Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of it Back has written a new book, Sex, Mom and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics – and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway which will be published on May 31st, 2011.
Frank Schaeffer jnr. grew up in the L’Abri community in Switzerland which his parents founded in 1955. In the early days of its establishment L’Abri was a fairly relaxed and open Christian community which welcomed an eclectic mix of people from all backgrounds and faiths. However, subsequent to the Roe v’s Wade decision, Frank’s father’s teachings took on a more overtly political tone that was picked up on by right wing politicians who sensed that Francis Snr. could help them stimulate the Christian vote in the USA. A voting block which up until that point had been fairly impassive. It was shortly after this period that Frank jnr. realised that his father’s message was being hijacked by Republicans more concerned about staying in power than in following the teachings of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, Frank Schaeffer, the self described “Poster Child of the Christian Right”, appears to have lost faith in his own cause as he witnessed first hand evangelists such as “Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and all the rest of the televangelists, radio hosts, and other self-appointed “Christian leaders”” ratchet up new levels of fear about secular society by encouraging Christians to disassociate themselves from it.
Frank Shaeffer discusses this disengagement from society by Christians in an excerpt from his latest book published on May 13th at Alternet and points out the obvious dilemma of a group of people willingly removing themselves from society because they do not agree with it whilst insisting that everyone else has to agree with their particular point of view regarding the family and morality. In the excerpt Frank Schaeffer also examines the role that Sarah Palin has played since she was disgorged onto the national scene by John McCain in an effort to prop up his standing amongst the “Evangelical Republican antiabortion base.” His analysis and portrayal of her are scathingly accurate.
Frank has very kindly given me permission to publish the following excerpt from his book which covers some of his views about Sarah Palin and how she used various “alternative communication networks in order to avoid being questioned by those who disagreed with her.” There is more but I do not want to get in the way of your reading pleasure.
As part of our commitment to provide free books I am happy to say that we will have three copies of Sex, Mom, and God to give away on publication day, May 31st. Please send emails on the 31st May outlining why you would like to own a copy. Emails received before that date will be discounted. I will post a reminder on the 31st May. Good luck.
The excerpt follows. Thanks again Mr Schaeffer.
In the first decade of the twenty-first century the Evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic (and Mormon) outsider victim “approach” to public policy was perfected on a heretofore-undreamed of scale by Sarah Palin. She was the ultimate holier-than-thou Evangelical queen bee. What my mother had represented (in her unreconstructed fundamentalist heyday) to a chalet full of young gullible women and later to tens of thousands of readers, Palin became for tens of millions of alienated angry white lower-middleclass men and women convinced that an educated “elite” was out to get them.
Palin was first inflicted on the American public by Senator John McCain, who chose her as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election for only one reason: He needed to shore up flagging support from the Evangelical Republican antiabortion base. McCain wanted to prove that he was fully in line with the “social issues” agenda that Dad, Koop, and I had helped foist on our country over thirty years before. Palin lost the election for McCain but “won” her war for fame and fortune and self-appointed “prophetess” status.
She presented herself as called by God and thus cast in the Old Testament mold of Queen Esther, one chosen by God to save her people. Palin perfected the Jesus Victim “art” of Evangelical self banishment and then took victimhood to new levels of success by cashing in on white lower-middle-class resentment of America’s elites. She might as well have run under the slogan “I’m as dumb as you are!”
Palin made a fortune by simultaneously proclaiming her Evangelical faith, denouncing Liberals, and claiming that she would help the good God fearing folks out there “take back” their country. This “Esther” lacked seriousness. But born-again insiders knew that the “wisdom of men” wasn’t the point. Why should the new Queen Esther bother to actually finish her work governing Alaska? God had chosen her to confound the wise! So she became a media star and quit as governor of Alaska. Then she battled “Them”—the “lamestream media” (as she labeled any media outlets outside of the Far Right subculture)—in the name of standing up for “Real Americans.” Palin used the alternative communication network that had its roots deeply embedded in those pioneering 1970s and 1980s Evangelical TV shows and radio shows that I used to be on just about every other day. She did this to avoid being questioned by people who didn’t agree with her. By not actually governing or doing the job she’d been elected by Alaskans to do, and by using the alternative media networks as an “outsider”—all the while reacting to and demanding attention from the actual (theoretically hated) media—Palin also made buckets of money.
And the greatest irony was that many women in the Evangelical/ Roman Catholic/Quiverfull movements were cheering for Palin as a defender of “traditional family values.” Yet Palin was the least- “submissive” female imaginable. She misused her children as stage props and reduced her husband to the role of “helpmeet”; indeed, he became the perfect example of a good biblical wife.