Frank Schaeffer’snewest book is oddly titled, Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics — and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway. Until a few weeks ago, there were few news stories about religion and politics except, perhaps, a few about Romney’s Mormonism and how that might hurt him in the Bible Belt.
Then came the thunderbolts led by presidential hopeful Rick Santorum. Reverend Rick. Or as columnist Maureen Dowd calls him, Mullah Rick. Followed by the Catholic bishops and Franklin Graham.
I’m especially taken by author Schaeffer’s 2nd subtitle: and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway. How appropriate for the current stew simmering in the Republican Party and the Catholic Church. Even without reading one word of the book, one is drawn to it because it sounds like current events. Presbyterian minister Ben Daniel, however, did read it and critiqued it for us. At the outset he says of the book, “it transitions smoothly back and forth between story-telling and point-making prose as Frank uses his experiences as a child and as a young man to inform the reader about the toxic brew of bad religion and regressive politics that has poisoned America’s public life.”
Frank Schaeffer is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, says one critic.
Another writes, “As a former extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, Schaeffer understands that mindset from the inside. From his own experience, Schaeffer knows that the intellectual gloss of fundamentalist thought is undergirded by strong emotions and psychological needs. Schaeffer excels at making these thought/feeling connections clear and vivid. Having read SEX, MOM, & GOD, I now have a far better understanding of why it is so very difficult for fundamentalists to recognize the paradoxes of life and the possibility that there may be other equally valid ways to truth besides their own, of why the second generation of Christian fundamentalist preachers like Franklin Graham tend to become more extreme and strident than their fathers, and of why the pro-life and pro-choice factions have become so terribly polarized on the issue of abortion.”
I’m tempted to download it onto my Kindle, but I have so many books already waiting to be read, that I’d better wait. Rather, I’ll just turn on my TV and watch the evangelical nonsense play out in the GOP presidential race.