Guess I should let you know, since I “pose” as a Christian, that people like me have again been excommunicated by Pope Erick I, who is persistently brazen in asserting that his brand of selective biblical literalism is the only legitimate way to follow Jesus Christ. Yes, after a pedestrian and hardly irrefutable smack-down of those who quote Levitical dietary laws as examples of biblical commandments no longer binding on Christians, Erick Erickson issues this mighty anathema against “liberal Christians”:

[I]f you want to make some sort of argument about sin, please stop embarrassing yourself by trying to make it Levitical. And please understand that when you trot out the shibboleths of the damned, actual Christians immediately recognize your ignorance and start praying for your soul.

One last note on this. For those of you who claim to be a Christian who worship your own personal Jesus instead of the real one — many of you too rely on the shibboleths of the damned and those of us committed to the gospel really must wonder if you’re sincerely a Christian or just posing as one out of some sense of tradition, standing in your community, or just maliciously posing to undermine the faith.

And if at this point you think I’m judging you and crying about it, let me go on and say you really aren’t a Christian or, more charitably, you are too ignorant of your faith to have standing in these cases.

This literal damnation of “liberal Christians,” BTW, is offered in fury at the idea that any Christian could fail to understand that homosexuality is absolutely condemned for all eternity by God Almighty.

I can’t imagine a much better example of the secularism and spiritual poverty exhibited by those who reduce Christianity to a handbook for social order (or as Erickson’s friend Paul Broun calls the Bible, “a manufacturer’s handbook for how to run all of public policy and everything in society”) and a divinization of the day before yesterday, where gay folk are forever perverts yet “job-creators” can do no wrong. If I had half of Erick Erickson’s arrogance I might cast aspersions on the legitimacy of his own Christianity. But the whole point of my perpetual unhappiness on this subject is that I don’t have the keys to the Gospel any more than Erickson does. As that crypto-Muslim secular socialist Barack Obama likes to say, doubt–especially self-doubt–is actually essential to faith, and to what used to be called the fear of God.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.