Cheesy American evangelical culture, it seems, was a trend that swept America but now that people are beginning to realize it’s not a good look, they’re quietly putting it away and pretending in never happened. It’s like the Macarena, except hateful to women, gays, and science. Or that’s the argument being offered by Daniel D’Addario in Salon, in a piece about how Tim Tebow might be the last openly fundamentalist (which is what he really means, since there are openly evangelical celebrities who aren’t necessarily aligned with the Christian right) mainstream celebrity—and he just got shitcanned. (Already, you’re seeing whining about this from fundies who believe white Christians are an oppressed minority.) Part of the problem with the “brand” appears to be, you know, the hate issue. D’Addario quotes pastor John S. Dickerson, who is quite whiny about it:
“The culture has turned the corner, specifically on the conflict between the LGBT movement, if you call it a movement, and the evangelical movement, if you call it a movement. Evangelicals have invited this, but they’re being typecast. The cultural view of the new America is that the biblical view of homosexual sex is backward, the stuff of cavemen or the Ku Klux Klan, ” Dickerson said. He noted that the recent ban on “reparative therapy” in California may sound a death knell for evangelicals’ influence.
Or perhaps its that fundamentalists seem wholly incapable of understanding how their weird, prudish bigotry sounds to people who aren’t immersed in their culture. For instance, in just this quote alone, you can tell that Dickerson is a first class asshole, even in you know nothing else about him. Let’s just count the infractions against basic human decency in this comment:
All that said, the Macarena still lives on at wedding receptions and fundamentalists aren’t going anywhere, even if they’re learning to tone it down a little in public. The right has mastered the art of periodic remodels of bigotry to make it seem more palatable, once the public figures out their game. Witness the evolution of racist tactics from open support of segregation to white flight to freakouts about “welfare queens” and whining that white people are victims of affirmative action. They’re in the remodeling stage right now, and I suspect we’re going to see a new face for the homophobia and misogyny rationalized by religion that marks American fundamentalism soon enough.