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Franky Schaeffer is the son of the late, highly influential evangelical thinker Francis Schaeffer, who helped shape the modern conservative evangelical movement. The son boasts he was himself a co-founder of the Religious Right. But he since has denounced Christianity as “stupid,” writes bitter tell-all books about his parents, and ferociously attacks conservative religionists as the virtual root cause of all American evils.
A blogger for The Huffington Post, young Schaeffer is now faulting religious conservatives for facilitating Wall Street greed. He’s imploring the Wall Street Occupiers to “protest the root source of America’s tilt to the far unregulated corporate right.” For Schaeffer, the next logical step is to demonstrate “outside mega churches, Evangelical publishing houses, [and] religious organizations that lead the ‘moral’ crusades against women and gays and all the rest.”
Will the Wall Street Occupiers heed Schaeffer’s frenzied call and next park their tents, blankets and anti-capitalist placards in the parking lots of suburban mega churches? It seems unlikely. But Schaeffer’s demand fits with the crazy Left’s sometime fixation on demonizing opponents based on class and religion.
Thirty years ago, young Schaeffer joined his father in critique of the secular Left. Today, he faults religious conservatives for the “insanity and corruption” that plagues America. In 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama and publicly demanded John McCain renounce his ostensibly “hate-filled supporters.” More recently, he’s slammed Obama’s critics as “racists.” All the energy he once channeled into what he derides as “fundamentalist” Christianity is now furiously focused against all the perceived representatives of his parents’ faith.
In his recent appeal to the Wall Street occupiers, Schaeffer accused “Evangelical fundamentalism” of enabling the sinister top 1 percent’s “rape” of the remaining 99 percent. According to his mythology, perhaps based on Thomas Frank’s 2005 book What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, evangelicals’ delusional focus on “values” issues beguiles them into voting against their own supposed economic self-interest. Their “bogus (and hate-driven) ‘morality’ litmus tests of spurious red herring ‘issues’ from abortion to school prayer and gay rights” inveigles clueless evangelicals to vote for Republicans “serving only billionaires instead of the rest of us.”
Ecumenically, Schaeffer also tars Roman Catholics as likewise “fundamentalists” who have “delegitimized the US Government and thus undercut its ability to tax, spend and regulate.” So Catholic bishops, like evangelical mega churches, have also tricked their followers into voting against their “own class and self-interest.” Naturally, Schaeffer prefers not to acknowledge that traditional Christians and other people of faith, unlike the dialectic Left, do not typically identify by “class interest.” In contrast with the Left’s materialist obsession, religious believers view the world through the prism of their faith. Not as naïve as Schaeffer insists, traditional religionists have noticed that the supposed champions of their “class” not only disparage their faith’s morals, they also want further to marginalize faith through Big Government’s constant expansion. While people of faith prioritize churches, families, private charities, and private business, the Left pushes for centralization of power in the coercive and unelected federal bureaucracy.
More revealing of his own politics than of the purported beliefs of his targets, Schaeffer explained that “fundamentalists” had stigmatized government as “evil” and “satanic” because it allows abortion and gay rights. Accordingly, these otherwise progressive “God-fearing folks will always vote for less government and less regulation because ‘the government’ is evil.” These fools equate Wall Street with “freedom” and government with “tyranny.” Incoherently, Schaeffer also surmised that Evangelical and Catholic “fundamentalists,” in keeping with their Puritan witch-burning and Spanish Inquisition heritage, seek “fusion of state power and religion through the reestablishment of the ‘Christian America’ idea of ‘American Exceptionalism.’” So they apparently think government is both “satanic” and ordained by God, in Schaeffer’s telling.
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