Sunday, May 20, 2007

What is a 'real' Christian?

An interesting opinion piece from Dan Gilgoff.

But the fact that neither Thompson nor any of the top-tier Republican presidential candidates claims to be a born-again Christian raises broader questions in the race for the GOP nomination. One is, simply: Who do evangelicals consider to be Christian? Another is whether a candidate being considered Christian is a prerequisite to winning evangelical support.

And so it begins - or has begun. Rational people are responding to James Dobson and his "if you are not an evangelical, you are not a Christian" comments with the kinds of revulsion normally reserved for... well Atheists.

Must you really toe the Dobson party line to be a Christian. Heck, I thought all you had to do was say this little prayer.


Pedro Timóteo said...

As for the "real" Christians thing, it's a perfect example of a No True Scotsman fallacy. I've written about this particular example in 8 possible ways to tell "True" Christians.

Incidentally, some people are saying that Dobson & co. are losing influence, that what they say doesn't matter among conservatives as it did in the past. Hope it's true.

vjack said...

I agree with Pedro about the No True Scotsman fallacy. This seems to be one of the favorite responses from Christians anytime one of their own does anything bad.

I wonder what percentage of American Christians would say that Dobson accurately represents Christianity. I am guessing it would be a fairly small minority. And yet, it happens to be an extremely vocal minority.

The Exterminator said...

The news media ought to label Dobson's evangelical followers and co-religionists as "Dobsonians," not "Christians." The rest of us should avoid using words and phrases like "evangelicals" or "fundamentalists" or "right-wing Christians," sticking only with "Dobsonians."

Then other Christians, regardless of how strictly they read their silly book, would feel comfortable demonizing Dobsonians, as they have demonized practitioners of other faiths -- or no faith -- for nearly two millennia.

The ensuing anti-Dobsonian movement might even get a reasonable person elected as president.

Mojoey said...

Dobsonians - I like it.