By Doug Newman
June 30, 2008
Posted at Denver
Rocky Mountain News, You
Are Israel, Enlightened
The Trumpet and Freedom4um.
Rocky Mountain News
101 W. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80202
Thank you for your article of June 30, 2008 entitled “Evangelicals' political clout wanes, scholars say.” This waning political influence is long overdue. For years, Christians and their churches have been inappropriately used as partisan political tools. The consequences have been most unfortunate.
From 1980 to 2000, there was always a drumbeat about the need for Christians to vote Republican. When George W. Bush mentioned Jesus during the 2000 campaign, things went crazy. Based on just one statement, evangelical leaders relentlessly promoted Bush as this great Christian man and insisted that Christians stand with him foursquare. Someone said that it was as if they wanted to add Bush to the Holy Trinity.
Millions of evangelicals thus became fervent supporters of unprovoked war, torture, warrantless searches and spying, rogue police and guilt without trial. They became cheerleaders for the most un-Christlike behavior imaginable.
When called on this, they often would try to frighten people, saying things like, “Do you want liberals in power?” Well, our “conservative” president outspends his liberal predecessor by $1 trillion per year. Every liberal program these “conservatives” say they oppose is larger and costlier than ever. Abortions are as available now as they were in the Clinton years.
Christians are called to be light in a world of darkness and salt in a world of decay. While we need to be involved in politics, we must not compromise Christianity for the sake of political victory. We must acknowledge the very strict limits of what government can accomplish and that the state almost always does more harm than good.
We must also not yoke ourselves unequally with secular political movements. This unholy alliance of evangelical Christians and the Republican Party has given Christians a reputation as warmongers, cultural control freaks and partisan political jerks. This is not how Christ called us to live.
Let us look to the Bible and to the teachings of Christ, rather than temporal partisan political agendas, as our guide toward influencing our world.
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It was long overdue for someone to say this. Now, if only people will listen. -- Another RB in ColoradoSatan's agenda, defile America and Christianity. He's done it well as you have described. -- GE in Florida
I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. I am horrified when people refer to Evangelical Christianity as a political agenda. How cheap!!!! -- BW in PennsylvaniaVery nice points in your letter. It was succinct and to the point, as any LTTE must be. I think this is why I have just stopped being involved in the political process altogether. I have more zeal to be involved in prison ministries than to vote for those that would choose to imprison me! -- DM in California
Mephistopheles sits on the spire of the capitol, his red book in hand. In it are the names of evangelicals who are politicizing religion for their earthly delights. -- PT in Colorado
That letter reminded me of David Kupelian, an occasional contributor to World Net Daily. In 2004, he wrote what he called "An Open Letter To Libertarian & Constitution Party Voters." The underlying message I got from reading it was this: if you don't vote for George W. Bush, Jesus will throw you into Hell. Mr. Kupelian wrote another article that WND posted today, entitled "3 Good Reasons to Vote For John McCain." I suppose reason number 4 is this: "If you don't vote for John McCain, Jesus will throw you into Hell.'' Things like this might explain the secular streak I developed lately. -- JM in Nevada
I am constantly reminding an atheist with whom I work that he cannot point to anything the rightist "Christian" blasphemers say or do as either representing God or being a refutation of true Christianity. Your articles help. -- MM in Canada
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman