There is really no God-hater with whom Karen Swallow Prior would not join herself in fellowship. Some more charitable souls than myself view Prior as just a simple-minded woman who, like an evangelical and female J. Quincy Magoo, has somehow found herself in the upper echelons of the Evangelical Intelligentsia, irrespective of her woeful lack of self-awareness and total lack of anything doctrinally astute worth saying. They might believe that the English literature professor, who generally all agree has the theological acumen of a third-grade girl in the United Methodist Sunday School class, has become a top-tier conference speaker almost inexplicably. I, on the other hand, think there’s a plausible reason for Prior’s success in spite of her utter lack of mental cognitive capacity, inability to articulate complex ideas coherently, and record-shatteringly void of personal charisma (which I will leave to a later time). Prior’s latest glib remarks regarding with whom she would and wouldn’t break bread are especially vulgar.
Prior has a schtick. Her routine is to fellowship closely with nefarious and wicked, God-hating people. This is Prior’s idea of evangelism, even though it is doubtful that the woman knows what the Gospel really is. In reality, these groups are using Prior, who is happy to serve as the perennial useful idiot. They have a “Christian” whose presence serves to validate their worldview as legitimate, and she has pictures on the gay red-carpet and gets to be wined-and-dined by pagans as some kind of perverted, twisted evangelism strategy. It remains unseen if Prior has ever won anyone to Christ in her entire life, let alone whether her total abandonment of the concept of Christian holiness (separation) has had any positive repercussions.
Prior, who claims to have at one time been a strong pro-life advocate, made waves several years ago for writing in Christianity Today that abortion is not murder and that calling abortion murder is unchristlike. Many Christian leaders took her to task for that intellectual vulgarity, while others defended Prior as misunderstood or inarticulate, but not evil. Little by little, evangelicals have figured out that Prior is in no way qualified to represent Southern Baptists and serve in the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (even Pastor Tom Buck, who departed from fellowship with P&P after our criticism of Prior, recently called for her resignation from the ERLC on Josh Buice’s blog).
At the Social Gospel Coalition website today, Karen Swallow Prior continued her schtick:
But what I would do more often—and did, in fact, do—is dine with the executive director of the local Planned Parenthood, speak at conferences with abortion providers, co-author a paper with an abortion clinic director, and even befriend one of the clinic escorts who assaulted a fellow pro-lifer.
In Prior’s mind, she might very well be a brave evangelist. Probably, she would draw parallels between Jesus’ dining with tax collectors and sinners to her own fellowships. But let us not forget that the same woman who brags about dining with executive directors of Planned Parenthood also claimed that abortion isn’t murder. This is also a woman who has never, so far as anyone knows, led anyone to Christ.
I would go so far as to say that Karen Swallow Prior is the exact type of woman that Paul had in mind when he instructed women to sit down in church and be quiet. She is dangerous. You might send a seasoned evangelist into the lion’s den, but it’s insane to send a lost person in the name of Jesus.
As a polemicist, I try to pay special attention to the daily trends in the Christian news cycle. In the last month or so I’ve seen an emphasis on the gift of hospitality from among the Social Justice Warriors (I assumed it was being positioned for use in their argument for open borders Immigration). Prior’s post today at the Social Gospel Coalition was written in the name of hospitality, entitled Christianity Hospitality in the Age of ‘They’re Not Welcome Here Anymore.’ The trend seemed to kick off with Rosaria Butterfield’s book on the topic (Butterfield tried to get me kicked out of the G3 Conference in 2017 because I had “attacked [her] good friend, Karen Swallow Prior). I wonder if even something as innocent as the spiritual gift of hospitality could be twisted by these people for wicked purposes.
I should probably already know the answer. These people can twist any noble heavenly thing to advance their clay-footed agenda.
In the meantime, something tells me that when Prior dines with Planned Parenthood thugs she doesn’t – like Jesus in the questionable Johannine passage, the Pericope Adulterae – tell them to “go and sin no more.” There’s not enough nuance or winsomeness in that.