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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Bruce Gourley pointed me toward comments made recently by Frank (formerly Franky) Schaeffer about the current presidential race. I had a vague awareness that Schaeffer had turned away from his earlier rabid fundamentalism, but did not really know the extent of his conversion. At times like this, I am reminded that my move away from the SBC, which eventually included being institutionally disconnected from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Alliance of Baptists, and the American Baptist Churches as well, is more complete than it seems in my consciousness. I don’t get a whole lot of the grapevine news about the SBC and its kinfolk among fundamentalist movements. My students bring me awareness of some sorts of popular Christian trends, but not much about those folks.

A couple of Schaeffer’s statements seem especially notable. One emphasizes his revised evaluation of fundamentalism in a way that supports much of what Bruce Prescott finds himself battling in Oklahoma and beyond—a pseudo-Christian theocratic movement to reconstitute the U. S. A.

I finally got out of the evangelical movement in 1985 when I belatedly outgrew my fundamentalist background. I wanted to be a writer, not of religious propaganda but of actual books. I also quit because I had slowly woken up to the fact that the religious right I was in bed with -- because my late father Francis Schaeffer was one of their leaders, and in the nepotistic evangelical tradition I followed in his footsteps -- were not conservatives. They were anti-American agitators for a thinly disguised theocracy.

The other remark shows the pathos and crisis of the McCain candidacy in the current atmosphere of Republican Party chaos.

The irony is that the people McCain is appeasing these days in order to "unite" his party, are the same people who in 2000, spread (and believed) the racist nonsense about his black adopted child being illegitimate etc. The people he must suck up to now undid his candidacy then.

The sad truth is that the 2000 election was McCain's moment. The right wing evangelicals (and the Republican establishment) handed the presidency to Bush and the rest is history. Now McCain's moment has past, swept away by a river of needlessly shed blood and by the politics of fear.

Thanks to Bruce Gourley for his attention to these discussions.

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