Evangelical Politics and the Specter of Elitism » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

From my First Things post responding to Mark Tooley’s concerns about elitism.

“I’ll close with what I find most disturbing and unbecoming about Tooley’s post: His alarmist abuse of elitism or elite theory, which have recently become convenient, but unhelpful and terribly inconsistently applied, shorthand for all sorts of political fears from people on the left and the right. From a theoretical perspective, we would need a much more complex framework to explain Evangelical political behavior from the podiums and polls to the pews. So the bogeyman of elitism has more rhetorical force than explanatory power. What are its effects? I worry that the effect of such rhetoric is further to divide Evangelical Protestants in a crudely political way, making them more, rather than less, susceptible to actual elitism. Ironically, by raising the specter of elitism for the sake of rhetorical effect, Tooley may actually create, or at least contribute to, the conditions for Evangelical Protestant vulnerability to the problems he denounces.”

Evangelical Politics and the Specter of Elitism » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

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