A while ago, I wrote a post about how experience had forced me to regard "progressive" Christians as would-be allies of the New Atheists, whose problem with the Cult largely stemmed from not being singled out as exceptions to their diatribes. Casting religious belief in general, religious morality in general, and Christianity in particular as savage, stupid, hateful, dangerous and more? Quite fine. They simply would like acknowledgment that this doesn't apply to the "progressive" Christians. But the Cult of Gnu hasn't really made much of an exception for them, and so the "progressives" - some of them, anyway - oppose the Cult.
As the post outlines - I came to this conclusion based on my own interactions with "progressive" Christians, including some prominent ones like James McGrath. Time and again I've noticed that if someone calls themselves "progressive", they're usually beyond mere disagreement: they actively encourage and tolerant hatred of their opponents. With McGrath, it was painting any Christian who so much as refuses to bake a cake for a gay wedding as being on par with nazis and klansmen - and later, turning a blind eye and subtly encouraging a particularly virulent "progressive" jackboot who openly threatened to fuck with who he thought was my RL employer and tried to shatter my anonymity (protip: if you try that, do try to get accurate information) in response to my criticizing McGrath. And as of late, it's shown up with the hate speech of John Shore, demanding that war be declaring on "conservative evangelicals" - because, after all, they absolutely hate gays and want to beat them to death, as anyone would if they regarded unrepentant sinners as risking damnation.
By the way, if you haven't read Shore's speech, be sure to do so. Keep in mind that Shore's a prominent "progressive" - we're not talking a backwater figure like myself, but someone really at the forefront of "progressive" Christianity.
But what was really telling for me wasn't just Shore's speech. It was, in the micro-laboratory of Lothar's blog, where I called out Shore on his hate speech, and waited to see how many "progressives" with follow. After all, he was screaming that war should be declared on them, he accused them of wanting to beat "unrepentant" homosexuals to death with their bare hands, of having supported slavery in the US, and more. Surely all that talk of mutual respect, all that "bridge building" talk, would yield a few condemnations?
Ladies and gentlemen, if you believe that, I have bad news for you: you have been suckered, just as I used to be suckered.
Oh, one guy did stand up and condemn it. A fellow by the name of JesusWithoutBaggage. I thanked him for his courage, and he deserved my thanks.
Otherwise? Silence or support for John Shore. Some attempts at topic-switching - 'No, no, let's not talk about Shore, instead let's talk about a completely sterilized re-interpretation of what he said that kinda-sorta sounds like legitimate criticism of some conservatives!' Some outright support and apologetics on his behalf.
By the way - really pause for a moment and take in Sheila's defense of the man. It's nice to know you can get away with just about any kind of demonization and hate speech so long as you chalk it all up to "metaphor". Metaphors, they sure are useful! Somehow, I suspect that the defensive use of "metaphor" talk flies out the window with the wrong people.
Now, Lothar's blog is a microcosm at best of "progressive" Christianity. A few regulars - a bigger blog than mine, but not by much. But you know... when you see these prominent "progressives" behaving this way, when you see the sheer hatred they heap on anyone who dares to oppose them, when you notice that any whiff of social conservatism now merits open and blatant firing of individuals from their jobs... well, you start to notice patterns. If there exists some sizable contingent of "progressive" Christians who oppose these actions, who oppose the hatred, they are doing an absolutely marvelous job of hiding - to the point where they are functionally inconsequential.
I write all this to urge you few people who read this blog to really understand what "progressive" Christianity in particular, and "progressivism" in general, is really all about. Know what kind of hatred they are directing at you, if you are all socially conservative. Know what they will justify. Know what lengths they will go to. Always be alert, and more than that, start to decide just how this should impact your life, your attitudes and your behavior.