Lifesite News is reporting that Frank Schaeffer, son of the late, prominent Calvinist theologian Francis Schaeffer, has “apologized for his involvement with the ‘hate-filled rhetoric’ he associated with the ‘religious right.'”
My sole personal contact with Frank Schaeffer was a single phone conversation with him, back in the mid-90s. We spoke at some length about why he had left Evangelicalism for the East, his father’s legacy, and his own writings (the first edition of Portofino had recently come out, if I recall correctly, and he was kind enough to send me an inscribed copy). While I didn’t agree with some of his positions (e.g., his enchantment with Orthodoxy) he seemed to me then to be reasonable, very pleasant, and level-headed. But the report I quote from below gives me the impression that he has gone off the deep end in the meantime.
Before I get to that, here’s a snippet of a recent opinion piece he wrote for the execrable Huffington Post, which should provide a sense of where his head is at these days:
Foolish and incendiary words, indeed.
The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as “murderers.” And today once again the “pro-life” leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I’d like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I — and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words. (source)
I can’t tell if they are the words of a man who has lost his moral bearings altogether (he now says abortion should remain legal and demonizes the Prolife Movement, and in particular, the Catholic Church, as a “hate machine”), or if he’s just a coward who has abandoned his convictions because, had he remained faithful to them, he would earn only opprobrium and rejection from the fashionable, “progressive” Huffington-Post crowd he consorts with now.
As an aside. Let’s not forget that Christians who want to remain popular and “in” with the “In Crowd” will be tempted to sacrifice their allegiance to the truth for the sake of human respect. Tragicaly, some give in to that temptation and make a wrong turn, gambolling down that wide and well-travelled road which Christ warned us away from, a road that leads directly toward a dark horizon.
Here is the LifeSite report about Schaeffer’s latest comments:
Earlier this year Frank Schaeffer, who has joined the Greek Orthodox Church but is still considered a leader of the Evangelical movement, abandoned the strong pro-life position of his father and told an interviewer that he believes abortion should remain legal. Schaeffer said that thirty years of attempts to overturn the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade have failed and that the “black and white” pro-life position is counterproductive.
“The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as ‘murderers,'” wrote Schaeffer this week. “And today once again the ‘pro-life’ leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words.
“The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility,” he continued. “But I’d like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for performing abortions that I — and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words.” (Continue reading)