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Friday, March 27, 2015

The End Is Near For White Conservative Christian Americans


Isn't it ironic that the end is coming first for those who carry signs that say: 'The End Is Near'? And yet, according to Amanda Marcotte (click here for a quick bio and click there for her article), this is the case. And it isn't just Marcotte who is saying this. Several Conservative Christian blogs have been anticipating the coming period of exile where Conservative Christians will no longer have their traditional privileged position in deciding our society's laws and mores. What is the reason for this loss of power? 

Why is the sky falling now? I can think of 3 reasons 2 of which were mentioned by Marcotte. The first reason is demographics. There are getting to be fewer Whites in proportion to people from some other races and even still fewer Conservative Christians. The drop in the population percentage of Whites has to do with the population growth of other races. When you add to that the drop in the number of those who claim a religious affiliation, it is only natural to conclude that we will see a smaller percentage of white, conservative Christians.

But we should note, as Marcotte does, that the drop in the percentage of white, conservative Christians also has to do with their attitudes toward certain people who are different. And that difference has to do with attitudes toward sex. It seems that we have an old guard in the white conservative Christian American demographic who are punitive toward homosexuals in how they want society to treat homosexuals. They also cry foul when they are resisted. 

Now some of the resistance faced by that old guard, according to some of my fellow Christians, comes from the Political Correctness movement. And there is a little merit to that idea because of a few extreme elements in that movement. But the idea that a group that is losing its privilege and has been involved in marginalizing others would cry persecution and claim to be victims simply because some of its victims are making gains for itself is irritating to say the least. In fact, it is offensive. And when we add that to society's changing views of sex where, as Marcotte noted, in that people are feeling less guilty about having sex, we could add that it would be easy to see where some of the main messages preached by these Christians is losing its appeal.

Marcotte stops there, which perhaps reflects some of her major concerns; but there is one more point to make regarding why white, conservative Christians in America are losing their place in society. That point has to do with how their Christianity measures up to postmodernism. Postmodernism, as I understand it, is a reactionary movement that seeks to avoid the past moral mistakes of domination and colonization. Here we should note that the 'metanarratives' of both premodernism and modernism have been used to justify the exploitation and abuse of others. This exploitation and abuse in America occurs economically and in the world through foreign policies abroad. And included in premodernism is the Christian faith.

If we add to postmodernism's rise in popularity, the silence of white, conservative Christians on the domination and colonization we see in the world today provides another reason for why white, conservative Christianity is losing its appeal. The concerns regarding domination and colonization are real and merit opposition. So when white, conservative Christians try too hard to control the sexual lives of individuals while saying nothing to those who would exploit and abuse others, it seems that not only are white conservative Christian Americans losing their public appeal, they are creating a perfect storm for themselves. And that storm will cause the continued emptying of the white, conservative Christian movement in America.

Marcotte does say some significant things here about why white, conservative Christian Americans are no longer an in group. The comments on demographics are important and her calling the efforts of white conservative Christians to control what homosexuals are allowed to do in society 'overreach' is a nuanced way of being spot on. But there is a larger picture to consider as well. And that is where Marcotte fails. For while she looks at this Christian movement from a sexual issues perspective, white, conservative Christians continue to be silent about a status quo that relies on the exploitation and domination of others to live. Perhaps their silence is because they do not want to bite the hands that feed them. And this is what she should have also written about.



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