Evangelical Update

A resource for lefties who want to understand conservative Christians.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Cast of Characters

In describing my observations about conservative Christianity, I will draw heavily from a small group of people I have gotten to know via their blogs and e-mail messages, and supplement with information from other blogs that I read less frequently.

I have a huge disclaimer: I am not sure if this group is representative of conservative Christians as a whole. I've tried to ask them if they are representative, and no one will give me a straight answer. I assume that they are thought leaders in their church community since they usually have well-evolved opinions. I also assume that they may be more into their religion than the average Jesus-loving Joe, since they have endeavored to commit a large amount of time writing about and practicing their faith.

One thing they have in common is that you can't really put them in a labeled box.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Amy: My encounter with evangelicals started here when I clicked on the "Next Blog" button within Blogspot, and found Amy's blog called "Amy's Humble Musings." I would guess that Amy is late 20's/early 30's, is married to an aeronautical engineer (Greg), lives in Florida, and has 4 children under the age of 6. She will homeschool their children.

Ed: a.k.a. Rev Ed. Ed lives in Ohio and is a pastor among other things. His blog is structured very sermon-like, i.e. personal story followed by a religious point. He is more open to alternative ideas than most, though he makes is quite clear where he stands on Christian issues.

Shannon: Married, 29-year old mother of two young children, who lives in Georgia. Shannon cares for her children full time and plans to homeschool them. She has gotten some resistance from her friends and her husband's family on this issue. She does not like Wal-Mart, grows her own garden, and tries to buy organic food and shop from local merchants. Shannon also volunteers at a local pregnancy crisis center, putting her anti-abortion beliefs into action.

Ron: Married, 30-something father of two young children, who lives on the outskirts of St. Paul, Minnesota. Ron's wife works outside the home. Ron is very scholarly and has posted a series defending aspects of Christianity on a factual level. Ron is very open to civil debate on nearly any topic.

Carmon: Married, 44-year old mother of 10(!), who lives on 34-acres of beautiful land northeast of Sacramento, California (I know this because I visited Carmon's family). Carmon homeschools her children and is a self-described Calvinist, i.e. an orthodox Presbyterian. Carmon is extremely well-read and believes that a woman's place is in the home.

Samantha: Married, 30-something (?) mother of 3, who "unschools" her children at home. Samantha is probably the hardest person in this group to stick a label on. She is also a Calvinist, is all-natural, libertarian, and former feminist.

Kristen: Married, 31-year old who lives in Southern California and had a conversion to conservative Christianity during college. Kristen's blog posts are usually scripture-based. She works outside the home, but plans to stay at home when she has children.

  • Shannon, Carmon, and Kristen do not believe in birth control for themselves (I do not know the others' stance on this issue).
  • All of the women believe that they should submit to the final authority of their husbands and do not like the idea of feminism.
  • Most of these people have no problem with drinking alcohol in moderation (which really made me wonder if I have found an outlying group of conservative Christians).

Hopefully this is enough background information for you to have an idea of where I am coming from in future posts.