One of the many listserves I subscribe to is Sightings, from the Martin Marty center at the University of Chicago Divinity School. capably run by managing editor Jeremy Biles. (Free subscription info for those interested is available on-line.)
In my inbox today was this interesting piece by Dr. Marty himself about protestant complancency. I was going to provide excerpts, but I think the full piece is interesting enough to warrant posting about it.
Here’s how it starts. More below the fold…
Robinson and Mainline Protestantism
— Martin E. Marty
“A liberal,” poet Robert Frost wrote, “is a man” — or a woman — “too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.” My corollary observation: “Mainline Protestants are too complacent to make a defense or counterattack when chided or derided.” Catholics and Jews have their ready-to-go defense leagues and anti-defamation units. Evangelicals — who currently own the executive, legislative, and perhaps soon the judicial branches of government; the religious airwaves; and much of publishing — are organizing for a new “everyone tromps on us, let’s fight back” campaign. But for decades now it has been fashionable to sneer at or stomp on mainline Protestants, who, for a variety of reasons, just take it.
Then, from within their camp, along comes a layperson worth listening to — someone who, for a change, offers perspective and wise counsel.