Frank Schaeffer Drops Republicans

Frank Schaeffer, son of prominent Christian conservative philosopher Francis Schaeffer, has written an op-ed piece announcing that he will no longer support the Republican Party because of the Allen campaign's appalling treatment of James Webb in their Senate race.

I never served in the military. It was my son's unexpected volunteering that connects me to the military family and to my country. And I've been voting Republican for years. My late father - Dr. Francis Schaeffer - was an evangelical theologian, friend to Jerry Falwell and White House guest of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and the first President Bush.

I have nice handwritten letters from various members of the Bush family, including Barbara, thanking me for my books on military service. So I have every reason to stay in the Republicans' good graces. (It's nice to be complimented on television by the First Lady.)

But enough is enough. I've had it with Republican smears.

The right wing has been feverishly trying to paint James Webb as a pedophile because he has written novels about the Vietnam war that, in describing the events and culture of that time and place, refer to sex between young people. In particular, there is one scene that describes a father kissing the penis of his son, a routine ritual in that culture. Apparently, if you accurately describe something they don't like, that makes you a pedophile. Yes, they really are that stupid. And Schaeffer explains exactly why this reaction is so ridiculous:

The Webb e-mail is the embodiment of the cynical Republican strategists, some of whom must know the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Was Agatha Christie a murderer because she wrote about murder?

According to the Allen camp's logic, God would be a pedophile, too. After all, we Christians believe God inspired the Bible. And God-the-author chose to include the "sleazy" story about Lot offering to send out his young virgin daughters to be raped by the men of Sodom.

The Bible has masturbation scenes, rape, pedophilia and God's favorite man - King David - warming himself with a young virgin in his old age. He's the same man God tells us committed murder after he indulged his peeping Tom fantasies.

Lucky for God-the-author that He's not running against George Allen.

And he explains what he is going to do about it:

My wife and I have reached the tipping point. We plan to go to town hall to dump our Republican voter registration and reregister as independents. I don't care anymore what party someone is in. These days, what I care about is what they're made of.

Wartime demands leaders with character and moral authority. The political party smearing Mr. Webb proves it has neither.

Sounds reasonable to me.

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God would be a pedophile, too. After all, we Christians believe God inspired the Bible. And God-the-author chose to include the "sleazy" story about Lot offering to send out his young virgin daughters to be raped by the men of Sodom.

The 'sleazy' need not be in quotes. Whats interesting is this fellow automatically excuses this action by his version of God based on his prior assumptions while relegating his republican brethren(correctly) to the trash heap.

Which is all well and good for those suffering from congnitive dissonance.

This reminds me of some things I've heard some actual supposed scholars say in the whole Shakespeare authorship debate.

I don't remember who it was, but there is some candidate for authorship of Shakespeare who was gay. Well, that guy was thrown out on the basis that no gay guy could ever have written the male/female love scenes in Romeo and Juliet and the like.

What idiotic thinking. The Agatha Christie example is a great one.

And, yeah, the Bible's full of all sorts of sleazy stories and horrifing behavior. I mean, heck, God saying, "I'm pissed off, and I'm going to kill everybody but Noah and his drinking buddies," if it represented the literal action we're supposed to believe from God, doesn't represent something I'd want to worship....

-Rob

I don't care anymore what party someone is in. These days, what I care about is what they're made of.

It's sad that that revelation only comes now.

Alas, I've now gone the other way. The only hope of breaks on Bush is if there is a Democratic majority in Congress, and as such I will vote to support that party regardless of how much of an idiot the Democratic candidate might be.

I look forward to the day when once again I might have the luxury of judging individual candidates as individuals.

-Rob

if it represented the literal action we're supposed to believe from God, doesn't represent something I'd want to worship....

Need it be literal to be an equally disgusting idea/story?

The bigger question is why people excuse it.

Because God is Good. His book say so.

And, yeah, the Bible's full of all sorts of sleazy stories and horrifing behavior. I mean, heck, God saying, "I'm pissed off, and I'm going to kill everybody but Noah and his drinking buddies," if it represented the literal action we're supposed to believe from God, doesn't represent something I'd want to worship....

Fundamentalism in a nutshell: If you thought this God would terrorize you and others for eternity if it knew you wouldn't want to worship it, wouldn't you at least pretend like you worshiped it? Fundamentalism = scared out of their wits. Anyways, all this sleazy stuff is just business as usual. People can be real jerks when they're competing for stuff.

if it represented the literal action we're supposed to believe from God, doesn't represent something I'd want to worship

Or for that matter why would one feel comfortable worshipping a God who would punish forever those who simply disagreed or committed finite errors? Thats even worse.

GH, it's bad enough when I stub my toe, but to have the courage to stand up to a horrible monster like that takes a lot of scruples and courage. I wish I had what you got, buddy.

haha, who says I do.:-)

But that was funny anyway.

if it represented the literal action we're supposed to believe from God, doesn't represent something I'd want to worship....

Need it be literal to be an equally disgusting idea/story?

Yes.

If you're reading a story that's a story, you can read it as an allegory, or as a parable. It can make some points, or provide fodder for thought and discussion, even if interpreted literally the events would be something that would repel you.

For instance, it is possible to read Job as a parable about the lengths to which faith can go, rather than a story about God being an utter bastard at the suggestion of Satan.

The destruction of the Earth in the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a jovial stepping-off point for intergalactic comedic hijinx, not a horrifying tale of global armegeddon.

The gleeful celebtration of utterly antisocial criminal behavior in the movie Pulp Fiction on the part of what passes for protagonists propels the story, it does not leave us thinking that we should be standing up and condemning tales about sociopaths.

Etc.

The bigger question is why people excuse it.

Excuse what? Telling stories?

Whats interesting is this fellow automatically excuses this action by his version of God based on his prior assumptions while relegating his republican brethren(correctly) to the trash heap.

Yes, because it's not the sleaze that he's against. He's not criticizing Jim Webb for being sleazy (like the Bible), he's criticizing the Republicans for pointing it out. Get the difference?

Rob-

If one views the stories mentioned in the manner you do that is all well and good. But most people don't and I think that was the point.

Even your take on Job is not something admirable and I fail to see how pushing the limits of a persons faith in this story is any more palatable than that with which you seem to disagree. Your comparisons to Pulp Fiction is not an analogy that fits as no one looks to Pulp Fiction as a source of anything other than entertainment. And might I add I enjoyed it thoroughly.:-)

Telling stories?

If stories are all you think they are then fine.

Why, when people talk about the ugliness in the Bible, why don't they bring up the Passover? (I tend to respect Jews more than Christians, and Judaism slightly more than Christianity -- any religion that has a holiday like Yom Kippur deserves some respect, which I'm sorry to have to say, but I'm sure some anti-Semite has made the point I am making.)

The Passover story shows God killing the first-born son of every Egyptian who hasn't gotten the word about the lamb's blood. But Egypt wasn't a Democracy, where the citizens could at least be viewed as complict in the acts of the Pharaoh. It was a total monarchy, and thus this killing can only be viewed as terrorism, random violence and killing of citizens to cause the political leadership of a country to act a particular way. (It is true that ending slavery is an excellent cause, since slavery might be the ultimate human evil, but it was still terrorism.)

On a lighter note, have many of you read the story (in Acts, but I'm getting ready to vote and don't have the time to check the reference) of the one time Paul raised someone from the dead? Of course, he had to. It was a young boy who was listening to him preach, and Paul went on and on and on till the kid fell asleep and fell out of a third story window. Some one should point that one out to some of our more long-winded evangelists.