Twice this week my Twitter feed has been roiled over basic, long-established aspects of the world’s largest religion. Both controversies were instructive glimpses into the status of faith in American culture and the fundamentally unserious engagement with Christianity we too often see in American politics.
The first round happened Monday, when North Carolina Representative-elect Madison Cawthorn, a 25-year-old Republican, gave an interview to Jewish Insider in which he said he’s attempted to convert people to Christianity. Already teed up by Cawthorn’s callow election night victory tweet, the outrage from the left was swift, and much of it focused specifically on Cawthorn’s evangelism.
The objection was not that his efforts, per his own description, sound painfully awkward and ignorant, but that he would dare to proselytize at all. Cawthorn “has admitted he tried to convert Jews and Muslims to Christianity,” The Daily Beast reported, its verbal selection (“admitted”) suggesting witnessing to one’s faith is something shameful, deserving of a reluctance Cawthorn didn’t display. The Twitter skirmishes I browsed described proselytization as inherently disrespectful, harassing, antisemitic, invalidating, and mean.
A day later, the scene of the battle shifted. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted out a …read more
Source:: The Week – Politics