Frank Schaeffer: Fundamentalist Christianity is the USA’s ‘Village Idiot’

Frank Schaeffer is the son of Francis Schaeffer.  Francis Schaeffer authored many books including A Christian Manifesto and How Should We Then Live?.  The video is a from Frank Schaeffer’s appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, Wednesday, September 16.

Here is the one of the harshest criticisms he levels against fundamentalist Christians,

Look, a village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.  It’s as simple as that.  And we have to understand we have a village idiot in this country: it’s called fundamentalist Christianity, and until we move past these people, and let me add as a former lifelong Republican, until the Republican leadership has the guts to stand up and say it would be better not to have a Republican Party than have a party that caters to the village idiot there’s gonna be no end in sight.  The next thing they’ll do is accuse Obama of being the antichrist and then who knows what comes next?  On and on it goes.  There’s no end to this stuff.  Why?  Because this subculture has, and its fundamentalist faith, that they distrust facts per se.

I will offer two observations:

  1. The sentiments expressed in this interview were distributed widely.  All the ratings problems aside, MSNBC still reaches into a significant number of homes. 
  2. The sentiments expressed in this interview were received favorably.  He was preaching to the choir.  They are certainly consistent with the views of the host, Rachel Maddow, a lesbian.  Blog comments reveal that the audience received it quite well.

So the Republican party caters to fundamentalist Christianity.  Frank Schaeffer also refers to us as “looney tunes” and “dangerous.”  Dangerous on what issues?  We want to protect the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.  We desire to preserve the integrity of God’s pattern for marriage, one man and one woman.  We strive to see the aged treated and die with dignity.  We long to see justice dominate our society.  We wish to see racial harmony advanced because every person has an inherent worth, it’s called the image of God.  Dangerous?  It appears to be in Frank Schaeffer’s and Rachel Maddow’s world.


6 thoughts on “Frank Schaeffer: Fundamentalist Christianity is the USA’s ‘Village Idiot’

  1. A couple of things you apparently ignore, which this video focuses on:

    > the idea that many fundamentalists believe Obama might be the anti-christ

    >a significant portion of Republicans do not believe Obama was born in the United States

    In order to buy into either of these, one would have to be profoundly, almost willfully ignorant.

    That’s what Shaeffer’s talking about and it’s hard to disagree.

    Those folks are apparently just looking for a way to justify their irrational hate.

  2. Bob J.,

    I understand the context of the video. And I freely concede that those who view Obama as the antichrist may be couching their staunch opposition against him in these terms.

    My contention is that Schaeffer’s comments are painted with a very broad brush.

    While I do not personally hold to the view that Obama is the antichrist, can you say for certain he is not? For the sake of argument, what if he is? Then turns out you, Schaeffer, and Maddow, among others are the ignorant ones. Again, to be clear, I do not affirm the concept that Obama is the antichrist. I’m simply cautioning against your stance. The antichrist will be a political figure, after all. You assert a categorical denial about something you cannot prove to be true, namely that Obama is not the antichrist.

    Moreover, Schaeffer’s other problem is his flow of thought: people who think Obama is the antichrist and was not born in the US = people who “distrust facts, per se.” My reply: non sequitur.

  3. How can you be sure the antichrist will be a political figure? How can you be sure there is any such thing as an antichrist? My contention with fundamental Christians is that they take the Bible to be the “literal” word of God. It was a book written centuries ago by “villagers.” It’s hearsay, yet hearsay that has resulted in the deaths of many who have taken the “word” to be literally true, and who then killed other as heretics. How can you be sure who the real heretics are? How could Jesus Christ preach love and forgiveness and then anyone claim to be “Christian” who condones the torture of anyone?

    I would tend to think a man that advocated for torture, such as Hitler, (or some elected officials in our last presidential administration) would be more in line with the anti-christ, than is Obama whose first order of business was to sign an order ending torture.

    In my opinion, the anti-christ is anyone who denies his own loving spirit, and in that vein, it’s my opinion many who claim to be “Christians” yet who preach hatred by thinking everyone who doesn’t think like they do are going to hell, is representative of the anti-Christ.

  4. Debra,

    I have a question for you. My reply will depend on your answer. Have you read the Bible? You sound like many critics of the Bible who know so little about the Bible that they hardly have a right to an opinion about it. But I want to be sure I know where you are before I spend any time responding.

  5. You are not a threat for your beliefs. But you are a threat because you want to impose your beliefs on all of us through the laws. I am sick of hearing how you are afraid of Islam, but you have no problem imposing the Old Testement laws on America. Those who desire to quote the Bible must remember to put scripture into context. What did the original words mean at the time? Not what you believe it means today with your current worldview.

  6. David,

    I don’t know if by “you”, you are referring to me or if you are referring to Christians in general. I will go with the latter option. If I understand what you’re saying, you are saying that you are tired of seeing two religions jockeying for position to be the legislatively influential voice in America: Christianity and Islam. Do I understand you right? If I do, I have two follow-up questions. 1) Why should only secularists have a say in what a nations laws look like? You wouldn’t be so naive as to say that securalists do not have some overarching moral grid that would influence their decisions, would you? 2) Does the Bible have nothing in it that would be useful today for the order of society? Just because something is hundreds or even thousands of years old doesn’t render it useless. There is a very strong Judeo-Christian current running through the makeup of our country as we know it today.

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