Tuesday, November 9


More on the evangelical Christians thing:

While many, if not most, so-called evangelicals are conservative, it's not true of all evangelicals. The evangelical right doesn't have a monopoly on "moral values," nor do they have a monopoly on proper and rigorous biblical interpretation.

In fact, having been deeply steeped in a fundamentalist religious tradition my entire life, I'll go so far as to say that these Bible-thumpers are just that -- people who thump on the Bible without bothering to open it up and wrestle with the prophetic tradition contained within.

Progressives, liberals and leftists can't engage them on this because they don't have the vocabulary. They've allowed their fear and ignorance of the Bible to prevent them from seeing that it contains some of the most radically egalitarian, progressive ideals in Western civilization.
[Emphasis mine]
"They love the Bible. But they're not paying attention to whole vast areas of biblical teaching that call for economic justice. You can't be evangelical and associate yourself with Jesus and what he says about the poor and just have no other domestic concerns than tax cuts for wealthy people.

"These are good people. But this is not biblical thinking. We are not the servant of the state. We are the conscience of the state. ... We're not just service providers. We are prophetic interrogators. Why are so many people hungry? ... Why do we have one of six of our children poor, and one of three of these are children of color? 'Why?' is the prophetic question.

"So I want the President to be more evangelical than his domestic policy shows so far in terms of fighting poverty. So I have no trouble with the faith. I want it to be applied. I want a faith that takes Jesus seriously in foreign policy. When Jesus says, 'Blessed are the peacemakers,' what does that mean? ... He doesn't say the 'peace lovers.' Blessed are the peacemakers.

"I think it's not credible to believe that Jesus' command to be peacemakers is best fulfilled by American military supremacy through the imposition of Pax Americana. Do we really think that's what Jesus meant by 'Blessed are the peacemakers?' I think that bears some evangelical reevaluation, in regard to our foreign policy."

Let the Great Evangelical Debate begin. Democrats better dust off their bibles and get in on the conversation -- that is, if they want to sever the unholy alliance between free-market and religious fundamentalism.

This is what helped Bush: he has the vocabulary. He may not walk it, but he can talk it.


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