20 reasons why I left the Religious Right

20. It confuses “speaking the truth in love” with “I have the absolute truth and if you don’t agree with my way of thinking you’re eternally damned.” Its version of love rarely includes the practice of listening to the other.

19. It disrespects women — not as a bug in the system, but as a feature.

18. It disrespects LGBTQ+ persons — not as a bug in the system, but as a feature.

17. It interprets the Bible and Christianity through the lens of white privilege rooted in white imperialism, which in turn reinforces white supremacy.

16. It disguises cruelty and bigotry for love.

15. It claims to take the Bible seriously but only reads bits and pieces designed to support preexisting assumptions.

14. It confuses Christian nationalism with the gospel of Christ.

13. It frequently lacks the fruits of the Spirit described by Paul.

12. It glorifies violence, including redemptive violence and abuse. It has more in common with the NRA than the Christ.

11. Every time it appeals to natural theology (e.g., God’s design of the world, especially as related to gender roles, gender identity, and sexual orientation), the “natural order” invoked conveniently reflects the prejudices of the ones doing the invoking.

10. It’s anti-science.

9. Its emphasis on a hyper-individualized salvation in the afterlife portends to nihilism in this life.

8. It doesn’t take the Bible seriously, mostly because it fails to acknowledge basic principles related to history, context, and interpretation.

7. The call for social justice and righteousness at the heart of Jesus’ ministry is secondary at best, which makes a mockery not only of Jesus’ life but also the over two thousand verses of scripture that highlight economic justice and righteousness.

6. It doesn’t trust the experiences of women.

5. It doesn’t trust the experiences of LGBTQ+ persons.

4. It doesn’t trust the experiences of people of color.

3. Its propensity to mansplain is off the charts.

2. It valorizes leaders who prize violence, patriarchy, cis-hetero-normativity, white supremacy, discrimination, revenge, and retribution.

1. Instead of honoring the spirit of the reformers — who protested authoritarian structures of oppression — it dishonors the spirit of the reformers by constantly propping up authoritarian structures of oppression.

* This list was compiled with a few friends; I’m not the sole author. We are just tired of the misogyny, homophobia, and racism so often supported by what we are loosely describing here as the Religious Right. It is a violent and nefarious approach to doing theology that needs to repent and reform. And too many of the characteristics in this list also find a haven in white expressions of progressive theology too, which needs to be held accountable as well. I previously published a modified version of this list last year in the wake of a post on John Piper’s blog.

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