Here's more evidence that labels -- including religious labels -- hide more than they reveal.
This New Yorker piece reports that an important shift is occurring among young people who identify as evangelical Christians. They are less and less like their parents, both theologically and politically (assuming their parents also are evangelicals).
So when we think of all evangelicals as dedicated Trump voters, as biblical inerrantists, as rabid pro-lifers, as anti-LGBTQ activists and on and on, we are likely to get it wrong.
As the piece reports, ". . .many young evangelicals are more diverse, less nationalistic, and more heterodox in their views than older generations. Believing that being a Christian involves recognizing the sanctity of all human beings, they support Black Lives Matter and immigration reform, universal health care and reducing the number of abortions, rather than overturning Roe v. Wade."
And it doesn't stop there. Again, The New Yorker report: ". . .as their secular peers embrace more fluid identities in regard to sexuality and race, young evangelicals are also beginning to see such positions in shades of gray rather than in black and white. There are other factors, too, related to globalization: the exponential growth of fellow-believers in the Global South; the growing diversity of evangelicals in the U.S., driven in part by the influx of immigrants who arrive in American churches with their own dynamic faith. The result is that younger evangelicals are speaking out on issues like family separation at the border, climate change, police brutality, and immigration reform – causes not typically associated with the evangelical movement."
As a Christian whose congregation is part of a Mainline denomination (Presbyterian), I find these developments encouraging. It means that more evangelicals are willing to see many issues in colors beyond black and white. And it means they are focusing on the way Jesus said his followers should live -- lovingly, compassionately, empathetically, mercifully.
So let's all be careful how we label people of faith. Sometimes labels are helpful, but often they blind us to reality.
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CHRISTIANS SELLING OUT CHRISTIANS
But speaking of some not-so-young evangelicals, you may have read about the dinner at the White House this week for President Trump's supporters who identify as Christian evangelicals. This RNS piece asks about what those who attended are giving up to be so close to power. The answer is two-fold: Plenty and others.