Right Wing Loonies Repent

Here’s the article about how and why three big name evangelicals eschewed the movement. One quote, from Frank Schaeffer (son of Francis Schaeffer), resonated with me:

“There were three kinds of evangelical leaders: The dumb or idealistic ones who really believed. The out-and-out charlatans. And the smart ones who still believed — sort of — but knew that the evangelical world was sh*t, but who couldn’t figure out any way to earn as good a living anywhere else.”

I have no idea whether this description is accurate, I can say, though, that one of the big reasons I left a very evangelical divinity school for law school was premonitions about becoming the second type. Beginning in college and accelerating through divinity school, I lost most of my respect for the leaders and “thinkers” I had hoped to emulate in the evangelical movement. Most of the ideas also lost their prominent place in my mind. As the doubts grew, of course, so did questions about what I was going to do with a degree from an evangelical school. I could fake it and go get a job in that world, or I could say “bye-bye” and do something else. Not wanting to be a fraud – or end up like the Rev. Clarence Arthur Wilmot – I left for law school. Proving that nothing in life is beyond the Simpsons, I felt a bit like Jimbo did towards Homer at the end of “Homer the Vigilante:”

You let me down, man. Now I don’t believe in nothing no more. I’m going to law school.

I’ve since repented of that, too.

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