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The Religious Affiliation of
Frank Schaeffer: From "Fundamentalists to the Right, Fundamentalists to the Left: What my hate mail tells me about Christian factions today," by Frank Schaeffer (beliefnet.com). In this essay Schaeffer notes how fundamentalists on both the Christian right and the Christian left have strongly criticized his new book Keeping Faith, A Father-Son Story About Love and The United States Marine Corps (1999), which is about his son's decsion to join the Marine Corps. Fundamentalists on the right hate what seems like a too-accurate description of a restrictive and imperfect fundamentalist upbringing, while liberal/left-wing fundamentalists assail his admiration for the Marine Corps:
I abandoned Protestant Christian fundamentalism many years ago for Greek Orthodoxy. I converted because the Orthodox tradition embraces paradox and mystery. For someone raised in a strict Calvinist home, relief from absolutist certainty was most welcome... On the other side of the fence, my liberal readers assume I must be "some sort of right-wing war monger" because the book I wrote with my son expressed admiration for the Marine Corps. They accuse me of being the sort of imperialist who would stone Jesus to death if given the chance. These two groups of Christians presumably don't like one another, but from where I'm sitting, they are more alike than different. To these members of the religious right and left, there seem to be only two choices: for or against their dogmas...
I know something about fundamentalism. I'm the son of a fundamentalist evangelist. My late father, Francis Schaeffer, was a guru/prophet to his evangelical followers. Almost 20 years after his death, thousands of his books still sell each year. My father was very influential in the beginnings of the so-called Religious Right. Through his voluminous writings, he provided intellectual underpinnings for the views of tens of thousands of fundamentalists on such issues as a literal interpretation of scripture.
Webpage created 26 July 2005. Last modified 26 July 2005.
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