Revisiting Christian Marginalisation

Rod Dreher makes the hypothetical case for voting Trump:

Trump may not care about our issues, but that also means he doesn’t care to fight against them. There is a chance that if elected president, he would defer to his advisers on picking judges, especially for SCOTUS, and give us judges that understand the vital importance of the First Amendment. There is no chance that Hillary Clinton will do this, in my view, and an overwhelming chance that she will appoint judges and advocate policies that drive orthodox Christians further out of the public square. She will consider it a virtue to bankrupt small businesses that resist the LGBT steamroller, and consider it a good deed to unmask and exile “bigots” wherever they are — and smash their institutions. Pepperdine’s choice the other day to give up its Title IX exemptions in the wake of pressure from the State of California is a sign of things to come. Government under progressive leadership will compel Christian institutions to capitulate or die…

 We are fighting now to be left alone.

Dreher of course is famously high-strung but I think he is correct that over the long run the church will find itself in a marginal position in the U.S. and the coming Clinton administration (I can’t seriously imagine a President Trump) will hasten that through various mechanisms of harassment, both legal and semi-legal.

Here are some predictions about the future of the church in America which I made a few months ago. This is what I think Christian America will look like in forty years or so.

“Numbers of self-described Christians will drop dramatically. Politically this means the end of the Christian right that existed from about 1980, Reagan’s election, to about 2010, the last hurrah of the Tea Party. Get ready for the rise of the post-Christian right, which will be a rather ugly affair of drug-addled, white-grievance mongers demanding government handouts along the lines of the European right…

“More and more Christians will adopt a quasi-Amish attitude towards technology… Skepticism about technology, especially regarding entertainment and social media, will become a Christian trait…

“Christian higher education… will not survive. No Jesuit or Methodist University when offered the choice between pleasing the world and pleasing God will ever chose the latter. Smaller Christian colleges like Hillsdale or TAC will be harassed, sued, and fined into folding… (for having the wrong kinds of bathrooms or something.)

“There are going to be specifically “Christian” professions, and they will be of the yeoman sort… Finance, medicine, law, government, education, corporate or military careers will not be options. There will be a very high proportion of church-going Christians who own their own (small) businesses…

“Christian homeschooling networks and small, low-budget “classical schools” will remain and probably even grow. The public schools will continue to deteriorate, churning out legions of paranoid, fragile, illiterate narcissists…

“Because of the nature of Christian business and Christian education there will be Christian neighborhoods, much as there are Jewish neighborhoods to this day…

“The infrastructure that the Catholic Church built with such sacrifice in the 19th and 20th centuries will no longer exist. The self-sufficient monastery, not the parish, will become the point of focus for Catholic life…

“Among Christians the subculture will be thick and nourishing, but sometimes suffocating. Exogamy, that is, marrying outside of the recognizably Christian network, will be strongly discouraged. Attrition will still be a fact of life, plenty of young people will simply opt out as they reach maturity. Defacto shunning will become a problem…

“The ethnic division between black and white Christianity will remain, but it will not be the abyss that it is today. More protestant congregations will become mixed…”

I haven’t changed my sunny optimism about the future.


One comment

  1. “I haven’t changed my sunny optimism about the future.”

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. 🙂 That said, I really do have some sunny optimism for the future, a bit irrational given the conditions around us, but definitely there.

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