Shea Serrano, Trump Supporters, and Double Fundamentalism

We evangelicals like to draw a distinction between ourselves (the normal people) and the fundamentalists (the crazy khaki pants people). Obviously, definitions are complicated, and often sloppy, but a key aspect of fundamentalists is their tendency to isolate themselves from non-fundamentalists. A good summary comes from a slogan that my grandparents heard back when they were young:

Don’t smoke, don’t chew, don’t go with those who do.

To paraphrase slightly, fundamentalists: (1) don’t smoke or drink, and (2) don’t socialize with people who smoke or drink.

Double fundamentalists take it a step further. Their rules are: (1) don’t smoke or drink, (2) don’t socialize with people who smoke or drink, AND (3) don’t socialize with people who socialize with people who smoke or drink.

To make things more concrete, say we have three people: Anne, Bob, and Carol. None of them smoke or drink, but Anne socializes with people who do. Bob, a fundamentalist, could still socialize with Anne. Carol, a double fundamentalist, could not.

Based on my (too) extensive use of Twitter, I’ve noticed a troubling pattern emerging. I’m thinking of one writer in particular: Shea Serrano from the Ringer. For reasons that will soon become clear, I want to emphasize that I like most of his writing a lot.

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The Opposite of a Cultural Evangelical. Sort Of.

In my last post, I questioned poll results based on (some) evidence. Now, I’m going to question those same results without any evidence.

But don’t worry, I have something way better than evidence–a hunch. Here it is:

Picture a spectrum of people. All of these people affirm the same basic “evangelical” beliefs about Christianity, Scripture, and everything else. Now let’s say we line up all those people according to how enthusiastically they embrace the term “evangelical.”

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Not the Enemy

I meant to post this a couple days after the election, but a combination of work trips and Thanksgiving held me back. That’s probably a good thing. When your country just elected a reality star as president and you spend the next day staring out the window wondering if the whole world has gone insane, hot takes aren’t healthy. So instead, here’s my cold take…

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Sigh. My #NeverTrump Post.

So I’ve planned on writing my official #NeverTrump post for a while. It’s the thing to do. At least, all my Facebook friends seem to be doing it. I’ve written on Trump before. Like this piece on my blog, this one at Patheos, and this one at Mere Orthodoxy. But all of those lack the crisp thesis statement. So here it is:

I have never supported Trump, and will not vote for Trump. I plan on voting for Evan McMullin.

According to Facebook, my next step is giving every reason for rejecting Trump. That should be easy–there are at least a dozen independent reasons why Trump shouldn’t be President.

But I’ll be honest . . .I don’t want to.

I’m tired of this whole Trump thing. I’m tired of scrolling through Twitter and liking all the anti-Trump quips. I’m tired of lambasting the self-righteousness of Trump’s evangelical defenders. I’m tired of feeling self-righteous myself.

Continue reading “Sigh. My #NeverTrump Post.”