Tuesday, August 22, 2006

God is not a Republican

or a Democrat.

I recently spotted the above statement on a bumper sticker here in Atlanta.

The Detroit News had an article on July 30 titled - Conservative evangelical pastor steers clear of politics, and pays

A Minnesota pastor got fed up with being asked to "give his blessing -- and the church's -- to conservative political candidates and causes."

According to the article, Rev. Gregory A. Boyd believes the church should avoid politics, moralizing on sexual issues, refrain from characterizing the United States as a "Christian nation" and that US military operations should not be glorified.

Apparently this poor mega-church and its leader paid for his actions by losing 20% of its members who exercised their free will and sought a Christian community elsewhere.

Basically I agree with him. Here in Atlanta, our black churches and their leaders are very involved politically. That's not to say that the white churches don't do it too, but they are more evenly split in my opinion and therefore try to abstain from coming down solidly in favor of one political party over another.

HowEVER . . .

I'm sure he could give his blessing to conservative political candidates and causes without explicitly endorsing them. Is it not the call of all (Christian) church leaders, nay all Christians, to ask God to work through these people to do His will? You can bless the soldier with out telling him God has sent him on a crusade against Islamic fascism. I'm just a layman but I'm sure you can bless a Republican candidate in a way to ask God to guide him in his representation of his constituents without claiming that he's God's candidate. If he can't do this, he truly is a flawed vessel, like all of us, through which God has chosen to distribute his Word.

The article goes on and makes the generalization that a "common concern is that the Christian message is being compromised by the tendency to tie evangelical Christianity to the Republican Party and American nationalism, especially through the war in Iraq."

Whose fault is this? Is it not the Democratic left who wants nothing what-so-ever to do with Christians? Who is it that constantly bad mouths Christians as being weak, and the breeding ground right-wing extremism? The left has largely abandoned and vilified Christians. Small wonder then that the Republican party, who rarely says a bad word about Christianity, and rarely turns down their blessing, is seen as having stronger ties to the religion.

The only Christians the left embraces are those that are willing to vote Democratic.

I personally know that the church, especially the WASPs, are split roughly down the middle politically. I've got church elders and pastors in my family. We're EXTREMELY Christian. We're also extremely split and always have been. What's so new about that?

The new part is that the Democratic party, except for attempts to reach out to black voters, has neglected or even abandoned Christianity.