Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How cultural Christianity baptizes blind spots

Here's an excellent piece from Rod Dreher comparing the guilt-free acceptance of racism by Christians in the pre-Civil Rights South (in complete violation of scripture) to the guilt-free acceptance of gay marriage and gay sex by millennial Christians (in complete violation of scripture).
It is hard for people who weren’t raised in the South in a certain era to understand how white Christians could have believed the things they did about black people. ... Born in 1967, I’m just old enough to remember the vestiges of the ideology of white supremacy, and how a lot of older people I grew up knowing and respecting as Christians were genuinely blind as bats when it came to race. The important point to keep in mind is that there was no apparent tension within themselves about it. I can’t know their minds, obviously, and most of them I knew are dead. But it seems to me that they simply ignored all the Biblical texts that challenged white supremacy, and weren’t aware of how much of the Bible they had to dismiss in order to justify what they wanted to believe about race. It simply never came up. They were aware that plenty of Christians outside the South judged their position as un-Christian, but they dismissed those Northerners as liberals who had no idea what they were talking about, and didn’t have to be taken seriously. ...

I recall a complete ease about racism among the older Christians I knew. It was just the way the world was. To them, the Biblical righteousness of their position on race relations was so plain to them that they did not see how anybody could in good conscience disagree.

I have seen the same thing playing out among Millennial Christians in the South. For many of them, the moral acceptability of gay sex and gay marriage is not even a question — and certainly not something to worry about in context of Christian thought and life. It is not even a matter of contention. Those who object are conservative bigots, period, end of story. What’s interesting to me is that the same confidence I observed in older churchgoing whites about race, despite the Bible’s clear teaching, I now observe in younger churchgoing whites about homosexuality, despite the Bible’s clear teaching.
Read the whole thing.

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