Here’s some “insider baseball” on being an evangelical Christian, based on my experiences as a young man. Most liberals/progressives have a flawed, incomplete understanding of evangelical ideology; I’d like to help expand that understanding.
Politics was not part of my evangelical experience initially; I grew up a Democrat, voted for Jimmy Carter, and kept my liberal sensibilities throughout. I think it was my grounding in liberalism, passively shared by my mother, that eventually led me to question and then abandon my faith. But i think this could help some of you not familiar with evangelicalism to understand that mindset.
As a born-again Christian, you are taught two things (beyond fundamentals of sin and salvation). One, that because of your faith, the “world” hates you and thinks you are foolish. In fact, you’re taught it’s the world’s beliefs that are foolish because of their sinfulness.
Second, those who hate you because of your faith are going to hell forever. And you, as one of the redeemed, will rule with the Messiah over them for eternity.
In short, to be born-again is to combine self-hatred, paranoia, and narcissism. Fortunately, proof of what you believe is irrelevant: faith is its own justification. Evangelical Christians, of course, are not unique in this mindset; it is common to any binary belief system. Plenty of lefties, in fact, believe in this way, albeit without the “I’m gonna live forever” element.
Humans want to believe they are right, beyond any doubt, because that makes life easier to live.
The world proves to evangelicals, over and over, that these basic tenets are correct: gays, abortion, sex, liberalism in general, hostility from other religions (ignoring Christianity’s historic role in fomenting that hostility), and so on. Add to this a slew of creative interpretations of...