposed the hypocrisy. But at least one nightmare is over, the Republicans will never, ever be able to claim the moral high ground or pursue the “culture wars” with an iota of integrity. The death of that is a good thing.

Michael Skliros
Guest
Michael Skliros

Cynthia, your verdict on American evangelicalism (’twas always thus) rings more true than those here who charitably see it as a once fine movement that has recently lost its way.

Even back in the 60s, Alec Vidler, Dean of King’s, Cambridge, wrote an article in Theology magazine entitled “The appalling religiousness of America”. That should say it all, though he specified the fault lines, which were (from memory) a concern for “religion, rather than God”, “sects, rather than Church”, and “Law, rather than Gospel”.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

I grew up in the States among evangelicals and some of them were pretty progressive then. InterVarsity (USA branch of what is now the UCCF here) had a black senior staff worker in the 1950s and she was much respected. Arthur Glasser joined in Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. Sure, there were some regressive and narrow-minded evangelicals, especially in the Bible Belt of the Southeast, but that wasn’t the whole story by any means. There was an intelligent and open-minded strand of evangelicalism which engaged in the civil rights movement and treated women as equals. I can even remember… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I wasn’t even a teenager in 1974, so even though I’m now middle-aged, I have no personal memory of equality-minded evangelicals in the US. I vaguely recall the “Moral Majority” and somehow knew it was neither. Your description is of a religion hijacked is likely true, but to me, it’s been 43 years of oppression, including a lot of hate directed at me and my LGBTQI sisters and brothers. That’s a lot of suicides, depression, discrimination, abused children, broken families… supposedly in the name of “saving” people and the US. Yes, it seems they succumbed to temptation. We’ll all be… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Evangelical support of Trump is appalling, and shows how comprehensively they have betrayed their values. They are doing evangelicals, and Christianity as a whole, across the world over a disservice.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I found this relevant article today. It describes the rise of evangelicals as a political force, and its origins are in racially segregated schools, not in abortion or other hot-button culture war issue. It was a conscious political takeover of the religion and ultimately, the US. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133?o=0 Because of the issues with fake news, I’ll say that this does come from a journal that is liberal but does tend to be journalistically sound. It was posted on FaceBook by an Episcopal priest and lots of her friends have affirmed that this was their lived experience. Mystery solved. Evangelicalism in the… Read more »

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

Yes, the evangelicals I work with in the USA are progressive on issues like the ordination and leadership of women and I detect movement on same sex issues in some quarters. Sojourners are politically left / Democrat leaning. We tend only to notice the religious right!

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

Thank you, Peter Gross, you are not wrong. You have made the point with clarity and convincement. I am very religious – constitutionally it would seem, but I agree with you totally. Can Evangelicalism or even christianity rally/recover from ‘the sickness that we are. ? Religion and the world is certainly the better for the presence of Peter Gross among us all.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Lambeth 1.10 is not the Gospel. It is unfortunate that the Secretary-General clings to it.

Jenny Humphreys
Guest
Jenny Humphreys

Yes, I found the Church Times interview profoundly depressing too. His comments about “a godless secular culture that despises the Bible” and “so-called rights of equality” and “same-sex relations as a lifestyle” need to be challenged. And asking for “self-restraint of a sacrificial kind for now” is not helpful, to put it mildly.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Good to hear from you Jenny. As you know, I challenged him, and so did the folks from the Diocese of New York. It’s sad that he can’t see that liberal beliefs can be the result of a deeply respectful reading of the Bible. Realizing that all people are created in the image of God, not just the people you like, is a game changer. He’s not “there.”

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

Cynthia Katsarelis: “Your description is of [an evangelical] religion hijacked is likely true, but to me, it’s been 43 years of oppression, including a lot of hate directed at me and my LGBTQI sisters and brothers. That’s a lot of suicides, depression, discrimination, abused children, broken families… supposedly in the name of “saving” people and the US.” I just read Vicky Beeching’s new book, “Undivided.” For many years she was a big musician in evangelical circles, both in the UK and the US. She grew up in Pentecostal and charismatic Anglican churches. She realized she was attracted to women around… Read more »

I_T
Guest
I_T

Jayne Ozanne’s book traces a similar journey — particularly striking for the physical damage that denial of one’s self can cause. Jayne is now a powerful voice in the movement towards equality but it all comes at such cost, as also noted in Richard Peers recent blog describing the damage done to relationships of same sex couples where one partner is trying for ordination. THe damage done to LGBT+ people is deep and the CofE has much to account for. It’s like that cartoon of three ministers beating a prone figure in a rainbow t-shirt with a bible. But if… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman

American evangelicals are not all on the Christian right. They include groups such as Sojourners, as well as numerous African-American and Hispanic people, few of whom support Trump (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-trump-and-race-are-splitting-evangelicals/). The Reclaiming Jesus Declaration, some of the signatories to which are evangelical, is worth a read for anyone who has not yet seen it (http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2018/05/president-trumps-america-first-policy-is-a-theological-heresy-for-followers-of-christ.aspx).

Condemning whole groups is a risky business. If someone has grown up in church circles which are Anglo-Catholic and blatantly misogynistic, for instance, it may be tempting to label all Anglo-Catholics in this way but rather unfair to women priests who are Anglo-Catholic.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

The article is addressing “white evangelicals,” a group that supported Trump by a huge margin, 80 percent. The examples need some light. Sojourners is not exclusively evangelical or exclusively white. They say this: “We are evangelicals, Catholics, Pentecostals and Protestants; progressives and conservatives; blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians; women and men; young and old.” https://fivethirtyeight.com is a terrific website, but it makes clear the difference between white evangelicals, vs. black and Hispanic. The “Reclaiming Jesus” movement is ecumenical and evangelicals do have a small representation, but that representation consists of evangelical groups that are not exclusively white. I’m afraid that… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman

Trump support among Christians is indeed worrying but I think both precision and inclusive language are helpful in pinpointing what has happened in the USA and exploring how similar trends might be resisted elsewhere. Much of the discussion on this thread simply referred to ‘evangelicals’, rather than most white evangelicals. I know it is common in both the UK and USA, when referring to any category of people, to assume that those who are minority ethnic are not included unless explicitly mentioned, e.g. that ‘working class’ means ‘white working class’ and so forth, but I am not convinced this is… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I agree that it’s important to be specific, e.g. white evangelicals. And I apologize for not being specific in some of my writing. As I said, it was only on TA that I learned that there was such a thing as “inclusive evangelicals.” I can’t discern the lesson for resisting the US trend elsewhere. In the US, white evangelicals made themselves into a powerful voting block, and they had a certain amount of experience and organization behind them from the pro-slavery, pro-Jim Crow, anti-Civil Rights days. I’ve observed that there is tension between the evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of CoE.… Read more »

Roderick Gillis
Guest
Roderick Gillis

A very insightful comment.

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

Savi Hensman: “American evangelicals are not all on the Christian right. They include groups such as Sojourners, as well as numerous African-American and Hispanic people, few of whom support Trump.” Well, yes and no, I think. The focus of the comments on this thread is the attitude of evangelicals toward LGBT issues. Some of these groups, while certainly not Trump supporters, are not particularly LGBT friendly. Sojourners, whose magazine I read and largely like in many respects, cares mostly for economic issues and certainly comes down on the left on those issues. On the other hand, for many years they… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

All true. Sojourners, famously, refused to even publish an ad that had an LGBT theme (I don’t recall if it was an event or affirming churches advertising themselves, I don’t recall). To the best of my knowledge, there’s never been an apology or reconciliation. So while I appreciate much of Sojourner’s values, it doesn’t include me. There is no healing balm there for LGBTQI people unless something has changed while I’ve been ignoring them. While Sojourners is ecumenical, I believe it is the evangelical segment that has the most people on the conservative side of LGBTQI issues.

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman
Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

It’s good movement, to be sure. I’m waiting to see if it is big enough to consider a “shift.” I hope so.