Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
The Baptist Standard on l'affaire Barack

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]lullabypit)

You know, when I'm looking for coherent, thoughtful analysis and opinion on important socio-political issues, I've learned to steer clear of anything involving the words "Baptist" and "Texas." No offense to the literally dozens of rational Texans out there, most of who seem to live in Austin, a town I keep hearing great things about. :)

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled up on this commentary from Marv Knox, editor of the Texas Baptist "news journal." I mean, I'm quite sure that Marv and I disagree on a number of things (although I suspect we agree on more than some folks would think), but damn, his take on why the Wide Right is missing the boat on the current Rick Warren/Barack Obama controversy is nothing short of money.

In a nutshell, the evangelical fringe opposes any association with people like Obama because he's pro-abortion. Period. Conservative talk radio drooler Kevin McCullough wonders: "Why would Warren marry the moral equivalency of his pulpit — a sacred piece of honor in evangelical traditions — to the inhumane, sick and sinister evil that Obama has worked for as a legislator?" And no less a barking dingbat moral authority than Phyllis Schlafly, head of the hyper-conservative Eagle Forum says, "If Senator Obama cannot defend the most helpless citizens in our country, he has nothing to say to the AIDS crisis. You cannot fight one evil while justifying another." (Story.)

If you're paying attention, you noted that Sen. Obama is evil. Not wrong. Not in possession of a different opinion. Evil®. You know, like Hitler, Osama, and other Minions of Darkness. Servants of Satan.

Let me offer an analogy that will surely piss off a lot of conservative evangelicals. And let me also invite any of them who are reading to explain to me - rationally, please - exactly how my analogy is faulty.

There has been a wreck. A car has flipped over, it's leaking gasoline, and the driver is trapped inside. It looks like the whole thing could blow at any moment. Two people stop - a conservative evangelical and a flaming liberal wearing a pro-choice t-shirt. The liberal says to the evangelical, "quick, I think if we work together we can get the driver out of the car before it explodes." The evangelical notes the t-shirt, and says "I'm sorry, but I can't work with somebody who's evil like you."

That's pretty much how this is playing out.

So Knox has plenty to say on the subject, and every Christian in America needs to hear it. (A lot of non-Christians, too, for that matter.) Bear with me as I quote (if you'll forgive the term) liberally:

Still, the conservative activists criticized Warren and Obama because the Illinois senator is pro-choice. Interestingly, they overlooked flaws in other participants. Bono’s conscience-driven music positively stirs millions of listeners, but he has used the F-word on television. Bill Gates is an agnostic who once responded to a question about God’s existence by saying: “I don’t have any evidence of that. ... Religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.” So, Obama, a Christian brother who testifies to the role Christ plays in his life and supports his words with deeds of compassion and mercy, should be ineligible to help eradicate AIDS because of his views on abortion? Go figure.
The activists’ action is appalling, not because of their view of abortion, but because of their view of Christian cooperation. We should not be required to agree on every issue or pass a litmus test in order to work together to achieve a common good or eradicate a pandemic evil.

Where are the Christians whose faith is strong and resilient enough to labor alongside others who may be very much unlike them but who share a common concern? We need more Christians who possess generous spirits, thick skins, soft hearts, keen minds and entrepreneurial spirits. Christians who don’t worry about being accused of associating with the wrong crowd as long as they’re working on the right causes. We need them to help eradicate AIDS and eliminate abortions. We need them to mediate peaceful relationships between adversarial enemies. We need them to live winsome, reconciling lives in their communities.

They will do more to win the world to Christ and overcome the world’s evils than all the anti-oriented Christians will accomplish in 490 lifetimes.
Congratulations to Marv Knox, as well as to the swelling tide of evangelicals out there who are slowly coming to realize that the teachings of Jesus Christ were concerned with a lot more than abortion and who understand that it's going to be damned hard to improve the world if you insist on 100% scores on the Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson/Ted Haggard/James Dobson litmus test before you can work with somebody.


Current Music: Peter Gabriel - "That Voice Again"