Texas Democrat Running as 'Faith-First' Candidate Probably Shouldn't Have Written Book Shredding Evangelicals

Texas Democrat Running as 'Faith-First' Candidate Probably Shouldn't Have Written Book Shredding Evangelicals
(AP Photo/Leo Correa)

As the headline suggests, it should go without saying that if you decide to run for Congress, or any public office, and promote yourself as a (fill-in-the-blank), it’s probably not a good idea to have written a book slamming (fill-in-the-blank). Common sense, right?

Except to Texas special-election congressional candidate, Dr. Lydia Bean, that is.

The Harvard-trained sociologist and community organizer (spoiler) is the Democrat frontrunner in a special election in Texas’s Sixth Congressional District, as reported by Washington Free Beacon. Bean, says WFB, touts herself as a “religious progressive.” To that end, she founded a nonprofit organization devoted to faith-based political engagement.

“My faith and my family taught me to stand up for what’s right,” she said in her kickoff video.

Just one problem.

In her 2014 book, “The Politics of Evangelical Identity: Local Churches and Partisan Divides in the United States and Canada,” Bean roundly criticized evangelicals.

Amazon promotes the book thusly:

It is now a common refrain among liberals that Christian Right pastors and television pundits have hijacked evangelical Christianity for partisan gain.

“The Politics of Evangelical Identity” challenges this notion, arguing that the hijacking metaphor paints a fundamentally distorted picture of how evangelical churches have become politicized.

The book reveals how the powerful coalition between evangelicals and the Republican Party is not merely a creation of political elites who have framed conservative issues in religious language, but is anchored in the lives of local congregations.

In the introduction, Bean wrote that she recalled the “rhetoric” used by one church she attended as “combative” and said it seemed “violent” at times. “There is some evidence for the view that right-wing activists co-opted evangelical institutions,” she added.

On a broader scale, Bean accused the evangelical community as a whole of putting politics on the same level as their faith. “American evangelicals are not a mighty army of culture warriors,” she wrote, “but they vote like one.”

It got worse. Bean also all but called white evangelicals racist. During the 1960s, she wrote in the book, white evangelicals acted in a racist manner.

“White evangelicals were fighting to shield their children from secularism, but also from cultural influences they associated with downward mobility: drugs, countercultural youth movements, and contact with racial minorities.”

Texas pastor Brian Gibson didn’t take kindly to Bean’s assertions. Gibson told WFB that Bean misrepresents evangelical culture.

“Remarks like that are a wild framing of the evangelical world as something that was created for a political purpose. The church has held these views for thousands of years. […]

“[T]o come in and say in political terms that this is something that is being done to hold onto political power or to hold to a certain part of the culture is just not true.”

Author and religious commentator Lucas Miles was a bit harsher, telling WFB that Bean’s language “hijacks religious terminology for her own political ends.”

“I think that Dr. Lydia Bean is a perfect example of what is known as the Christian left. “As I read her statements, what I see her doing is purposefully hijacking the terminology that’s familiar to the Christian Texan base, in order to deceive them into thinking that she shares the values of the state of Texas.”

Speaking of the Christian Texan base, evangelicals not only comprise 31 percent of the Lone Star State’s population; the sixth district skews white and suburban, according to WFB, suggesting a concentration of evangelical voters in Bean’s district is even more likely.

Finally, as it relates to Bean’s community organizing — I immediately thought of Chicago Jesus Barack Obama as I typed “community organizing” — as WFB reported, she founded and previously chaired Faith in Texas, a grassroots political and religious organization that now “hawks a bailout fund” as one of its services.

In Minneapolis and other cities, bailout funds were used to release violent criminals in the wake of riots in August 2020. Speaking of which, Joe Biden and at least 13 of his presidential campaign staffers, and Kamala Harris were unavailable for comment.

I decided to throw this in just for grins. Given Biden’s near-religious commitment to facemasks, tell me he wouldn’t be all over sniffing Bean’s hair in a heartbeat.

Democrat hypocrisy. Is it the best, or not?

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