NAE: Our politicized white theology has nothing to do with politics or race

Even White Jesus must bow down to the "highest authority" of the White Bible.

The National Association of Evangelicals invites you to bow down and worship the “highest authority.” No, not God, silly. The Bible — the “highest authority” before which even White Jesus must kneel in submission. [Read more...]

Liberation vs. tribalism


“In order to maintain a voice within the evangelical world and make progress on a single issue,” Deborah Jian Lee writes, “one must toe the conservative line on every other issue.” That’s from her new book, “Rescuing Jesus,” which has been reviewed by Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott — someone whose history makes her an expert on exactly what Lee is describing there. [Read more...]

I’m glad Westboro Baptist is protesting meteorology


Our imagined “biblical stance” on meteorology changed in exactly the way that, for many American Christians, our “biblical stance” on biology never did. We Christians easily, almost imperceptibly, changed the way we understood all those Bible passages about the weather. But for many American Christians, doing the very same thing with all those Bible passages about the origins of life is portrayed as a grave and dangerous sin. [Read more...]

White evangelical voters, Donald Trump, and the evolution of the religious right

"There's a bear in the woods," Ronald Reagan reminded voters in 1984. That bear was not abortion or gays. It was Russia (and black people).

This isn’t really about Donald Trump. It’s about white evangelical voters and their support (later revoked) for Jimmy Carter and their support (later regretted) for George W. Bush. And it’s about why it’s misleading and anachronistic to imagine that the religious right of 1980 was anything at all like the religious right of 1988 or of 2004 or of 2015. [Read more...]

Tribal gatekeepers are not in the best interest of baseball


Smith’s payoff secured a change in his behavior. Jones’ payoff ensured that his behavior will not change. We might argue that Jones has more integrity because he never strays from his original ideology, but this is faint praise — like arguing that Pete Rose had more integrity than the Chicago Black Sox because he was betting on his team to win instead of deliberately throwing the game. [Read more...]

Kick a gay, keep your platform: Tribal gatekeepers of white evangelicalism demand their tribute be paid

Why revisit this post now? Because the original post was a lamentation over my old friend Ron Sider’s 2009 endorsement of the pompous and ridiculous “Manhattan Declaration,” and Sider is now doubling down — adding his endorsement to the equally fatuous 2015 statement, “Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage.” And also because today we learn that J.R. Daniel Kirk is getting the heave-ho from Fuller Theological Seminary. [Read more...]

The historical roots of white evangelical anti-environmentalism

The theological and historical basis for white evangelical anti-environmentalism, in two pictures.

Mainly, though, the historical roots of white evangelical antipathy to environmentalism and of white evangelical climate denialism comes down to two things: Shirley MacLaine and Al Gore. That’s it. [Read more...]

Tony Campolo offers an Official Statement on his stance on the issue of homosexuality

Tony Campolo (photo via

This is an Official Statement announcing his change of “stance” on an “issue.” Such Official Statements are a kind of ritual genre in the white evangelical tribe, and that genre both limits what can be said and shapes how it can be said. They cannot be about justice or injustice directly, but only about one’s “stance” toward them. And they aren’t constructed to accommodate or acknowledge actual people, only the “issues” that affect them. This displaces the conversation — removing it several steps from the fierce urgency of now and pushing it off toward some more abstract and ethereal discussion of the relative validity of various possible “stances” and their status within the tribe. [Read more...]