What Does It Mean to Be Evangelical?



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Essentially this is a riff on a branding exercise

Put simply, "evangelical" has a positive or mostly neutral response, whereas "fundamentalist" does not. Thus fundamentalists often take umbrage at being called such even though they coined the term. In the 2008- "Tea Party" movement, some of the original adherents hung store-bought tea bags from hats, often ersatz tricorns - as a 14-year-old fan of Paul Revere and the Raiders I had modified a blue cowboy hat that was part of my band uniform as a clarinetist with the Pat M. Neff Junior High Texans, into a similar faux tricorn just like Revere and his band did. But some Tea Partiers did indeed call themselves "Teabaggers" - until someone - possibly Dan Savage - pointed out "teabagging" is a slang term for a particular type of foreplay or afterplay - try Urban Dictionary if you don't know. Since then, Tea Partiers, decided "teabagger" was a slur and objected vociferously to its use by their critics.

So it is with Fundamentalists. They object because it's box office poison to them. Thing is, if you commit to memory the tiny number of Biblical passages referring seemingly to same-sex attraction, you are by nature a fundamentalist, as well as several other things I won't mention here at this time. You are a fundamentalist if you think there's Biblical justification for criminalizing abortion, even though Number 5:11-31 tells how to perform one. As the British say, "You see that Fundamentalist? That's you, that is!"

If Thomas Lambrecht were not a fundamentalist he would never have made oppressing LGBTs his raison d'etre. It's that simple.

Of course, he is also an evangelical, as is Lawrence. Karen Oliveto is an evangelical. Hillary and Bill Clinton are evangelicals. Jim Wallis is an evangelical. George W. Bush is, in style, while his parents, faithful Episcopalians, are not. All Knights Templar are as we pledge to favor the "preferment" of the Christian faith, though we leave the specifics up to the members. Charles Colson, Franklin Graham, and the rest of the leading lights of the Religious Right, are also evangelicals, but they are fundamentalists as well. They're just not all that keen on being called that.

Compared to such things as Don Imus calling a mostly African-American women's basketball team "Nappy-headed ho's," being called fundamentalist is a rather ironic example of "white fragility" - the anxiety that their views are not universal. Deal with it.

George Nixon Shuler more than 1 year ago