Friday, November 22, 2019

#2271: Warren Cole Smith

Warren Cole Smith is an evangelical writer (e.g. coauthor of Restore All Things), WORLD Magazine associate publisher, vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and raging fundamentalist, whose columns for WORLD are also run by the American Family Association.

In 2012 Smith created a bit of a stir when he published a column pledging not to vote for Romney because a Romney presidency would be a boost for Mormonism: Romney’s beliefs matter, since “[i]f the beliefs are false, then the behavior will eventually – but inevitably – be warped.” Then, to undermine a point that could have been seriously defended (cf. W. Clifford), he invoked the Mormon doctrine of “continuing revelation” to explain Romney’s history of flip-flops and warned that a Romney presidency would “normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over” and draw people into the LDS church to the detriment of fundamentalist Christianity. Smith doesn’t really have a very good grasp of the truth/falsehood distinction.

Smith is also a creationist, and has called it “unscientific” that scientists don’t invite creationists to conferences dealing with matters of science (his magazine really, really doesn’t like BioLogos since they advocate that Christians should accept evolution). It’s telling, but hardly surprising, that Smith fails to see the difference between scientific debates and feeding manufactroversies (this commentary is also pretty good). 

Fervently anti-gay, though usually able to dress his bigotry up in milquetoast colors, Smith has not given up the fight against marriage equality: “it is not over. And I’ve read the last chapter of the book, and guess what? God wins,” which should give anti-gay activists some comfort: “we should be happy warriors in this process, knowing that […] God is indeed on our side.” Yes, it’s a common enough idea, but that doesn’t make it any less ludicrous to default-interpret those who disagree with you as being in some kind of divine spiritual fight with you. 

Diagnosis: Standard fare, though Smith does, despite his raging fundamentalist, admittedly have a good pastor’s knack for coming across as patient, mild-mannered and reasonable – the contents of his utternaces is a different matter. Moderately influential and dangerous.

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