Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dear Evanglicals - An Open Letter to Those Played for Fools

As Evangelical leaders and their political whores in the Republican Party increasingly embrace ignorance and reject modernity itself, many of the sheeple they con preach to are being played for fools and lead down a path to self-marginalization.    Frank Schaeffer has an open letter to Evangelicals at Huffington Post that looks at the manner in which these people are being played and challenges them to wake up and open their eyes - and minds.  Will they listen?  Probably not, but thankfully, more and more of the younger generations are walking away from their poisonous beliefs.  Here are excerpts from the letter:
Your real enemies are not progressive Christian/Atheist/Backsliders like me. Your real enemies are some of the influential people who pretend to be your friends. They are your Nemesis.

I'll bet the board members of Gordon College, Wheaton College and Christianity Today have no idea about the real reasons behind a bad set of choices they were duped into making in order to serve a purely political agenda masquerading as a "religious liberty" issue. They've been had.

A day is fast approaching where ordinary evangelicals will be cursing Wheaton College, Gordon College and the other evangelical establishment bastions that demanded the right to discriminate against women and gays as a matter of "religious liberty."

So many evangelicals live in bubbles that they have no idea how the real world functions. They are going to find out that outside the comfortable inner circle of home-school, Christian school, Christian radio, TV and publishing, churches and Bible study groups, to the larger world people who want to discriminate against gays and women are weird outcasts to be shunned.

I mean what young man or woman wants their university degree to be from a pariah institution? Who wants to teach someplace that has the moral standing of the old apartheid regime of South Africa?

The argument will soon be made that if Christians can "legally" discriminate against gays and women then secular institutions should be able to exercise their consciences and discriminate against evangelicals. Just wait.

[T]he evangelical institutions that are making the anti-women and anti-gay headlines are going to discover that their more moderate religious and secular peers are going to punish them. They will also be losing their young people in droves.

Re-accreditation? "Forget it, you have a policy of discrimination against gays and women." Find sports teams to play your students? Want your professors to publish and deliver papers at national conferences? "Forget it, you have a policy of discrimination against gays and women..."

Neoconservative activists like George and his Beckett Fund, and Colson helped set the stage for the Tea Party and what should be called the Biblical Patriarchy Restoration Movement. They gave a gloss of intellectual respectability to what was a theocratic wish list targeting gays and women as a means to target President Obama and the Democratic Party. That's the real game. It is a game worthy of Karl Rove, in fact it is his game...
The aim was not freedom for religion but a chance to deliver a blow against a president that many evangelicals have never accepted as legitimate but that the racist Republican establishment hates. The result risks fulfilling Justice Ginsburg's "minefield" prediction where the rule of law and equal protection fade into chaos.
The larger American community will not stand for this. Most evangelicals won't either. They are good  loving people. Wheaton, Gordon and Christianity Today Magazine at al are mere tools in a larger fight. Now they are marked as bastions of intolerance. They will pay a heavy price. They have been abused. That is a shame. Evangelicals deserved better. The cause of Christ did too.
In point of fact, Gordon College is already paying a price for its demands for t he right to discriminate.    The City of Salem, Massachusetts is severing all ties to the college because Gordon's discriminatory policies violate the city's non-discrimination policies.  Hopefully, more cities and even states will join this tide and severe ties and cut funding to discriminatory "christian" colleges and universities.  Back2Stonewall has details on the City of Salem's decision to dump Gordon College:

In response to Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay’s recent actions signing a letter in support of an religious exemption from federal regulations that bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as the current policies at Gordon College that require strict adherence to behavioral standards for students, faculty and staff that are discriminatory towards LGBT individuals -the city of Salem. Massachusetts has terminated all contracts with the college.

In a letter from Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll to Gordon College President Lindsay:
“I am truly disappointed in the stance you have taken, which plainly discriminates against the rights of LGBT individuals, both on and off campus. These actions fly in the face of the City of Salem’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which prohibits our municipality from contracting with entities that maintain discriminatory practices. While I respect your rights to embed religious values on a private college campus, religious freedom does not afford you the right to impose those beliefs upon others and cannot be extended into a publicly owned facility or any management contract for a publicly owned facility, like Old Town Hall. Moreover, I hope you realize how hurtful and offensive these “behavioral standards” are to members of the greater Salem LGBT community, some of whom are Gordon alumni, staff and/or students.

It saddens me to curb our contractual relationship in this manner, despite a long and positive relationship with Gordon College over the years, however, not doing so would be a violation of our Non-Discrimination Ordinance and even more troubling, allow a contractual relationship between the City of Salem and an institution that enables, and now advocates for discrimination against the LGBT community. As Mayor, I most certainly cannot let that stand.”
 Let's hope Regent University and Liberty University soon find themselves as pariahs.

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