I'm not sure what I think of the analysis, but the experience this article covers has to be common: the awkward public moment when one claims to be a Christian and the flury of provisos and distancing from the evangelical right that follows such a claim. Or in some circles it may just prove less complicated to mention one's religion because the misunderstanding that the word Christian generates in today's political and religious climate.
But if we find little to connect with in this public image of Christianity it might be pertinent to ask: how many other people are not in a position to ever consider the possibilities of this tradition because it's expression in the US has been equated with a right wing form of politics and religion. A religion which is always attacking folks who don't fit into the cultural forms that the religion has taken in today's America.
What does one do in response to this? I suppose one can ignore the evangelical movement and do one's religious project in a mainline protestant body. But it's hard to think of the church as one body in such a solution. In any case one can't be in a position to isolate onself, because the evangelical right is in most all denominations, some just in greater or lesser numbers.
And with their growth in numbers and influence they are in a position to take over mainline bodies. As one friend of mine noted this movement "insists on being the only voice, driving out anyone who consistently acts according to alternative theological principles (even when those officially held by the denomination at large!) as a "heretic". Thus the trials and punishments that this blog has covered in these denominations.
I wish I had a solution but I don't. I've been tempted to walk away from this whole mess. Though I recently had a chance to talk with polyglut about the church, faith and doubt, and worship and it made me realize both how important this tradition has been for me and how heartening it can be to communicate with folks who are also working with these issues. It wasn't about how to stop the religious right. It was rather, how do we live out this alternative vision of faith in the church today. So the lesson in this meandering post? Talk, communicate, connect.