It sounds like some evangelical boundary-keepers want to add one more category to Bebbington’s definition. They believe that one is not an evangelical if they vote for Joe Biden because the Democratic candidate is pro-choice and represents a political party that is against life in the womb.
Here is a taste of Mark Pinsky’s piece at Religion News Service, “‘Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden’ signers face a fiery blowback”:
Joel Hunter, the high-profile former Orlando megachurch pastor, knows the cost of deviating from fellow white evangelicals’ nearly monolithic Republican Party backing.
After he recently announced support for former Vice President Joe Biden, a local Christian radio station cancelled Hunter’s devotionals, hosts withdrew (or postponed) speaking invitations and a social media hostility barrage erupted.
But Hunter remains unbowed and his ironic, self-deprecating sense of humor intact. At 72, and a veteran of previous evangelical wars, he said, “I’m a tough old bird.”
Zealous Christians stopped burning heretics at the stake centuries ago. But today, many white evangelicals have drawn a clear line for what constitutes acceptable dissent. They are exacting a considerable — if less incendiary — price for those crossing it.
“There is some sort of connection that can be traced through history, through some strands of almost hysterical Christianity,” Hunter says. “In times of high stress … you exaggerate the wrongness of the other side so you can justify both your own righteousness and your own overreaction in fighting what you see as the enemy.”
“Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden,” which Hunter helped launch, insists that, while they uniformly oppose abortion, the Christian electoral agenda should not be confined to reproductive rights.
Read the rest here. I hope to weigh-in on this very soon.