"When I was 19, my girlfriend and I were going to study in Paris. Our boyfriends came to the docks to see us off. Right as we were getting on the ship, my friend’s boyfriend said to her: ‘If you go, I won’t wait for you.’ So she turned around and decided to stay. My fiance saw this and told me: ‘I won’t wait for you either.’
I said: ‘Don’t!’”
Like abortion and gay marriage in American conservative politics, there are two similar “single issues” that routinely dominate the theological conversation to draw an absolute line in the sand between evangelical and non-evangelical, orthodox and heterodox, Christian and faux-Christian. And, as it happens, both single issues start with “H.”
Having the “right” stance on these two issues has become something of a master signifier in modern evangelicalism, such that stepping to the “left” just a tad will earn you a swift excommunication from many established evangelical voices. Of course, these signifiers are part and parcel of a larger one – belief in the inerrant Bible (with a strictly soterian hermeneutic). It doesn’t matter how orthodox one may otherwise be on, say, the atonement, resurrection, Trinity, etc. And it most certainly doesn’t matter if the content of one’s life is reflective of a deep work of the Spirit, a commitment to the church, and a passion for following Jesus and inviting others to do the same. No, to stop short of an Eternal Conscious Torment perspective on hell and a Perverted Sinful Choice perspective on homosexuality is to deny the faith itself.
In my own reflection (yeah, go ahead, subjectivism and emotionalism and yada yada), it certainly seems that this kind of stance is a suicidal one, especially since there is a growing theological tide of nuanced opinion on both of these topics among people who, like me, identify as evangelical. And, there is a desire on the part of those who have typically been cordoned off as “mainliners” to fellowship and co-labor with brothers and sisters in evangelical streams. And it further seems that the unity of the church itself as we see it playing out before our very eyes may hinge on whether or not we can embrace each other as passionate followers of Jesus – evangelicals even! – despite differences on these single issues.
And strangely, that’s where what’s wrong with evangelicalism is just so wrong. Conservative evangelicals are quite fond of playing the persecuted victim card when opposing “progressives” who supposedly want to take away their rights, but that is all to distract attention away from the reality – that they have already deemed the progressives to not be real Christians. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a progressive evangelical make the same claim toward a conservative. Sure, there is disagreement and it might get ugly at times. But I think there is a desire among those deemed progressive to somehow find and affirm a common faith with conservative brothers and sisters (if they’ll have us).
A Tea Party group posted fake jingoistic propaganda from Bioshock Infinite to their Facebook page.
Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
I often wonder why a parent who believes vaccines are harmful would want to bring their children to a medical doctor at all. After all, for immunizations to be as malign as their detractors claim, my colleagues and I would have to be staggeringly incompetent, negligent or malicious to keep administering them.
If vaccines caused the harms Jenny McCarthy and her ilk claim they do, then my persistence in giving them must say something horrifying about me. Why would you then want to bring your children to me when you’re worried about their illnesses? As a parent myself, I wouldn’t trust my children’s care to someone I secretly thought was a fool or a monster.
So, this whole article is pretty awesome. But I think this encapsulates the ridiculousness of the anti-vaccine philosophy. They think everybody is hoodwinked into trusting vaccines, even people who should still know better, but they’ll still trust doctors with other things. I think it goes down to how they think vaccines aren’t important and the illnesses aren’t that bad, so being right or wrong about vaccines doesn’t really matter. It’s a typical conspiracy theory.
What if magazines covered topics such as child marriage, human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation? This year for International Women’s Day (March 8), Catapult is raising awareness about the challenges facing women and girls around the world. Learn more about what you can do to help.