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How Biblical is the Christian Right? (by NT professor at U of Chicago)

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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:23 PM
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How Biblical is the Christian Right? (by NT professor at U of Chicago)
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2006/7/19/182024/580

How Biblical is the Christian Right?
By Carlos Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 06:20:24 PM EST

...This article is written by Margaret Mitchell, a professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago. It is nothing new to say that the Christian Right is really more interested in its political agenda than in paying attention to the Bible, but Professor Mitchell fleshes this idea out with much care and in rich detail.

....

Some excerpts from Mitchell's article:

---Conventional wisdom--on the right and on the left--in a rare show of agreement, believes that the Christian Right is the political face of a movement that is quintessentially biblical. The Christian Right equals Christians who are biblical literalists or fundamentalists who wish to reshape American culture and political life in the biblical image.3 Whatever else the Christian Right is, surely it is steeped in the Bible, and in a particular, literalistic reading of the Bible. Thus, Austin Cline, on atheism.about.com writes: "In effect, then, nothing has really changed . The complaints are basically the same. The rhetoric is basically the same. The proposed solution is basically the same: the Bible, the Bible, and more of the Bible. Little has changed in all of this because the fundamentalists have changed so little themselves."4
But is this actually true? < >

---My thesis is that what makes the Christian Right biblical is not a literalistic hermeneutic so much as a mode of argumentation by reference to a deliberately selective set of biblical passages, annexed to the predetermined cause through a variety of exegetical moves, which are usually unexplained because they depend upon prior agreement of the ends of interpretation. And I have shown examples where there is a lot less biblical study going on than one might expect. The Christian Right represents biblical interpretation in a conjunction of two selective circles: of what are the key issues in the political realm and what are the central passages in the biblical record. It represents an odd alignment of each. The canonical delineation is striking--a focus on the Old Testament, with special prominence given to Judges and 1 and 2 Chronicles, as well as to Genesis and Leviticus; and in the New Testament, to selected moralizing passages of the Pauline letters and Revelation. It is easy to see then what is missing: the prophets of Israel and the teachings of Jesus (the Gospels). Along with them go concern with social/political issues such as economic inequality, peace-making, love and forgiveness, and critique of religious hypocrisy (just to choose a few!).

---The key to this selectivity is the wholesale adoption by the Christian Right of one strand of biblical thinking, apocalyptic. And apocalyptic is indisputably in the Bible, though it is not everywhere in the Bible, or necessarily quintessentially biblical. < >

---By self-definition, the "Christian Right" is a movement that seeks to remake the political order in America in the biblical image. It seems fair to ask both those who honor it and those who repudiate it to examine, with a critical eye, whether or not it is really a biblically literalist movement.

(followed by comments)



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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:27 PM
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1. she is right.
worse, she's been right for a long time.

and the media -- as usual has been absent doing their home work.

if they go looking for opinion of a christian -- they go looking for the first evangelical{i.e. a literalist} and never say a woman bishop from the episcopal church.

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:35 PM
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2. The RW believers are very much the
cherry pickers they accuse the left half of us to be.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. They use the same modus operandi cherry picking
the bible to enable them to power as they did the intelligence in the run up to the war with Iraq. They are just modern pharisees or 21st century false prophets.
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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. very interesting
thank you for posting this
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Joe Bacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
4. Why the Christian Right IS Biblical, IF...
...you add two more books to the Bible--The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged!
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. Link to the actual article
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. My dad the Lutheran pastor used to accuse the fundamentalists of
putting together unrelated passages to create doctrine.

His facetious example of where this could lead was, "Judas went and hanged himself. Go thou and do likewise."
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