Friday, October 07, 2005

Liberal bloggers, ignorant of terminology, may be upset over nothing

Liberals are all excited because Harriet Miers is an evangelical Christian. This is because they are confusing the term with "fundamentalist Christian." Everyone please calm down and get your facts straight. Many evangelical Christians are liberals. Many prefer to distance themselves from fundamentalism. Evangelical Christians, as a rule, are interested in being part of the world, whereas fundamentalists retreat from it and live in their own world.

The fact that Miers is an evangelical Christian doesn't really tell us much, other than that she has a firm belief in the authority of the Bible and in the workings of the Holy Spirit.


Evangelicals trend rightward on social issues, and trend toward literal interpretations of the Bible, even if they belong to denominations that don't rely on literal interpretations. So, evangelical Episcopalians/Anglicans generally are to the right of non-evangelical Episcopalians/Anglicans, particularly on issues involving women in the priesthood, and on gays and on abortion. In my observation, it is quite unusual to see self-described evangelicals favor gay civil rights and abortion rights. Not impossible, but unusual. Evangelicals described as "liberal" usually are liberal about government assistance to poor people, or about environmentalism.

Miers' particular church is a conservative one, I understand, and her personal views are also socially conservative (anti-legal-abortion, pro-sodomy laws). Since she was a corporate lawyer, I am assuming that her economic views are also conservative, and really, anyone associated with Bushco will be pro-corporate.

One of the main reasons she got nominated is that she is Bush's personal fixer, a get out of jail free card.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:49 AM  

More are conservative, yes, but I know of several rather liberal ones. It appears, from her past actions, that Miers is definitely anti-choice, supports some gay rights, and supports more racial and ethnic inclusion in government and business.

You are right that she is definitely pro-corporation, and I think this may be the bone Bush intended to throw, with her religion as nice packaging.

By Blogger Diane, at 10:57 AM  

On the other hand, she's self-described as "born again," ran for office as a "pro-life" Republican, and is winning endorsements from all sorts of wingnut fundamentalists.

Yet I see a lot of "liberal bloggers" actually pushing the other way, trying to paint her as a liberal, which strikes me as very odd.

The claims that she's pro-gay rights? Not so wonderful when you consider she opposes repealing the Texas anti-sodomy laws and believes people should be able to discriminate against gays.

The claims that she's a closet pro-choicer? What kind of wishful thinking is that? (Not that you're saying it, but it's out there on some bigger blogs.)

The claims that she's really a lesbian liberal feminist who's hiding out in the Bush White House, fooling her parishoners, the wingnut Chief Justice of Texas, Dobson and W ... really, why is any of this gaining credence?

I can see expressions of hope that she's possibly more moderate than she seems. And I can see that some folks are all a twitter over the conservative hand-wringing (which we're to assume is sincere).

But what we've seen for the past five days is a campaign by certain "liberal" bloggers that seems almost coordinated. I don't get why. There are plenty of good reasons to have a healthy amount of skepticism, not so?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 AM  

I am not saying that Miers isn't a conservative, though it is starting to appear that she isn't as conservative as many hoped. I am saying that calling evangelical Christians fundamentalists is not fair because they generally are not.

We do know that Miers has shown certain feminist leanings in the past (made invalid by her anti-choice stand, in my opinion), that she has left a window open for some gay rights, and that she has shown some sensitivity over racial matters.

I assume the worst about her because she is Bush's appointee and his personal attorney. But I like accuracy, and there is a differenc between fundamentalist Christianity and eveangelical Christianity. Clinton was counseled by an evangelical Chrstian, and people didn't get all upset about that.

By Blogger Diane, at 11:22 AM  

Obviously, I don't like accuracy that much, or I would have done a better spell-check.

Miers describes herself accurately as "born again." That is what evangelical Christianity is all about. Jimmy Carter is a born-again, i.e., evangelical Christian. I am not advocating for Miers, and I have no wishful thinking about her (or about anything) at all. I guess I just don't want her labeled as a fundamentalist when she hasn't said she is one.

By Blogger Diane, at 11:28 AM  

From the WashPost 10/5/05:

"..her membership in the massive red-brick Valley View Christian Church, where she was baptized as an adult, served on the missions committee and taught religious classes. At Valley View, pastors preach that abortion is murder, that the Bible is the literal word of God and that homosexuality is a sin -- although they also preach that God loves everybody."

It has also been mentioned that she is one of about 200 traditionalists who are splitting from this church and following the former pastor, partly on grounds of worship style. I'd guess that the "contemporary Christian" / charismatic stuff popular in many "low" churches today would drive her nuts - since her Wash DC church is an Episcopal Church USA.



By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:34 PM  

Sounds like a good guess to me, too, Nancy.

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