Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fea: "To Be Faithful to Jesus or Secular Paganism?"

From John Fea here. A taste:
In case you have not heard, "secular pagans" are rewriting American history and having "difficulty embracing the facts of history."

I am apparently one of these secular pagans.

In the latest example of the Christian Right's failure to fully grasp the complexity of the American founding, David Lane of the American Renewal Project has chosen to criticize me at the website of the Christian magazine Charisma.  

I have written about Lane before.  I am quoted in a recent Reuters piece about Lane and his attempt to get evangelical ministers to run for political office.  I also wrote a blog post in the wake of that article.  Yet Lane does not want to address those articles.  Instead, he has chosen to focus on a recent interview I did with National Public Radio that appeared over Thanksgiving weekend.


Tom Van Dyke said...

In the latest example of the Christian Right's failure to fully grasp the complexity

With this undifferentiated attack on the 'Christian Right,' Dr. Fea continues his undisguised and disappointing descent into the 'Christian Left.'

Since you've discontinued comments at your own blog, John, this is the only place to call you out. You are of the 'Left.' Kindly 'fess up, and drop the fiction of scholarly dispassionate 'analysis.' You voted for Obama twice and will vote for Hillary.

Geez, man. This wasn't even that good an attack. "The latest example" is a cheap phrase. One could say your post is the "latest example" of how the Left bottom-feeds on the worst of the Right to convince themselves they're not scum-suckers themselves.

No offense.

JMS said...

Tom – your critique of John Fea’s response to David Lane’s cherry-picking polemic is very unfair. The conflict is not about Left vs. Right, but a polemicist (Lane) criticizing a historian (Fea).

As Fea emphasizes in his book and blogposts, history is complex. The main problem with Lane’s dualistic thinking is his “failure to fully grasp the complexity of the American founding.” Positing the either/or “to be faithful to Jesus or to pagan secularism” is a blind alley in terms of historical understanding, while Fea’s non-dualistic and non-judgmental approach encourages historical thinking by making us wary of simple explanations.