July 19, 2004
Here is part of my response to an email today complaining about positions I’ve taken on this site.
I am against abortion, as my site makes very clear. There is trauma and tragedy and violence for all involved, and it is sickening.
But I also read my Bible — quite a bit, in fact — and I know God is not impressed by pro-life political affiliations that take no account of the moral character and actual results of political movements and leaders. God does not judge by externals, but by what people really pursue, and what they really do to each other.
Martin Luther King said it is wrong to not hold the robber accountable, while arresting the victim. My problem with rightist church-politics as practiced in this country is that:
1) it protects the robbers, refusing to investigate their activities and characters, helping to deflect attention from them by campaigning loud and hard about 1 or 2 other moral issues (which are, as my site makes clear, also very real and important);
AND, WORSE BY FAR:
2) Right political-religion does not do much at all to actually help people avoid and escape even those 1 or 2 moral quagmires by effective, direct, personal efforts. It primarily uses those issues to spread blame and guilt, and to win elections so the government can help to further enrich the robbers.
The ‘conservative’ churches seem much more interested in political power than in moral or spiritual power, and they are getting what they have been choosing – (temporary) political power, and continuously declining moral credibility and spiritual power. More now than at perhaps any other time in American history it can be said of the churches, “the name of God is blasphemed among the unbelievers because of you.”
Why does the church think it is holy to try to do all the good deeds that need doing long-distance — keeping the problems at more than arms length — trying to force others to do good through legislation (or the destroying of legislation) or through military destruction?
I am opposed to abortion. I am equally opposed to all the ineffective sanctimony coming out of the religious right allegedly in defense of the helpless. If they cared about the helpless, it would be much more apparent in their local communities.
And there would be much more honesty among them; the scoundrels on the public scene (Rove, Cheney, Limbaugh, Colter, as a very small sampling) would not be honored among them (Isaiah 32). And they would actually be DOING something other than shouting and parading about these issues in political campaigns. I’m not talking about you personally since I don’t know you, but about these churches in general (and I’m right; I’ve lived in them).
If the only real strength of the Christian Gospel is an ability to manipulate the voting public, then who needs it! But in fact we do need it, desperately. We just need it’s self-proclaimed agents to figure out which kingdom they want to identify with, the Real One, or the one of worldly wealth and political-military power.
Thank you for your feedback. I know you have been poorly informed by your limited exposure to the realities going on in our country. I do blame you for that since we hear what we choose to hear, but I also blame the manipulators and brain-washers that you choose to listen to so exclusively.
May the blessing of God be in your heart, mind, life, and family. And in our country and our world. Amen.