Todd Grotenhuis

01 Jun 2021

"it's hard to decry Constantinianism when you're trying your damnedest to win every election"

Longer quote:

During the years of the Iraq War and during the 2008 election, Christian blogs spent a lot of time writing about Constantinianism in voicing their opposition to the war in Iraq. Christian blogs were very Anabaptist during the golden era of blogging. Not so much anymore.

Why the change?

My argument, made in 2016, is that the post-evangelical Christians who inveighed again Constantinianism during the Bush years weren't really Anabaptists. They were, rather, Christian realists in the tradition of Reinhold Niebuhr. That is to say, progressive Christians, as witnessed in the 2008 election of Barack Obama, actually wanted and desired to win and weld the power of the nation state. You saw this hypocrisy in how post-evangelical bloggers hammered Bush with Constantine but said nary a word about Obama's drone war. Turns out, it's okay to pull the trigger when it's your guy holding the gun. And we saw again the thirst to win back and weld power among progressive Christians in the election of 2020. 

All that to say, it's hard to decry Constantinianism when you're trying your damnedest to win every election. 

This is from the second post in a new Experimental Theology series called "Will the Real Christianity Please Stand Up".

Now, as one of those folks who started blogging in the early 2000s, became Anabaptist during that "golden era", and then maintained that anabaptist perspective, this whole post (ugly parts and all) rings true to me.

Richard Beck's key blog series have become some of my favorite books: Unclean, The Slavery of Death, and many more. I'm very interested to see where this series will go, and how Beck will deal with the "No True Scotsman" problem in the analysis.

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Thoughts? Let me know!