The evangelical movement seeks power over us

Letters to the Editor

Publisher, Register-Mail: There is an evangelical movement in our country that seeks power and ascendancy over us all, that opposes the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring that Congress shall not establish a national religion and granting us freedom to practice the religion we choose (at any time, and within legal limits) and freedom of religion. You can start your church, but I don’t have to be a member or live by your ideologies. I recommend a fascinating book: “Jesus and John Wayne, How White Evangelicals Corrupted A Faith And Fractured A Nation”, written by Kristin Kobes Du Mez, professor of history at a Christian college, contributor to Christianity Today and author of “A New Gospel For Women.” It presents a 75-year history of white evangelicalism that seeks to “replace the Jesus of the Gospels with the idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism.” She explains the role of culture in modern American evangelism, the commercialization of movies, music, books and clothing that influences millions of people. Their values: “patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, opposition to Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ communities have transformed faith with lasting consequences for us all.”

Reading his book will help us understand how someone like Donald J. Trump got elected, and why he and his ilk still have such a significant influence on so many minds. No longer content with home schooling, a reanimated movement is underway by evangelicals to expropriate public schools, remaking them in their image. It’s a new/old paradigm being re-energized, colorfully packaged, and delivered to school boards, city councils, and legislatures. The political realm is influenced by their religiosity and brand of populism, but democracy is indeed jeopardized by their excessive fervor for supremacy. We who would maintain our secular democracy cannot afford apathy in our ranks; we must revitalize ourselves, communicate our ideals, educate and VOTE as if our lives depended on it!

The gospels may cry, “Make Jesus great again,” as if he had been emasculated, but he was NOT! Jesus is still the same, and so is the truth! There is a definite relationship between modern evangelicalism, militarism and American masculinity. GOP Congressman Josh Hawley laid bare that sentiment in his statement, “Men, after years of being told their manhood is the problem, they’ve retreated to an enclave of idleness, porn and video games”.

Does he blame it on female liberalism? We are a warrior species; seems that’s why President Biden’s approval rating plummeted after he ended our 20-year involvement in the war in Afghanistan. — Trish Forsyth Voss, Galesburg

This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: LETTER: Evangelical movement seeks power over us

Barry F. Howard