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Hopefully Professor Boers will recover from the trauma of the possible Bush visit. He clearly has not recovered from his nightmare years in the U.S., where he taught at a Mennonite school in Indiana. Seemingly Boers represents the new breed of neo-Anabaptists who, unlike earlier generations, don’t simply embrace pacifism for themselves but angrily denounce other Christians as heretics for not also renouncing all force with equal vigor. He was “heartsick over how the term ‘evangelical’ came in the U.S. to be understood as automatically implying right-wing militarism.” He struggled to explain how Canadian evangelicalism is “different,” i.e. superior. He rehashed old complaints about Bush’s “crusade” terminology and occasional use of scriptural language in speeches, which “conflated the light of Christ with pompous American pretensions” and which “distorted sacred texts into words of mass deception.” He was stunned when few American Christians dissented, instead hypocritically complaining about “militant Islamic rhetoric.” He remains “heartbroken” over Bush’s “arrogant theological actions.” He still grieves over how American Christian faith was “discredited” under Bush. And he feared that Tyndale’s hosting Bush would fuel “popular perceptions that Canadian and American evangelicalism are equivalent.”
Boers moved back to Canada from Indiana, “naively [heaving] a huge sigh of relief” as he crossed the border, not wanting “to think any more about George W. Bush, the world’s most controversial Christian.” He had “never dreamed” that Bush would follow him right back into the Tyndale. He is still “struggling to figure out how to speak up and to sing the songs of Zion.” Hopefully the professor will never again be subjected to exposure to America’s militaristic culture or its jihadist evangelicals.
One of Professor Boers’ colleagues opined differently about the Bush episode at Tyndale, regretting the “frenzy of hate stoked by the Left” with its “tone of smug, self-righteousness, judgmental, condemnation of a fellow Christian” by critics “blinded by Utopian ideology.” Professor Craig Carter further noted: “The angry, secular Left hates George Bush because he is not a socialist,” observing that President Obama has also waged warfare for America but has not earned the same condemnation. “There are a hundred campuses in Canada that would refuse to listen to George Bush,” Carter wrote. “If one or two gave him a hearing, would the sky fall?” He regretted that the “tactics of the angry, secular Left,” owing more to “Saul Alinsky than to the Sermon on the Mount,” came to evangelical Tyndale University.
For many on the Evangelical Left, whether in Canada or the U.S., Saul Alinsky is indeed a seeming greater influence than the Sermon on the Mount. Presumably most evangelicals in both countries, unlike a few angry professors at Tyndale, understand that equating Bush with Darth Vader is more deranged than spiritually discerning.
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