Former pastor and left-wing writer Brian D. McLaren has questioned “who is Jesus and why is he so important?” He has also pushed for a liberal agenda on homosexuality and stated it’s not a “black-and-white issue.” So he shouldn’t be surprised that evangelical Christians disagree with him. But in an April 5 Huffington Post article, “Why Do Evangelicals Dislike Me So Much?”, McLaren tried to figure it out and ended up giving Evangelical Christians even more reasons to dislike him.
In the article, McLaren went out of his way to insult evangelicals. He first compared them to the infamous Milgram experiment at Yale University, in which authoritarian figures instructed people to administer supposedly dangerous high levels of electricity to other people, who turned out to be actors.
McLaren explained how, “In my opinion, multitudes of Christians find themselves in a real-life Milgram experiment these days. Their consciences are in conflict with their beloved religious authority figures on several key issues … ”
He described how, “What Stanley Milgram said about ‘ordinary people simply doing their jobs’ could also be said about ordinary Christians (or Muslims, or Jews, or atheists) simply following their leaders.”
These Christians are thoughtlessly taking the cue of their leaders on the typical liberal issues that McLaren supports, such as global warming and priests marrying. Quoting an excerpt from his new book, he wrote, “Many are afraid to admit they voted for Barack Obama …” Perhaps they were, but McLaren didn’t document his assertion.
Evangelical leaders are, in McLaren’s telling, intolerant, and disagreeing with them was strictly forbidden. He wrote, “If you feel a twinge of guilt when you condemn a person for being gay, don't think about it. Just press the button.”
But McLaren wasn’t done and continued, “When you use dehumanizing language for people of other faith traditions – or of other opinions within your own faith tradition – don't feel bad. Just press the button again. Side with your religious authority figures, not with those being criticized, scapegoated, condemned, excluded, and zapped. “
Somehow, those tyrannical evangelical leaders are able to keeping more moderate members from leaving the church because they are “afraid of becoming the objects of conservative ire,” McLaren wrote. Or perhaps they just prefer it to being the objects of liberal condescention.