I finished Blinded by Might: Why the Religious Right Can’t Save America, by Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson. In my latest reading, Thomas was interviewing Jerry Falwell.
Two aspects of that interview that interested me were Jerry’s retrospective insight that the Moral Majority was wrong to allow local chapters to have too much autonomy, for that allowed local spokespeople to say or do nutty things that made the Moral Majority look bad, and Jerry’s lament that professors at evangelical universities are largely liberal when it comes to politics.
Regarding the local chapters, that stood out to me because some left-wing critics of the Moral Majority indeed did lambaste the entire movement because of what a couple of radicals said, when the Christian right may very well have some reasonable people. The question, though, is this: if the Christian right triumphs, will its reasonable elements have a bigger say? I’m rather skeptical. What Jerry said about the local chapters also stood out to me because I used to think that, to be a conservative or an adherent to a political philosophy, I had to defend everything that prominent adherents to that philosophy said or did. No I don’t. Even if people publicly do that in order to be team players or to save face, in private or in retrospect they are often quite honest about their mistakes.
Today, as a more left-leaning person, I don’t feel compelled to defend everything that a Democrat or a liberal says or does. Granted, I realize that a Democrat or a liberal who is under attack for something has his or her own side of the story, the same way that a conservative or a Republican does, and so the attack may not represent the whole deal, or the accused may not be as bad as critics say. But I don’t feel that I have to be unrealistic for the sake of ideology.
Regarding evangelical universities, while I am not a big fan of intellectual snootiness, especially in the evangelical sphere, I do admire the evangelical professors who take their faith in a left-leaning direction, for why should faith in Christ have to entail a right-wing political perspective?