Here’s a comment Tammy posted the other day — reprinted here with her permission.
Although the views of conservative Christians mentioned in your article may not be indicative of EVERY conservative Christian, there are enough of them out there with these views, (some of them quite well known and vocal) that it has had serious consequences on the effective witness the rest of us are trying to live.
I am a Christian and have attended a Southern Baptist church since I was saved at the age of 12. In the 34 years since, the message and tone from the pulpit, church leaders, and even the convention itself has changed. Many church members did not notice because the change was very slow and very subtle. I have spoken to a number of Christians from a variety of churches in person and on the web, and they describe their situation as being like waking up after a deep sleep, and wondering who these people are in the pew next to them.
The social issues at the forefront of the ongoing political and religious debate are abortion and homosexuality. The dividing point in the Christian community is twofold.
Number one is how do we deal with these problems; are we militant, intolerant, judgemental, prideful, etc., or are we confident enough in our own relationship with Christ that we live by His example?
Number two is why are some Christians ready to embrace these two issues with open arms, but refuse to acknowledge other social issues that Christ was much more clear about in the Gospel? We end up looking pretty hypocritical to the world at large, as we debate among ourselves a right course of action. A lot of us are very quick to point out another’s failings and shortcomings, but we are unable to see that “there is none just… no not one.”
Just my two cents. God Bless, TammyJo58
I’m not sure exactly what you wanted me to clarify. I’ll assume it’s not related to what Pat Robertson says because that’s pretty much public record. He reiterated his point about Christian persecution in January when he announced that God told him all the wonderful things that would happen during the second Bush term, including an end to this alleged persecution.
When it comes to my impression that the religious right follows their leaders blindly even when they don’t agree, it is based on the fact that their followers never publicly criticize any of the ridiculous statements they make or any of the statements they disagree with. As I mentioned, Pat Robertson has become so outrageous that they are distancing themselves from him (I thought they should have figured that out in 1999 when he endorsed political assassinations). But the manipulative tactics he uses are still there. I doubt it was coincidence that James Dobson made an issue of cartoon characters on the same day Bush said he would not support an amendment to ban gay marriage. Dobson was trying to distract the religious rights attention from the president’s comments. And instead of marshalling this grass roots power they’ve let the religious right think they have, Dobson was part of a group from Arlington, VA that quietly sent a letter to Bush that said they would withdraw their support for social security reform if he didn’t support the amendment. In my personal opinion, that back room maneuvering was when their seduction by politics was complete.
That is why I think the religious right is being led astray by leaders they are following blindly, and until they find their own voices and stop allowing others to speak for them, they are allowing these leaders to destroy the established church. I say established church because when I refer to the church generally I mean all believers whether they attend Sunday services or not, exactly because of the influence of the religious right’s leaders on the established church.