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The Daily Beast: Right-Wing Authoritarianism, Evangelicals, and President Donald Trump

This weekend at The Daily Beast, I have a new piece that looks at President Donald Trump, right-wing authoritarianism, and its lure for evangelicals. Check it out:

“Mr. President, in the Bible rain is a sign of God’s blessing. And it started to rain…when you came to the platform,” said Reverend Franklin Graham in his inaugural benediction before President Donald J. Trump.

Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was one of six, predominantly Christian spiritual leaders praying on January 20. It’s his firm conviction that the election was the work of divine providence.

“I believe,” Graham told Fox News, that “in this election, no question, God’s hand was in it.”

Read the full article at The Daily Beast.

 

Photo: Nico Beard (CC0)

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The Daily Beast: InterVarsity’s Growing LGBTQ Controversy

I have a new article up at The Daily Beast on InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s controversial LGBTQ+ employee policy; employees are not allowed to endorse or affirm LGBTQ+ relationships and remain at IVCF.  InterVarsity’s re-entrenchment of heterosexuality as the only acceptable identity is seen by many of those who are personally invested in their organization as troubling. It may lead to not only their de-recognition by colleges and universities—something they’ve faced in the past—but also the inability to have a table at the annual Society of Biblical Literature.

Check out the piece:

“When InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA endorsed Black Lives Matter last December, it saw racial reconciliation as “an expression of the gospel.” The evangelical student outreach, which has 1,011 chapters on 667 campuses, was both criticized and praised.

A recent controversy over the group’s position on same-sex relationships and how it affects employees, however, shows that any fears of their impending liberal takeover are greatly exaggerated….”

Read the full article at The Daily Beast….

Photo: Abo Ngalonkulu (CC0).

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The Daily Beast: Where are Progressive Evangelical Millennials to Go?

I’ve been meaning to update my blog the last couple weeks, but other projects have kept me preoccupied. So here I am trying to play catch up.  A couple weeks ago I had a new piece in The Daily Beast on progressive millennial evangelicals. Check it out.

They’re young, liberal, LGBTQ+, pro-choice, feminist, science loving, climate change accepting, and immigrant welcoming. They’re evangelicals.

No, this is not a report from an alternate universe, where history took a different turn. This is about a growing rift in the evangelical continuum, one with significant uncertainty about its future. It’s about a tribe within a tribe within a tribe—outcasts on the inside.

Read the entire piece at The Daily Beast….

Photo: Dan Gribbin (Realistic Shots): CC0.

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The Daily Beast: The Cost of Non-belief in America

It’s a political season—a long, long political season—and politicians invoke the name of God and even try to court powerful voting blocs. But what if you’re not a religious person in the United States? Atheists, agnostics, and others among the non-religious are used to not having representation in government.

In fact, for many, political representation rank among some of the least significant costs of being non-religious in America.

In my recent piece at The Daily Beast, I interview four former Christians now turned nonbelievers, and asked them about the personal and social consequences of their de-conversion. From a grandfather who is no longer able to see his grand kids to a woman told that her children would be better off dead, their stories are worth reading if one wants to understand what life can be like for some without faith in America.

Below is an excerpt. Read the entire article at The Daily Beast.

“…America is still ‘Christ haunted’—to use the words of Flannery O’Connor. Fears of public shunning and the risk of losing family connections and employment, keep many atheists quiet about their identity. There is a significant difficulty in being honest about disbelief in a country where prominent religious leaders warn that it leads to a nation’s demise.

‘I have 5 grandchildren now, and 4 of them I have never held,’ says Dave Warnock, a former pastor and now board member for The Clergy Project (TCP), a safe place and network for former religious professionals who no longer have supernatural beliefs. ‘They [his children] also withhold relationships from my wife—their mother, simply because she stays married to me, an apostate.'”