Saturday, December 13, 2008
Richard Cizik got resigned
So Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), got resigned from the NAE for telling NPR that he suppors civil unions (but not gay marriage). Specifically he said:

In a short portion of the program, [host Terry] Gross asked him, “A couple of years ago when you were on our show, I asked you if you were changing your mind on that. And two years ago, you said you were still opposed to gay marriage. But now as you identify more with younger voters, would you say you have changed on gay marriage?”

Cizik responded, “I’m shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say that I believe in civil unions. I don’t officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don’t think.”

Frankly Cizik's ouster over this doesn't surprise me at all. As someone who has gotten resigned from an evangelical institution myself, at least in part over my “liberal” (though I prefer to call them "biblical") political views (mine were even further left than Cizik; I was unreserved in my support for gay marriage), I know that many evangelicals can sometimes be even more dogmatic about their politics than their theology. Not to mention that there’s a growing trend towards neo-fundamentalism among many conservative evangelicals (I just wrote a 35-page research paper on the trend actually), defined by an exclusionary attitude towards those evangelicals who don't toe the narrowly defined party line. It seems that attitude is starting to infect even “big tent” groups like the NAE now.

However, there are still plenty of evangelicals out there who do agree with Cizik and appreciate his concern for the environment and the global poor, and his personal "shifting" towards increased compassion for GLBT folks. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a job offer from Sojourners soon. Or maybe even go start his own new organization for progressive evangelicals.

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posted by Mike Clawson at 9:47 AM | Permalink |


At 12/13/2008 10:22:00 PM, Anonymous Danny

I would like to read that 35 page research paper. It sounds interesting.


At 12/14/2008 09:02:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

I might post it, but I'm still trying to decide whether it's worth trying to get it published first.


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