I learned a new word this week: Christofascism. This term was lobbed my direction. So, like any curious person does, I looked it up. Modern argumentation is heavily reliant on insults and pseudo-insults that make people not want to engage in argument or to recoil and defend themselves. Look at any of the recently concocted phobias. It is a way of saying “there is no debate allowed.” Christofascist looked like one of these terms, so I looked it up. And it’s a curious one.
First, it was coined by Dorothee Sölle in the 1970’s. She was a liberation theologian. To most Christians that know their history, that is a heretical Marxist break-off from Christianity that has spun out many dangerous— and theologically grievous— cults that are in no way orthodox Christianity. Just look through her Wikipedia entry and you’ll see we wouldn’t allow her anywhere near a church conference.
Second, the term was specifically coined to describe “fundamentalists” and frankly, orthodox Christians. Tom F. Driver stated that “[w]e fear christofascism, which we see as the political direction of all attempts to place Christ at the center of social life and history.”
Third, the term was described by George Hunsinger— a reformed theologian— as “a sophisticated theological attack on the biblical depiction of Jesus.” He criticized the theology of opponents of Christofascism as extreme relativism that reduces Jesus Christ to “an object of mere personal preference and cultural location”.
So to be clear, this term was coined by liberation theology Marxists to insult orthodox Christians. And the insult comes down to “you ugly!” It doesn’t actually criticize orthodoxy, it just coins a new term for it.
“You don’t want to be a fascist, do you?! Then you cannot believe in a Jesus that is the only way to Heaven or should be King of all, center of social life and history. That is fascism. Don’t be a fascist.”
I’m gonna break it to you lightly, “NUH-UH!”
These childish neologisms to shut down conversation and shut down debate by guilting people into shutting up are tiresome. Christian, be curious and keep debating.