Saturday, November 11, 2006

Washington Post: Still no sign of the theocracy

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Categories : Threatiness, Religion, Post-Wedge World

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published: vendredi 10 novembre 2006 18:46:55

The Washington Post had an article the other day, "Let's Stop Stereotyping Evangelicals" (HT: Darwinian Fundamentalism).

It was in 1976 — the "year of the evangelical," according to Newsweek — that conservative Christians burst upon the political landscape. Critics have been warning about the theocratic takeover of America ever since. Thus the plaintive cry of a Cabinet member in the Carter administration: "I am beginning to fear that we could have an Ayatollah Khomeini in this country, but that he will not have a beard . . . he will have a television program."

This election season produced similar lamentations — Howard Dean's warning about Christian "extremism," Kevin Phillips's catalogue of fears in "American Theocracy" and brooding documentaries such as "Jesus Camp," to name a few. This theme is a gross caricature of the 100 million or more people who could be called evangelicals. But the real problem is that it denies the profoundly democratic ideals of Protestant Christianity, while ignoring evangelicalism's deepening social conscience.

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