You Don’t Counter French With Japanese…or, If UUs Want To Stay Irrelevant, Keep Ignoring the Bible

A comment on my last post states:

One could question if dominionist theology is the appropriate tool here.

In this particular clash of cultures, I strongly doubt that those pushing dominionist theology are going to listen the concerns of others. The only thing stopping them from being the US version of Taliban theocracy is they aren’t a voting majority and are not in control (yet).

Maybe we should be promoting the idea that religion (with its grounding in personal experience and not in evidence available to critical examination by others) should stay in the private realm and our political culture should be more secular? After all, our Western European neighbors and Canadian neighbors seem to do OK with both liberal religion and conservative religion staying out of politics.

After all, our goal here isn’t to convince Rep. Akin. We need to convince the voters that he has no business being near the levers of power in the US. So far, he’s been doing a good job of convincing voters that he cannot be trusted with power.

Ok…I’m going to take this one point at a time.

One could question if dominionist theology is the appropriate tool here.

I didn’t say counter dominionist theology with dominionist theology. In fact what I said was that to counter dominionist theology, one needed to know the vocabulary the Dominionists are working with—the Bible. Dominionist theology is actually fairly thin on academic theology talk, and very heavy on proof-texting with the Bible.   So if you want to get through to the people that Todd Akin was talking to in the Charles Jaco interview, you damn well better start speaking their language. You don’t counter somebody speaking French to a French audience by speaking Japanese and expect them to respond to you.

In this particular clash of cultures, I strongly doubt that those pushing dominionist theology are going to listen the concerns of others. The only thing stopping them from being the US version of Taliban theocracy is they aren’t a voting majority and are not in control (yet).

Wait a minute. I thought I was pointing out the need to use the Bible to keep the Dominionists and their allies from getting any more power.

The reason they are growing in their power is because religious liberals run around like little scaredy-cats anytime theology enters the debate; as if we don’t have the same book to draw from too.  They will quote Genesis 1. Guess what? We have Acts 14. But we act as if we don’t have Acts 14. They act as if they have Genesis 1.

Maybe we should be promoting the idea that religion (with its grounding in personal experience and not in evidence available to critical examination by others) should stay in the private realm and our political culture should be more secular? After all, our Western European neighbors and Canadian neighbors seem to do OK with both liberal religion and conservative religion staying out of politics.

Give a sista a freaking break. Europe?! Canada?! Really? Have you listened to the Dominionist crowd lately? This is part of the crowd that still believes that President Obama is a Kenyan, anti-colonialist, socialist Muslim and that he wants to turn the U.S. into Europe and Canada; which they see as anti-religion on top of all the other problems they see with Europe and Canada. And you’re going to use Europe and Canada in your argument? Good luck with that one.

After all, our goal here isn’t to convince Rep. Akin. We need to convince the voters that he has no business being near the levers of power in the US. So far, he’s been doing a good job of convincing voters that he cannot be trusted with power.

You might be right, our goal might not be to convince Todd Akin. But do you really think that Todd Akin is alone in his thinking? Let’s not forget that he is a current 6-term Representative. Obviously the second district has thought he represents them really well.

And I hate to tell you (not really, but I have to say that) but even with all of this hull-a-ba-loo, Todd Akin is still ahead in the polls. So this “good job of convincing voters that he cannot be trusted with power” that you see, I don’t see.

I know a lot of y’all think the rise of the “nones” means you can continue in your willful ignorance of the Bible and the condescension you have towards those who say that you should know what it says. Yet the people who are grasping at power use the Bible in ways that can ONLY be countered through using the Bible.

You don’t counter French with Japanese. So if UUs want to regain any relevance in the public square, it would help if you used the language that is being used in the public square. And that language includes the Bible.

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6 thoughts on “You Don’t Counter French With Japanese…or, If UUs Want To Stay Irrelevant, Keep Ignoring the Bible

  1. And I hate to tell you (not really, but I have to say that) but even with all of this hull-a-ba-loo, Todd Akin is still ahead in the polls. So this “good job of convincing voters that he cannot be trusted with power” that you see, I don’t see.

    Kim,

    Well … he was ahead in the polls but that may be changing:

    “Latest Poll Shows Akin Behind McCaskill”
    http://kplr11.com/2012/08/23/latest-poll-shows-akin-behind-mccaskill/

    Of course, this may be a short-term reaction to his “legitimate rape” comments. Or he may have had a “George Allen” moment that lost the election. We’ll know more as the Missouri Senate race happens.

    I know a lot of y’all think the rise of the “nones” means you can continue in your willful ignorance of the Bible and the condescension you have towards those who say that you should know what it says. Yet the people who are grasping at power use the Bible in ways that can ONLY be countered through using the Bible.

    I should assume good will here and will not take this comment as condescending.

    Folks like me may not know as much Bible as a person who has taken seminary courses like you’ve done, but we are not willfully ignorant about the Bible.

    I was raised in the 1960s and 1970s in a Protestant Christian household (Southern Baptist Dad, Methodist Mom) who attended Protestant services at the nearby Air Force chapel in childhood and at the neighborhood UMC church in high school (Methodist Youth Fellowship and youth choir).

    In addition, I’ve read both portions of the Bible and books for the layperson that provide an introduction to Biblical scholarship (Pagels, Crossan, Spong, Funk, Luke Timothy Johnson, Richard Friedman, Bart Ehrman, Buehrens, etc).

    This isn’t “willful ignorance” … it’s just my opinion that our society is better served in the long-term if we reduce the level religious rhetoric (conservative and liberal) from our political discourse.

    Given the demographic shifts in religious attitudes including the greater percentage of the “none” demographic group in younger generations, the “necessity” to counter the Bible with Bible may be no longer necessary. Those holding dominion theology views are driving their young adults away (based on the Barna Group’s polling data).

    Rachel Held Evans reported on this trend on her blog:

    When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)

    http://rachelheldevans.com/win-culture-war-lose-generation-amendment-one-north-carolina

    If the dominion theology folks keep it up, they will drive off their young folks and die off.

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  4. Pingback: “…the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” or Todd Akin Lost, But Not For the Reason You Think « East Of Midnight

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