The religious right claims to be all about America and such proud patriots, but now some are calling for an electoral boycott. It’s both the dumbest and smartest thing they’ve ever done:
…The movement has had growing pains and the statement issued Wednesday, called an “Evangelical Manifesto,” is the latest sign of emerging fractures as some activists seek to broaden its agenda beyond hot-button social issues such as opposition to abortion and gay rights.
“Christians from both sides of the political spectrum, left as well as right, have made the mistake of politicizing faith,” the manifesto declares.
“That way faith loses its independence, the church becomes ‘the regime at prayer,’ Christians become ‘useful idiots’ for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology in its purest form,” it said.
Theological analyst Michael Cromartie insists that the manifesto most likely won’t have much political impact: “It’s a sign of maturation of the evangelical movement…It’s an important theological document but it will have limited political influence because it is making a essentially a theological argument.”
Maturation? Believing in magic and magical beings is not a sign of maturity in my opinion.
This is good news. The Christians are beginning to realize that they have been “used” for political gain. And, they are beginning to refocus on their faith, instead of just doing what the politicians tell them to do.
The fact that it is a theological manifesto, and not a political advertising piece, will make it even more effective in the long term. People in the pews will always listen to their pastors. The pastors will read this. The more of them that read this piece, and pray about it, the better.
Now, here’s the important part: The pastors are beginning to realize that politics is about more than “abortion” and “gays”. It’s also about feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and all those other nice, charitable, “liberal” purposes. By allowing themselves to be “used” by the right wing, they have actually worked against their own traditional liberal purposes. As they begin to refocus on their traditional liberal purposes, they will lose focus on the hard, right-wing political hatred.
And, as they pray and repent, they may actually become our friends. They are big on “family”. Eventually, even the hardest, most hateful preacher will realize that every gay person is a member of some family. If God chose to make your own son(daughter) different from other boys(girls), that is not a reason to hate your own son(daughter). It is actually a very good reason to love him(her).
This is not about “an electoral boycott”, but rather pointing out the error in the politicization of faith, something that both the left and right should abhor.
I agree that this is not political “maturation” – if only because evangelicals were apolitical until very recently. In the 19th and 18th centuries it was considered vaguely unethical to be religious and involved in politics, at least in the States (not so much with the Catholic Church in Latin America). Evangelicals actually pushed to keep the state out of religion, given that the state tended to be more mainline protestant.
I’ll be glad to have them back in their hollers and ranches, and leaving the rest of us alone.
Sheep in a biblical context is used for the humble followers of god while goats are independent and belligerent. Preachers and politicians alike are only too happy to create vast flocks of sheep and enrich themselves by them. Where is the skepticism? The blame for being easily led rests with the individual. If we don’t question every proverb, advertisement, scripture, flyer, homily, or speech for veracity, we fail as people. I can’t help but think the god they talk about may SAY the sheep are “chosen”, but has a soft spot for the goats and smiles as we gambol and butt and rut.
These pie in the sky crazies are just trying to save face after their favorite candidate Huckabee only got 10 percent of the vote. Most thought they and their megachurches were so politically powerful. They aren’t.
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