Evangelical dynasty undone | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Evangelical dynasty undone

Posted By on Sat, Aug 20, 2011 at 7:33 AM

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Ever heard of the influential evangelical Francis Schaeffer? (Mike Huckabee once said his favorite book after the Bible was Schaeffer's "Whatever Happened to the Human Race" and he's been described as having a "profound" influence on Michele Bachmann.)

Best reading of the morning is this New York Times article about how Schaeffer's son, Frank, eventually turned away from his father's politically conservative Christian ways and spurned the dynastic inheritance that could have been his. He's written a memoir, "Sex, Mom and God."

His break with conservatism, and with evangelicalism, came in the late 1980s. But he had long been skeptical of many of his bedfellows. He found the television pastor Pat Robertson and some of his colleagues to be “idiots,” he told me last week, when we met for coffee in western Massachusetts. Looking back, Mr. Schaeffer says that once he became disillusioned he “faked it the whole way.”

He faked it because it was easy, it was lucrative, and — rather poignant to say — he felt he had no other options.

“I had been home-schooled,” Mr. Schaeffer told me. “I had no education, no qualifications, and I was groomed to do this stuff. What was I going to do? If two lines are forming, and one has a $10,000 honorarium to go to a Christian Booksellers Association conference and keynote, and the other is to consider your doubts and get out with nothing else to do, what are you going to do?”

Hmmm. Remind you of anybody?

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