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Normal evangelicals are starting to fight back

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Thank God, and about time.

Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called ‘The Cross and the Sword’ in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a ‘Christian nation’ and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

“When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.”....

“More and more people are saying this has gone too far -- the dominance of the evangelical identity by the religious right,” Mr. McLaren said. ”You cannot say the word ‘Jesus’ in 2006 without having an awful lot of baggage going along with it. You can’t say the word ‘Christian,’ and you certainly can’t say the word ‘evangelical’ without it now raising connotations and a certain cringe factor in people.

“Because people think, ‘Oh no, what is going to come next is homosexual bashing, or pro-war rhetoric, or complaining about ‘activist judges.’
That is the reason Christians are feeling oppressed. Not because of Mel Gibson's "fucking Jews," and not because of the ACLU. Christians are feeling oppressed because their own wacko evangelical fringe has so abused Christ as to make him a bad word. When I was a kid, it was a badge of honor to be a regular church-goer - it meant you came from a good family. Nowadays, if you say you're going to church on Sunday, my first thought is usually "is he going to hate me because I'm gay?"

America is less tolerant towards religion. And that's because the religious right has used religion as a sword against everyone its disagrees with. And that creates enemies. Not just for the religious right, but for the God on whose behalf they claim to speak.

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