Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
May 9th, 2014 by Joel Watts

Can we narrow down who gets rights even further?

English: American politician Tony Perkins.

English: American politician Tony Perkins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tony Perkins states,

I would use that term ‘Christian’ loosely. That title is — let’s talk biblical, here’s the deal, it’s like with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that we worked on in Mississippi and failed in Arizona and other places, here’s a test of what is a true religious freedom, a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints. It has to have a track record, it has to come forth from religious orthodoxy.

Note, not only is such a test actually forbidden in the US constitution, but the Founding Fathers who themselves couldn’t qualify stated numerous times the exactly opposite.

By older-than-Tony definitions, he’s not exactly “orthodox” either.., but since he is now defining who gets rights, I guess he can define what orthodoxy is as well.

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Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

6 Responses to “Can we narrow down who gets rights even further?”
  1. Tony Perkins relies on his audience not looking into anything. He simply feeds the audience what they want to hear — bigotry dressed up in its Sunday best and trying to look respectable.

  2. Scott Fritzsche says

    I am not in anyway defending bigotry. Having said that, it should be noted that the “Christian Left” to coin a phrase is just as guilty as the right in many ways. Tony Perkins is a nut job that gives Christians a bad name, but a lot of people flock to him not out of belief in most of his cause, but simply because there is no other voice except the “christian left” and the “christian right”. The court case not to long ago against a photographer that politely refused to photograph a same sex marriage is a good example. Their refusal was professional, polite and there was even an offer to find someone equally qualified that was wiling to do it. The photographer had refused other jobs on moral grounds such as photographing naked mothers as they believed it was overtly sexual and were not comfortable doing it. Specifically it was explained in court and to the couple that the photographer would be expected to be a participant in the wedding and could not do so as she did not agree with the morality of same sex unions. There is no evidence of discrimination in the photographers background. The photographer made this specific to the wedding as to them, even if not conducted in a church, it is still a religious event to them. The only people to stand for these folks and try to help them navigate a difficult subject were the “christian right”. I think this is why many flock there. The emails from the photographer were polite and professional. They offered to refer the couple to several other photographers etc. but that was not enough. The photographer said I personally do not agree with your choice to be married and simply do not want to be forced to be a participant in that. If the “christian left” and “christian right” are the only voices standing, then more and more will flock to them to the detriment of us all.

  3. Guess I’ll have to stay UMC, and give up my plans to become an Ebionite. But I still refuse to eat locust.

  4. Know More Than I Should says

    One thing that few moderns seem to grasp is that most of America’s Founding Fathers were radicals. As early 19th century Episcopal minister Bird Wilson phrased it, the principal writers favoring The Constitution of 1787 and early presidents swearing to uphold its virtues “were nearly all Infidels.” Their notions of a Supreme Being were largely Deist or Masonic.

    A good example of the Founding Fathers’ attitudes toward religion can be found in Jefferson’s cut and paste Bible, aka The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. In particular, arch conservative John Adams had some very unkind things to say about Christianity. Even latter day Religious Right darling Thomas Paine questioned organized religion and Bible infallibility.

    Of course, the above begs the question: Where were the Christians? For the most part, they were right where they are today – clinging to a status quo they barely understand. Only in the 18th century, the status quo consisted of the king, the mother country, and mercantilism! Today, it’s the flag, motherhood, and “one nation under God” since 1956.

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