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The Billy Graham Of Weimar America

Weirdo Christian pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, right, gives fertility idol to aging feminist Gloria Steinem (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)

You know, I may never live down my 2013 qualified praise of ELCA pastrix Nadia Bolz-Weber, after I read her memoir. I wrote back then:

Reading this book, I found myself routinely pushed to the edge by the author’s raw voice and liberal theology, but just when I would think that I was done with her, she would come back with an observation — usually a self-critical observation — that pulled me back in, and made me reconsider my own thoughts and practices.

Her chapter about how she befriended Chris Rosebrough, a fiercely conservative Christian partisan who runs an Internet station called Pirate Christian Radio, is a great example. Rosebrough roasted her and her theology on his program. When he showed up to hear her speak at a conference one day, she was anxious and angry. “Pirate Christian is my enemy,” she writes, describing her feelings at that moment. “Oh, and by the way, f**k him.”

But then he came up and introduced himself after her talk. Pirate said he disagrees with a lot of what she believes, “but something tells me that out of all these liberal Christians, you and I have a couple things we might agree on.”

And then they started to talk, there in front of everybody; those who knew of their feud might have expected fireworks:

But instead, they saw us share a thirty-minute public dialogue about our own brokenness and need for confession and absolution, why we need the Gospel, and what happens in the Eucharist. And as he talked, he cried. Twice.

I found him to be hurting and tender and really smart.

I looked him in the eye and said, “Chris, I have two things to say to you. One, you are a beautiful child of God. Two, I think that maybe you and I are desperate enough to hear the Gospel that we can even hear it from each other.”

God made my enemy my friend that day. And I have not been plunder for the Pirate ever since.

And then, NBW talks about how she was jumped viciously by fellow liberals for being insufficiently (in their view) supportive of gays in the church — this, despite that fact that many in leadership in her parish are gay, and she has been openly and strongly pro-gay. When she compromised on a particular issue, some on her own side tore into her. That stung, she said; she was used to being attacked from the religious right, but to have her own people — the religious left — rip her really hurt.

The Pirate Christian called her to offer support.

Here’s the thing: Chris doesn’t agree with me or the more-liberal-than-thou group about the issues of GLBTQ inclusion in the church. But the one phone call I got in the middle of being attacked by my own tribe was from someone who is on the other side of the issue entirely. But he knew what it felt like for your own people to turn on you and he knew it felt like shit. Chris said that he loved me and would pray for me. His enemy.

I am miles away from Nadia Bolz-Weber theologically, but I sure would love to have her in my foxhole if I got in trouble.

Well, she’s come a long way, baby, from those days. She left her husband of 20 years in 2016, and then, her pants on fire, last year she published a book in praise of sex, including endorsing “ethically sourced” pornography. Then she invited former conservative Evangelical women to send her their “purity rings,” which she had melted down and formed into a vulva fertility idol, and gave to Gloria Steinem. 

Truly, Nadia Bolz-Weber is the Billy Graham of Weimar America.

UPDATE: On the other end of the political spectrum, here is a crazy preacher lady asking God to abort devil babies:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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