Monday, December 10, 2007

An Interview with Frank Schaeffer

John Whitehead from The Rutherford Institute interviewed Frank Schaeffer about his book, Crazy for God.

The whole interview is worth reading (in fact the book looks worth reading), but this part caught my attention:

JW: You note in your book that you slowly realized that the Religious Right leaders you were helping to gain power were not necessarily conservatives at all in the old sense of the word. They were anti-American religious revolutionaries.

FS: I personally came to believe that a lot of the issues that were being latched onto by the Christian Right, whether it was the gay issue or abortion or other things, were actually being used for negative political purposes. They were used to structure a power base for people who then threw their weight around. The other thing I began to understand is that in dismissing the whole culture as decadent, in dismissing the public school movement as godless, in talking about anybody who opposed them as evil, the Religious Right was only a mirror image of the New Left. Thus, the Religious Right and the New Left are really two sides of the same coin. What gets left out is a basic discussion about the United States and the reality of living here, the freedoms we enjoy and the benefits of a pluralistic culture where people are not crushing each other over beliefs. This gets lost. Thus, the kind of harshness you see in left and right-wing blogs today, for instance, such as it’s red state, blue state America, I just got sick of it. In other words, the Religious Right was as negative and anti-American as anybody I ever talked to on the Left. So the people we had coming through L’Abri in the late sixties and early seventies bashing the United States in a knee-jerk way over the Vietnam War was exactly the same kind of thing that you would hear in a different way from Falwell and Dobson and these other people.

I have yet to read the book, but I'm looking forward to reading more about Frank Schaeffer's look at truth, honesty and how the Religious Right has co-opted the public representation of faith in America.

1 comment:

Susanne B. said...

He makes a really good point. I like the excerpt you posted -- very thought-provoking. :)