The New York Times war on Bill O’Reilly continues even after Fox News pulled his show. This was a rich angle in the op-ed section on Tuesday: “The Mistake Christians Made in Defending Bill O’Reilly.” In the paper, the headline was “Christians Who Shield O’Reilly.”
The pull quote was “Evangelical leaders tend to resist taking sexual assault claims seriously.” Christianity Today editor-at-large Katelyn Beaty lectured:
Institutions plagued by sexual assault scandals tend to look alike: They are usually insular organizations that resist external checks and revolve around authoritative men.
This characterization fits Fox News, which recently fired its host Bill O’Reilly after sexual harassment allegations against him (and pressure from advertisers) mounted.
But it is also applies to the white evangelical Christian community. This group is not a monolith, but its social hierarchy often functions like the military, a university or private business. It’s not a coincidence that conservative evangelical leaders tend to resist taking harassment and assault claims seriously....
Within the ranks of conservative church leadership, this default empathy for powerful men is coupled with tone deafness for victims.
Beaty began by citing Christian radio host Eric Metaxas tweeting after O'Reilly was dismissed: “The news about Bill O'Reilly is tremendously sad. His fairness, boldness & radical commonsense on the show have been a blessing to millions.” This wasn't "shielding" O'Reilly, a tweet after he was pushed out. She then blurred that into evangelical support for Donald Trump, adding the sexual harassment claims lodged against him.
O'Reilly and Fox News weren't an evangelical religion channel. The Manhattan-based network isn't airing an hour-long Bible study. But conservative Christians have noticed they get more "fairness" and more "radical commonsense" (start by thinking about gender fluidity) than other channels, the ones that call themselves the "mainstream."
Certainly, the average Fox fan is looking for Beaty to notice at any time, in any paragraph, that the “default empathy for powerful men” also defined the Democratic Party under Clinton, and all the liberal media outlets that “shielded” him from very similar “sexual assault claims.” The permanent Clinton campaign was absolutely an "insular organization" that resisted "external checks."
Instead, Beaty championed “Jesus feminists” for Hillary before the 2016 election in The Washington Post. Nowhere in that article did Beaty have the outbreak of conscience to wonder how the Clintons and their culture of “shielding” against sexual accusers are a violation of their feminist creed. Instead, she was a publicist of sorts for Evangelicals for Hillary:
Their mothers and grandmothers largely shied even from the word “feminist” — seeing it as wrongly challenging traditional gender roles as well as associated with abortion-rights support.
But today more young evangelical conservative women claim it. They have coined the term “Jesus Feminists” – there’s even a book with the moniker – and created new organizations including 4word and Propel Women encourage women’s leadership and influence in the workplace. As Clinton is nominated, young evangelical women are perhaps more primed than ever to celebrate a woman in the White House...
[Deborah] Fikes was one of the few evangelical leaders to publicly support Clinton after Trump met with more than 900 prominent Christian conservatives in June. “The contrast between Mr. Trump and Hillary on issues such as religious freedom, human rights, immigration, torture, poverty, education, equality, and racism can’t be ignored or rationalized,” said Fikes via e-mail. “My values as a follower of Christ fit much better with Hillary.”
Hillary thumped Trump on "religious freedom"? Like the conscience rights of religious organizations or religious medical personnel under Obamacare? Please.
Beaty even promoted how some evangelicals now imply modern feminism is inspired by God:
But some are starting to say they are supporting Clinton precisely because of their faith. Among them is Karisa Johns Smith, who comes from a Pentecostal family.
“Gender equality is rooted in my religious beliefs,” says Smith, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Wheaton College, a prominent evangelical school in Illinois. “God created man and woman in his image, and gender inequality emerged post-Fall. So the movements of gender equality are works of God.”
Only liberal "legacy media" and feminist Christians can claim the energy to attempt to mentally reconcile Bible-thumping with Planned Parenthood, the LGBT lobby and the Clintons.