Jack Jenkins offers an interesting observation – after a few, relatively quiet years, conservatives Christians are stepping up their attacks on liberal Christians.
Granted, conservative Christian denunciation of people who hold different beliefs than they do isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Organizations such as the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which has spent years lobbying against LGBT equality from within several Christian denominations, have long sought the eradication of liberal theology. Right-leaning Catholics and evangelical Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham have repeatedly made sweeping claims as to what “Christians” believe, implying that people of faith who don’t share their views are not, in fact, Christians. What’s more, faith communities — conservative or otherwise — have lashed out at each other almost since their inception, so it’s not necessarily surprising that conservative Christians, having lost legal battles over LGBT issues, are now sliding into a theological debate with fellow believers.
Shrewdly, Jenkins follows up on this observation with:
Yet the newest push against liberal Christianity appears hypocritical, as it coincides with a massive campaign waged by various right-wing Christians to insist that the political left respect their “religious liberty” — namely, the right to deny jobs and services to LGBT people in the public sphere, private business, and in Christian schools by invoking faith.
The Religious Right in the US has spent decades trying to convince themselves and everyone else that they and they alone know what constitutes Christianity and they and they alone can speak for the Christian faith. Liberal Christians are a problem for them because they are a public and often eloquent witness that a different kind of Christianity exists.
Of course, having lost the legal battles over marriage equality, the Religious Right is going to lash out. And they will lash out at their insufficiently faithful brethren first.