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June 3, 2009

That Sound You Hear Is Francis Schaeffer Rolling Over in His Grave

Lifesite News is reporting that Frank Schaeffer, son of the late, prominent Calvinist theologian Francis Schaeffer, has "apologized for his involvement with the 'hate-filled rhetoric' he associated with the 'religious right.'" 

My sole personal contact with Frank Schaeffer was a single phone conversation with him, back in the mid-90s. We spoke at some  length about why he had left Evangelicalism for the East, his father's legacy, and his own writings (the first edition of Portofino had recently come out, if I recall correctly, and he was kind enough to send me an inscribed copy). While I didn't agree with some of his positions (e.g., his enchantment with Orthodoxy) he seemed to me then to be reasonable, very pleasant, and level-headed. But the report I quote from below gives me the impression that he has gone off the deep end in the meantime.

Before I get to that, here's a snippet of a recent opinion piece he wrote for the execrable Huffington Post, which should provide a sense of where his head is at these days: 

The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as "murderers." And today once again the "pro-life" leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I'd like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I -- and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words. (source)
Foolish and incendiary words, indeed. 

I can't tell if they are the words of a man who has lost his moral bearings altogether (he now says abortion should remain legal and demonizes the Prolife Movement, and in particular, the Catholic Church, as a "hate machine"), or if he's just a coward who has abandoned his convictions because, had he remained faithful to them, he would earn only opprobrium and rejection from the fashionable, "progressive" Huffington-Post crowd he consorts with now.

As an aside. Let's not forget that Christians who want to remain popular and "in" with the "In Crowd" will be tempted to sacrifice their allegiance to the truth for the sake of human respect. Tragicaly, some give in to that temptation and make a wrong turn, gambolling down that wide and well-travelled road which Christ warned us away from, a road that leads directly toward a dark horizon. 

Here is the LifeSite report about Schaeffer's latest comments:

Earlier this year Frank Schaeffer, who has joined the Greek Orthodox Church but is still considered a leader of the Evangelical movement, abandoned the strong pro-life position of his father and told an interviewer that he believes abortion should remain legal. Schaeffer said that thirty years of attempts to overturn the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade have failed and that the “black and white” pro-life position is counterproductive.

"The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as 'murderers,'" wrote Schaeffer this week. "And today once again the 'pro-life' leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words.

"The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility," he continued. "But I'd like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for performing abortions that I -- and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words." (Continue reading)


4 comments:

  1. Parse the statement a bit better, please, he said "people I worked with in..." and then gave different groups. He didn't say the whole Roman Catholic Church, just people who are Roman Catholic. So why did you bold that?

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  2. Oh yes he sure did say that. Read it again.

    "The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as "murderers." And today once again the "pro-life" leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I'd like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I -- and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words."

    He's listing a series of people and groups here: himself, AND the people he worked with in the "religious right," AND the Republican Party, AND the pro-life movement, AND the Roman Catholic Church. That's why I put the words "Roman Catholic Church" in bold.

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  3. When I've heard this man speak, what I hear is a man who is still struggling with feelings of anger towards his father. He seems very conflicted about his father, and all else seems to get caught up in that conflict. So now, his pro-life position is sacrificed in his continuing struggle with the memory of his father. If his father was against something, now he's going to be for it. Time and the spirit should heal this man, but in the mean time, he's being used by the secular media.

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  4. I did an in-depth analysis of this, with lots of bizarre quotations form Franky. What a sad tragedy:

    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2009/06/frank-schaeffer-son-of-evangelical-icon.html

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