Monday, June 17, 2002

NRO and the Evangelicals

I really must admit I don't understand why so many evangelical blogs have a link to the National Review Online site. Personally, I don't view them as a friend of evangelicals. I've posted about this before (if interested, scroll halfway down to the Non-evangelical Conservatives post).

Today they have an article by Scott Galupo about the Jerry Vines comments at the SBC annual meeting in St. Louis. While ostensibly (I think) on our side, Mr. Galupo cannot help but to make oblique comments about evangelicals. Regarding Vines' comment: "Mohammed, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives and his last one was a nine-year-old girl." Galupo makes the following observation:
As for the demon factor, it's a go-to phenomenon for Baptists and other Evangelicals to explain everything from Mohammad's mountaintop revelation to UFO sightings”

Did you forget to mention that we blame MTV, PBS, government schools, the income tax, new math, the Yankees’ dynasty, and bottled water on demons, too?

He then says evangelicals have a "credibility problem" in attacking Mohammed given that: (1) King Solomon, is believed to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines (2) the possibility that that Mary was as young as 12 when she gave birth to Jesus. And (3) (a gratuitous non-sequitur) that the God of the Old Testament did instruct Jews to take the lives of thousands of people.

The article marches forward with a rehash Rod Dreher's incomplete explanation of evangelical support for Israel, once again painting all evangelicals with the same dispensational brush. (I have also posted about this before, see here and scroll to the "Christians and Jews" post.) According to this theory, we support Israel only because she fits into eschatological prophesy. The possibility that we support Israel because she is the only democracy in a region of totalitarian monarchs and thugs is not considered.

Galupo writes:
”It's clear, then, that Evangelicals, as a whole, are devoted not to the people of Israel but to the concept of Israel, in the cosmic context of the Book of Revelations (sic). ”

Note to National Review Online: The percentage of evangelicals supporting Israel is far greater than the percentage of evangelicals who identify themselves as dispensationalists.

Even when he tries to give us some credit it always comes back to the same thing: we are loony zealots consumed with end-times prophesy:
To be sure, they are engaged by the theological connection — the sense that biblical prophecy is playing out before their eyes, vindicating their literal-truth reading of Revelations (sic).”

Mr. Galupo also writes:
”They'd [pro-Israli evangelicals] be surprised to learn that Israel, in its modern incarnation, was founded in large part by atheists and socialists.”

Gee Mr. Galupo, some of us Baptists went to school and our teachers learned us letters, ciphering and lots of stuff!

The article contains this final comment about evangelicals:
”But they're [evangelicals] more than merely passive "fanatics." They're are practical, if sometimes misguided, defenders of a faith they believe is exclusively true. “

I am as pleased as Tevye (whom I only like because he just might be one of the 144,000!) was when the constable in Fiddler on the Roof told him something along the lines of “You are a good man, for a Jew.” Rarely have I received such a compliment.

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