Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller

I am right wing, somewhat Christian, and believe that many Christians and secular conservatives have made the nuclear family and marriage into idols, which is wrong.

I am not opposed out-right to the traditional family, marriage, or to motherhood, and so forth, in and of themselves, but I am in disagreement at how so many right wingers and Christians elevate all those things to the point that they end up marginalizing anyone who does not fit the mould of “married with children.”

Anyone who is infertile, child free, divorced, never married, widowed, and what have you, is excluded or treated shabbily by the majority of “family values” obsessed right wingers and Christians, which again, in my view, is terribly wrong and unfair.

Here is an article explaining how and why the religious right elevated “the family” in their rhetoric:

(Link): Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why Religious Liberty has Replaced It) by E C Miller

Excerpts:

  • From about 1970 until about 2000, American politics was largely driven by concern about the nuclear family. As established social hierarchies came under fire from the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, second-wave feminism, and others, conservative advocacy groups and their political allies demanded a return to the idealized family of the past. “Family values” became the rallying cry of a countermovement bent on holding the traditional line.
  • Seth Dowland is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University. His book, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right, charts the influence of Christian “family values” advocacy across three decades and a variety of issues.
  • RD’s Eric C. Miller spoke with Dowland about the project, the politics, and the significance of family in the United States.
  • You introduce “family values” as the key term of the Christian Right in the late twentieth-century United States. Why was this term so influential for this group in this place and time? 
  • Many of the political reforms enacted from the 1930s through the 1960s—particularly the expansion of the welfare state and the passage of civil rights legislation—attempted to expand equal rights to all people.
  • Political liberals celebrated these developments, while conservatives looked around the nation at the beginning of the 1970s and saw economic stagnation, riots, sexual revolution, a decline in patriotism, and an increase in crime and drug use. Ministers and political conservatives argued that America was in decline. They believed that decline happened because of the demise of the “traditional family.”

Continue reading “Why “Family Values” Defined Conservative Christianity (and Why “Religious Liberty” has Replaced It) – by E C Miller”

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable

Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable 

The other day, I posted this (part 1 to this post):

I have re-listened to the podcast this evening and wanted to comment on some of what I heard.

In the program, there is a guy named Rodney who was once a conservative Christian, who drifted into liberal theology, and who now says he has a “deistic philosophy” and he says he is “agnostic about most religious questions.”

He says he has same sex attraction, and was put off to Christianity for (among other reasons):

How American conservative Christianity tends to over-identify with, or promote, the Republican Party (right wing American party), and that some preachers are too condemning of homosexual persons.

Rodney also says he does not accept the notion of an eternal Hell.

A few times, Rodney mentions that he has a deist- like view of God. He thinks all of us humans are rats, the earth is a big laboratory, and God is a scientist in a white lab coat observing us all but not intervening.

Rodney thinks if God is involved with human life, that God should do things like cause all members of ISIS (terrorist group) to drop dead of heart attacks. He does not believe that God helps people to pass school tests, find parking spaces, or cures diseases.

The show had a Christian author and guest on named Os, who replied to some of Rodney’s points.

_Some of my thoughts on the show and the topics Rodney raised._

1.) Politics and Liberal Vs Conservative Christianity

I am right wing politically and have been a Republican (GOP) my entire life.

I have very large misgivings about the GOP the last few years, though, so I’m not totally sure where I stand politically, though I do not ever see myself becoming a liberal or a Democrat.

I do agree with Rodney that too many conservative Christians conflate Christianity with the Republican party.

But then, a lot of liberal Christians or liberal Christian denominations entwine a lot of liberal beliefs and causes with the faith too, (such as support of abortion, the Democratic Party, liberalism, and homosexual marriage).

Continue reading “Some of My Thoughts Regarding ‘Why do evangelicals lose their faith?’ – Podcast by Unbelievable”

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)

Possibly one good thing about white Christians being in the minority is that perhaps they will re-evaluate how they treat marginalized groups, such as adult singles.

(Link): Pew: White Christians No Longer in Majority

  • by Nick Glasss, November 2015
  • White Christians now make up less than half of the U.S. population, largely receding from the majorities of most demographic groups, with one notable exception: the Republican Party.
  • According to the latest results from Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape survey published Monday by (Link): National Journal’s Next America project, just 46 percent of American adults are white Christians, down from 55 percent in 2007.

Continue reading “White Christians No Longer Majority in U.S.A. (2015 Pew Study)”

Republicans And Women: Single Women Vote Democratic Because They Wish They Were Married, Pundit Says

Republicans And Women: Single Women Vote Democratic Because They Wish They Were Married, Pundit Says

Skimming this article over, I think it gets a few things wrong, but he may be right about one or two things.

This is one of those times I’m not firmly on either side. I think the liberal lady who responded to this guy’s editorial (which I link to farther below) made some good points, but I feel he made some good points, too. I feel she maybe got a few points wrong, but he did too.

(Link): Republicans And Women: Single Women Vote Democratic Because They Wish They Were Married, Pundit Says

I happen to be a woman, single, want to get married, but I never vote Democrat. I’m a Republican.

There were a few other comments or assumptions this guy made that struck me as strange.

His assumption that single women want to get married is highly novel.

Why do I say that? Because most of the time, my fellow right wingers assume that the reason women are single into adulthood is that they are all men-hating, leftist feminists who hate marriage, do not want marriage, and prefer focusing on their career over getting married.

There may be some women who want to stay single, or who place a career before marriage, but I don’t think that is true of most women, but it is an assumption I see time and again by Republicans and conservatives, and by Christians.

Some of this guy’s (Reno’s) views about women, why they feel as they do, or why they are not married, and a host of other things is condescending in some parts.

Recall again that I myself am a Republican. I doubt I will ever agree with most Democratic positions on much of anything, but this does not mean I always agree with every last position stated or held by other Republicans.

I don’t know about the Republican Party, but – I do think more Christian churches should serve as match-making vehicles for adult singles who want mates, the ones who would welcome the help. An adult’s single’s basic choices for meeting someone past the age of 30, boil down to

  • 1. friends 2. dating sites 3. bars and nightclubs.

I never had a huge network of friends, so option 1 never worked for me. My adult single female friends would ask me to fix them up on blind dates with men, but I told them I didn’t know any, or I knew the same ones they already knew.

As for 2, that is not successful. Most of the Christian men who are on dating sites are crass morons. As for 3, bars have always seemed sleazy to me, especially during my time as a devout Christian. So. Churches need to fill this gap and start playing match maker for singles who are interested.

I’m not sure about overall American population, but based on about every survey, poll, and article I’ve read about evangelical/Baptist adult singles in the past five or so years, the reason why adult women are staying single boils down to a numbers game: the single, Christian females vastly out number the single, Christian males.

One article I saw said that the reason singles aren’t marrying is due to economic factors – young males are having a hard time finding steady employment and don’t feel they can marry without a steady paycheck.

(Link): This post at my blog also quotes a writer who mentions the phenomenon.

This post also covers it: (Link): Over 10 Million Men of Prime Working Age Are Unemployed in the US and Experts Think It’s Causing Declining Marriage Rates

The author, R R Reno, who blames liberals in part for why women who want marriage are remaining single, should be fair and acknowledge that conservative Christians also play a role in keeping women single, the ones who want marriage.

As you already are aware from this blog, and reading what other singles have to say, Christians encourage adults singles over the age of 30 to remain single and actively discourage or block singles from getting spouses.

On the one hand, Christians gripe and complain about singles being single, but when Christian singles take steps to get married, such as asking married friends to pray for God to send them a mate, or when they ask church friends to set them up on blind dates, they get patronizing lectures consisting of unbiblical attitudes such as,

  • “be happy where you are,” ‘the Lord is your husband, don’t bother dating,” “don’t try to get married; if it’s in God’s will, he will send Mr. Right to you,” and “be content in your singleness,” and “if you are still past age X, it means God has called you to a life of singlehood.”

With attitudes such as those, conservative Christians are keeping adult singles single. They are acting as barriers to Christians who wish to be married; it’s not just liberal Democrats who may be at fault, it’s right wingers, as well.

(Link): Republicans And Women: Single Women Vote Democratic Because They Wish They Were Married, Pundit Says

  • Winning the women’s vote has been (Link): an acknowledged problem for Republicans in recent elections, and one conservative pundit believes he has the way to fix it — namely, “reinforce the authority of traditional culture.”
  • R.R. Reno, editor of (Link):  the online political journal First Things, published his essay, “The Dilemma Facing Social Conservatives” on Thursday, in which he argues that the the typical unmarried woman who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and tends to vote Democratic in most elections, simply “wants to get married and feels vulnerable because she isn’t and vulnerable because she’s not confident she can.”
  • The reason such women reject Republican candidates, Reno says, is that they feel “judged” by Republicans, who oppose same sex marriage. Because Republicans advocate banning all marriages other than those involving heterosexual couples, Reno’s hypothetically typical unmarried woman feels that the GOP is telling her that “her life isn’t on the right path.”

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