“I Am Not a Conservative Christian”

by Michael Potemra

. . . is an interesting essay by, well, a conservative Christian. Indeed, that’s what makes the article so fascinating. It is a left-wing cliche to observe that conservative Christians are more conservative than Christian–and of course, what the typical left-winger means by that is that he wishes people would stop replacing God’s Word with their right-wing shibboleths, and start replacing God’s Word with his left-wing shibboleths. In this essay, by contrast, the author calls for Christians to engage in a drastic revision of the place of political controversy on their list of spiritual priorities.

It is a religious essay, not a political one; and I’m not endorsing all of its conclusions. Indeed, I have a question for NRO readers about it. One of the best-written passages takes Bill O’Reilly to task for calling a pro-life activist a “fanatic.” (The author writes: “If Mr. O’Reilly would read the Bible, he would find out about the ultimate ‘no spin zone’–the judgment of a Holy God.”) I don’t watch O’Reilly very regularly–has he in fact done this? And if he did, was he referring to some particular person who was unhinged–i.e., a bona fide fanatic–or was he displaying contempt for our movement in general?
The author of the essay is Michael Spencer, whose blogsite, Internet Monk, www.internetmonk.com is generally thought-provoking. (Spencer is an Evangelical dissatisfied with certain culture-bound aspects of Evangelicalism, and looking to the broader tradition of the Christian faith as a corrective.)