The God of no compromise and the government shutdown

vader cross ver 2For many of us who grew up evangelical, the word “compromise” has always been a bad word. It means to allow non-Christian values and influences to corrupt your devotion to Biblical truth. Frank Schaeffer, the son of the evangelical leader who started the modern Religious Right, claims that our government shutdown and its Tea Party architects cannot be understood apart from this fundamental characteristic of the evangelical ethos. Insofar as the Tea Party is an evangelical phenomenon, I think he may be right. Evangelicals are raised to be a people of no compromise. And it all starts with an understanding of Jesus’ cross that makes God into Darth Vader and turns us into cookie-cutter stormtroopers devoted to His imperial cause. Continue reading

Would you refuse to negotiate if…?

donkeyselephants-300x300Whatever your opinion about whose fault it is, our government has gotten beyond ridiculous. Many people from my church are out of work because of the government shutdown. So I thought for the sake of some absurdist comic relief, I would start a game of “Would you refuse to negotiate if…?” The way you play the game is to think of the most ridiculous expectations that neighbors, husbands, wives, or kids could have for someone else to “negotiate” with them. Please add your own in the comment section. Continue reading

The theology of government shutdown: Christian dominionism

rafael cruzOn the eve of our government shutdown, I wanted to do some research into the theological roots of Senator Ted Cruz, the standard-bearer of the Tea Party Republicans behind the shutdown. I couldn’t find any substantive theological statements from Ted, but his father Pastor Rafael Cruz has been a keynote speaker and ideological catalyst whom Heritage Action has been flying around the country in its campaign to defund Obamacare over the last several months. The elder Cruz has a distinct theological vision for what America is supposed to look like: Christian dominionism. Continue reading