If I believe X, must I believe Y?

In a long post on Slacktivist, Fred Clark objects to irrelevant litmus tests on faith:

Yet the fact remains that Jim Wallis’ position on both abortion and homosexuality is such that he has remained in good standing as a mostly accepted member of the American evangelical community. His views on poverty, racial justice, peace and the environment may put him at odds with the gatekeepers of that community, who often characterize him as a dangerous radical, but in the final analysis they also regard him as One Of Us because, after all, he opposes abortion and the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals.

Now, it’s tragic and probably heretical that this is how the American evangelical community decides who is and who is not an acceptable and recognized member of the community. Wallis’ long demonstration of a passionate faith doesn’t count in this calculus. Nor does his personal testimony, his church membership of his long track record as a Bible-soaked preacher of God’s Word. All that really matters is opposition to those two things: Abortion and homosexuality.

Meanwhile, at Queerty, John Gallagher does a lengthy piece on a press conference for a Tea Party convention to be held in the fall, featuring this quote:

“If you tell me where you’re at, say on the sanctity of marriage or on some core value issues,” said Bob Vander Plaats, who ran a failing campaign for the GOP nomination for Iowa governor last year. “I’ll tell you where you’re at on economic policy.”

Really? I’m pretty sure it’s possible to not object to marriage equality, to understand that it’s possible that some instance might occur where abortion is a proper course of action, and still be a fiscal conservative. Or, for that matter, a Christian. (I’ve even heard that there are some Christians who don’t insist on espousing fiscal conservatism.)

Vander Plaats’ thinking also leads to a place that I find uncomfortable: if he thinks his own social and religious beliefs are bound up with political positions, might he think that the same goes for other people? I don’t know for sure that that kind of thinking would lead to stereotyping of the most obnoxious, all-of-them-are-like-that stripe–but it sure seems to lead that way. If true, that might go a long way toward explaining why some people are so resistant to the idea, for instance, that Muslims don’t all want to destroy America.

Another organizer, William Clark, proposes that a proper quid pro quo for raising the debt limit would be the reinstatement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Those are both important, but are they really equivalent?

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