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Peter T Chattaway

frank(y) schaeffer

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The story of Schaeffer and Son in politics, Gina, is long. It would be hard to repeat it here. (Though maybe other forum users could sum it up.) Son Frank(y) is today writing how he and his father were duped into being on the ground floor when there religious right became a political force in the 1970’s (if I’m not mistaken). It is a fascinating story, but many feel that Franky is spoiling his father’s good memory. If you are interested you can read, for example, Frank’s articles on the Huffington Post where he goes on (and on) about the things mentioned here. Google his name and you come a long with much info.

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Gina wrote:

: I'm intrigued by the assumption that appears to be floating around here that while getting into art and philosophy = good, getting into politics = bad.

I think the objection here is not to politics per se, but to a certain KIND of politics.

(Incidentally, just today I came across a blog post which argues that a culture war is brewing within the Orthodox Church in America -- the church that my parish belongs to -- whereby people of a liberal persuasion are officially advocating non-interference in secular politics while de facto supporting the liberalization of said politics and, along with it, the liberalization of the church. While I myself am cautious around church interference in secular politics, I find the blog post somewhat disturbing ... and I bring it up here partly because it may-or-may-not dovetail with points I've made earlier in this thread, about Frank being Greek Orthodox and the culture of that church seeming, to my eyes at least, to be more mainline-liberal in its sensibilities than some other Orthodox jurisdictions.)

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Francis' writings helped me transition out of rigid, neo-puritanism in my early 20's and for that I will always be grateful. His little booklet "Art & the Bible" was partly responsible for me leaving the pulpit and returning to my first love-- music.

While I think little Franky is a bit of a nut job, I'm not so dismissive of his account. The book is indeed ridiculously personal-- but he alleges his father was a sometimes-rager, a semi-abusive man and a sex addict who actually (dear god in heaven, noooooo!!!) enjoyed porn as much as the rest of the human, male population. No small thing, imo.

Daddy became, after all, the leader and co-founder of a highly intolerant, self-righteous-- and some would say hate-spewing-- cultural movement. If Franky's allegations of his father's rank personal hypocrisy are true, they are of at least some importance to the public debate about the religious right movement.

Edited by Greg P

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The story of Schaeffer and Son in politics, Gina, is long. It would be hard to repeat it here. (Though maybe other forum users could sum it up.) Son Frank(y) is today writing how he and his father were duped into being on the ground floor when there religious right became a political force in the 1970’s (if I’m not mistaken). It is a fascinating story, but many feel that Franky is spoiling his father’s good memory. If you are interested you can read, for example, Frank’s articles on the Huffington Post where he goes on (and on) about the things mentioned here. Google his name and you come a long with much info.

Well, I was looking for something a little more objective than "OMG teh EVILLLLLLE Religious Right USED ME AND DADDY!!!Eleventy!" which seems to be Franky's level of political discourse these days. :) But thanks.

whereby people of a liberal persuasion are officially advocating non-interference in secular politics while de facto supporting the liberalization of said politics and, along with it, the liberalization of the church.

Yes, there's a lot of that going around these days. And not just in the Orthodox Church.

Edited by Gina

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Heh...the Weekly Standard also pointed this out (It's back one page on this thread). :)

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Interesting that Bachmann was inspired by the film version of How Should We Then Live?, rather than the book. Didn't Franky actually direct at least part of that film series himself? (It's not listed at the IMDb, and the only site I could find that listed a director happened to give Mel White's name -- which is interesting for a whole other set of reasons.)

And hey, I remember that bit about the government putting chemicals in the water supply! (The films were shown to us in one of my Pentecostal high-school classes, back in the '80s.)

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Franky's not gonna like this...

I think maybe he will. Justification (at least in his own mind) of what he's been saying all along. And more attention to his own writings. And more excuses to rant. ;)

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Franky's not gonna like this...

I think maybe he will. Justification (at least in his own mind) of what he's been saying all along. And more attention to his own writings. And more excuses to rant. ;)

An excuse he takes.

Honestly, Franky's kind of like that guy who makes the same points in every conversation, no matter what it's about (you know: "You prefer foreign cars? Did you know that anti-union sentiment has close ties to Christian Reconstructionism?" and you're like, "Yeah, but Italian cars go really fast"). The first time it's thought-provoking; the second time it's a helpful reminder; the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth times it becomes increasingly obvious that these same (possibly very good) points are the only ones he knows how to make. It's gotten to the point that one can predict what he's going to say without reading the article--and that's not really a good thing.

Heck, he even follows the same format:

1. [Fill in the blank] is a scary person because they're tied to Reconstructionism.

2. I, Franky Schaeffer, helped create this mess--though now I feel very very bad about it.

3. Here's why Reconstructionism is scary.

Like I say, these might have been good points the first time he made them (I think they are, actually) but after (how many?) iterations, you would think Franky would have made some progress beyond naming-the-thing toward some more constructive approach.

Edited by NBooth

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According to a link on Internet Monk, Frank might be reconsidering his approach:

I was my evangelist father's (Francis Schaeffer)sidekick on the religious/political circuit in the 1970s and 80s. We did our bit to launch the religious right. Then I changed my mind and fled.

One thing didn't change when I changed sides: My slash and burn fundamentalist style of attacking those with whom I disagree. This combative "style" lands me on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy1G1qdvIAIbecause these days even us "progressives" direct derisive exclusionary condemnation at our enemies. So I've been both a perpetrator and victim of retributive exclusion.

Now I'm questioning the wisdom of being a practitioner of dudgeon for hire, even for good causes.

[snip]

When we demonize the "other," even in the name of reason, we open the door to a world of zero sum redemption where one person's gain is another person's humiliating loss. We have allowed condemnation to rule our minds, and so it rules our political life. Strange as it may seem, I believe that one bold new movie [Hellbound?--NB], a new interfaith festival and a soon to be published book by a young gay atheist point the way to a better future.

As for me I'm burnt out on rhetorically burning others.

Edited by NBooth

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