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Letter to the Editor: Evangelicalism is One of the Most Hated Religious Sects in America, And They Only Have Themselves to Blame

letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor of The Bryan Times. It was published on July 8, 2021.

Dear Editor,

Evangelicalism is one the most hated religious sects in America, and they only have themselves to blame. Not that they care. Evangelicals have a persecution complex like no other. Forty years ago, the late Jerry Falwell, started the Moral Majority. Its purpose was to turn America back to God by waging a war against our culture. This war has now reached a fever pitch. As more and more people self identify as atheists, agnostics, or indifferent towards organized religion, Evangelicals fear that they are losing their hold on our culture. Instead of praying, evangelizing sinners, and doing good works, Evangelicals have turned to attacking those they oppose, both physically (the January 6 Insurrection) and with words.

The Bryan Times has become a platform for Evangelicals to verbally savage people they believe are their enemies. Pastor Luke Nagy’s vitriolic attack on transgender people several weeks ago is a prime example. I am sure those who think like Nagy shouted AMEN when they read his column, but for those of us who are not religious (I was an Evangelical Christian for fifty years), Nagy’s words are yet another example of why Evangelicalism is one of the most hated sects in America.

In 2016, eighty percent of white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. I was astounded by the fact that Evangelicals knew how immoral Trump was and voted for him anyway. Four years later, eighty-four percent of white Evangelicals voted for Trump again. The very same people who raged against Bill Clinton’s sex scandal in the 1990s, demanding his resignation, now think such behavior is okay. Why? Political power. Unable to win the culture war with prayer, evangelism, and good works, Evangelicals have turned to politics to slay their secular enemies. And in doing so, they have sold their souls for bowls of pottage.

I was an Evangelical pastor for twenty-five years. The Evangelicalism of my early days in the ministry no longer exists. The theocrats have won the day — for now. As with all political power grabs, such victories are shallow and short-lived. Evangelical pastors will one day wonder what went wrong. Where did their members go and why are their churches closed? They need only look in the mirror. The reflection they see will tell them who is to blame for their demise. Preaching hate and savagely attacking those different from them will not succeed over the long run.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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13 Comments

  1. Avatar
    BJW

    Unfortunately, it could be a really long time before fundies regret their actions. If they continue on this path, evangelicals will keep making plenty of money off the MAGA/Q grift. They won’t mind losing followers if the leaders make money and have power. I wish I didn’t feel this was how things would turn out.

  2. Avatar
    dale m.

    They’re not looking at the long run. Just the short one. Then pass an avalanche of draconian laws. One step at a time before America truly has a state religion codified in their Constitution.

  3. Avatar
    Obstaclechick

    The demographics are most definitely not in favor of the evangelicals, and I think they know it. They’ve played the long game since the late 70s to get to the point where they are able to do so much damage ,but their numbers are definitely dwindling. I am hopeful that in the next 20 years will see their numbers dwindle down to less than 10% of the US population. Of course, they’ve joined forces with conservative Catholics and Mormons, both in decline as well. These groups have hitched to the wagon of the GOP whose strategy seems to be to stir up the outrage of conservatives, particularly white and religious ones, and to restrict voting access rather than to put forth new ideas to appeal to voters. I am not sure how long that strategy can prevail as younger voters have shown their support of just about everyone and everything the culture warriors rail against. Unfortunately, the right has been quite effective in creating an outraged and reliable voter base, and they’re doing a ton of damage despite their minority numbers. Georgia gave a great example of what the left can do to combat this if they would just organize; and it showed us the lengths that (particularly white Christian) conservatives will go to prevent that organization. I f#$%(×g hate Christian nationalism and white nationalism.

  4. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Fundamentalist Christianity is a tool forged in primitive experience and is used in USA to blind and maim humanity. Like America’s endless wars for profit all over the world, Christianity performs its business based on lies and deceit. The Pope cannot even humble the Church sufficiently to say they are sorry for the horror they have rained down on us, on our indigenous peoples.
    What is happening in Canada now will come to USA and myriads more children who could not survive the mission schools will be unearthed from unmarked graves. This will further assist people in escaping the holy gulags of evangelicalism. Maybe democracy is indeed coming to the USA, as the Canadian poet wrote…

  5. Avatar
    Barbara L. Jackson

    I think Christianity, ever since accepted as the empire religion by the Romans has been doomed to moral and human failure. All that matters is the power to force their variety of Christianity on everyone.

    Thank you
    Barbara L. Jackson

  6. Avatar
    ... Zoe ~

    Brian Vanderlip: “The Pope cannot even humble the Church sufficiently to say they are sorry for the horror they have rained down on us, on our indigenous peoples.
    What is happening in Canada now will come to USA and myriads more children who could not survive the mission schools will be unearthed from unmarked graves.”

    Zoe: Imagine not apologizing for genocide in the name of God. 🙁

    • Avatar
      BJW

      So Danny (I saw deleted comment), it’s probable that too many ministers are insincere. So what? People are judged by their real actions, not by what they claim to believe. And too many ministers of fundies/evangelicals and their flock are all about being nasty to anyone not in their in-group. If you’re not white and Christian and Republican (nearly 1:1:1 resonance) then you all don’t really care about anyone. So you beat at people and then act surprised when your “love” towards your fellow man is rejected. You all live in an abusive relationship with your god, and want to abuse others for relief.

  7. Avatar
    Janet R Schminkey

    These evangelicals need something to cling to and someone to follow. They are inept and can’t think for themselves. I am so thankful I was raised by parents that gave me the ability to think for myself and to fall or fail without self directed shame. And to live and love without conditions. I’m satisfied to not be religious. I’m not confused or left to doubt anything.

    I enjoyed your letter, Bruce

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser