Harper's December Cover Story: Lies about Schaeffer
Jeff Sharlet's piece on the Christian right's understanding of American history was an eccentric admixture of random insight and radical misrepresentation. Perhaps his most egregious error was to describe the Christian study center) of theologian and philosopher Francis Schaeffer as a "Christian madrasah." Madrasahs are Islamic centers for indoctrination and jihad. Schaeffer never indoctrinated, but welcomed questions from doubters, skeptics, and unbelievers. He encouraged intellectual challenges instead of rejecting them; he modeled persuasion, not coercion; he issued intellectual arguments, not theological fatwas. He never engaged in the ignorant invective displayed by Sharlet.