Tthe question has been forced into the public arena by Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins's personal decision to wear a hijab in "human solidarity" with vulnerable Muslims in America as part of her observation of Advent, and by the college's hamhanded and tone-deaf meanness in fanning the flames of the ensuing controversy.
These are testing times. For those of us who come from various Christian Evangelical traditions, a divide is brewing. This gives me no real joy, but it is simply a fact. There are (at least) two kinds of Evangelical Christians in America today. This, I believe, is because there are two different versions of Jesus being taught and worshipped at Christian churches and universities.
When it comes to the Constitution, most of the self-proclaimed evangelicals in the current presidential field want to have it both ways. They pledge fidelity to the principles of the framers, yet their religiously inspired policies are often at odds with any plausible reading of the Constitution's text.
As we continue to sift through the debris of Robert Lewis Dear's life, we may stumble on a series of signs pointing to a misguided emphasis on violence, toward a literalism that is reading the wrong words in the wrong ways, where satire and violence cross. A life of mixed up chemicals and mixed up genres.