Culture: January 2005 Archives

Ron Sider (not to be confused with metaphysician Ted Sider, for any philosophers reading this; Ron is Ted's father, but Ted is an atheist, and his dad is a religiously conservative but politically liberal evangelical Christian) has authored "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience" in Christianity Today (Hat tip: Fringe). He argues that Christians who identify themselves in certain ways so as to be classified by pollster George Barna as evangelicals tend to have behavior that's indistinguishable from the rest of Americans (and if distinguishable then morally worse) in some key areas: divorce, racism, materialism (in the sense of overvaluing material possessions) and attitudes toward the poor, sexual morality, and other key behaviors that often lead to the charge of hypocrisy, or even worse that evangelicalism causes bad behavior. See this comment thread for someone who trollishly was making exactly that claim (though without actually giving any argument for it, which Sider does).

Christian Victimology

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Here's another one I wanted to make an extended comment on, but it's been almost two weeks now, and I haven't had the opportunity, so I wanted to say something. Christian victiomologists are at it again. As I've explained before in more detail, victimology is focusing on victimhood when it's only barely present (if at all), not to seek solutions to any genuine problems but merely to contribute toward one's own sense of alienation and a group solidarity based on resentment toward the group that has, whether rightly or wrongly, been perceived to be victimizing one's own group. In my more detailed post (linked above), I gave a few examples of the phenomenon, some having to do with race or ethnicity, some having to do with religion or lack thereof. Christians, particularly the more extreme elements of the religious right, are no strangers to victimology, and that's what's going on in this case.

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