Is this what Paul meant when he said to be all things to all men? Four years ago, John Whitehead warned fellow Christians—in speeches, articles, books, and videos—that their religion was under attack by Nazilike secularists. He called it "religious apartheid."

"From the removal of crosses and nativity scenes, to the prohibition of individual prayer in schools, religion is being systematically separated from American society," he wrote in a June 1994 editorial for Rutherford magazine, the house organ for his Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. Elsewhere he ominously informed us that "Clinton is quietly constructing a despotic government and a new society of intolerance to traditional values."

Today Whitehead says he likes Clinton and, if it weren't for the President's position on abortion, would vote for him. "No modern President has done more for religious rights than Clinton." He has also publicly called on conservative Christians to stop using antihomosexual rhetoric. In 1996 he criticized Colorado's Amendment 2 (an amendment prohibiting state and local governments from passing laws that ban discrimination against homosexuals), which Focus on the Family strongly supported. In 1997 he opposed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and is critical of the current Religious Freedom Amendment. His magazine has even run positive reviews of several violent and disturbing films, including The Last Temptation of Christ ("a sympathetic and reverent treatment of Christianity's origin").

With just this evidence, one would be tempted to conclude that a captain of the Religious Right has had a leftward political conversion. But factor this into the enigma: When First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton talked about a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
RecommendedTrump’s Religious Liberty Order Doesn’t Answer Most Evangelicals’ Prayers
Trump’s Religious Liberty Order Doesn’t Answer Most Evangelicals’ Prayers
Prayer breakfast pledge to ‘totally destroy’ Johnson Amendment comes up shy; conscience exemptions from LGBT anti-discrimination rules missing.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickSix Ways Men Can Support Women’s Discipleship
Six Ways Men Can Support Women’s Discipleship
Male clergy and laity who want to enable women’s ministry often don't know how to get involved or what to do.
Christianity Today
The Dragon Slayer
hide thisDecember 7 December 7

In the Magazine

December 7, 1998

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.