Political liberals and religious liberals ... two peas in a pod.
Christian scriptures teach two things.
- God's thoughts are higher than humans think.
- Believe in God and love each other.
Everthing else you are taught from the Bible is 6000 years of private interpretations.
John Danforth, in a NY Times Op-Ed 6/17/05 wrote:
It would be an oversimplification to say that America's culture wars are now between people of faith and nonbelievers.
A year and a half later, a more accurate rendering of Danforth's thought might be that the culture war is more than ever
between liberal and rigid fundamentalist Christians in the same way as political liberals and conservatives differ.
In both regards, the growing contrast is moralistic because republican political hypocrisy has on every occasion
been a betrayal of those believing Christians who had earlier entered into the political arena more fully and voted Republican.
Despite what O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of the Keystone Reflublicans tell us, the real elitists are political
conservatives and literalist religious fundamentalists.
6000 years of private interpretations of the Bible are all we can make of what is written. To construct theological formulas
out of a collection of historical narratives relating how earlier human beings perceived and related to God in order to get
a reservation to God's "country club in the sky" is not religion practiced but a religion theorized or even something created
out of pure guesswork.
That as well defines political conservatism which is perrenially revealed as some sort of ideal never reachable because
human nature tends toward selfishness, greed and a general lack of altruism which leaves little if any generous trickling
down of wealth, prosperity and spiritual greatness.
The following commentary about differing Christian philosophical approaches also, IMO, reflects in many ways differing
political approaches as well.
With the religious right we have seen no peacemaking efforts, no efforts to bless the poor or poor-in-spirit, no Good Samaritan
Activities, no refraining from judgment, no real hungering after righteousness through activism.
Rather than act like persecuted victims straining to right imagined wrongs and imagined dangers in venues elevated above
the highest commandment of loving neighbors, the most influential Christian celebrities ought to be involved in Jesus' most
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you. and affirmed by Paul: For God is not the author of confusion
but of peace as in all churches of the saints.
Christians find themselves in a situation of having to respond to conflicting spiritual views that reflect disagreement
as to what their religion stands for, what values are most important and what methods should be used to work for the common
If part and parcel of Christian activism today includes an aggressive evangelical effort then I see liberal Christians
empowered to counter the evangelizing of questionable theology and priorities of the Christian Right with their own evangelical
effort that builds rather than destroys,
- that seeks peace rather than attempts to justify war,
- that encourages awareness of every sparrow that falls - now that's godliness,
- leaving no child, no adult, no family, no culture, no nation or race and no society behind or left out of God's "neighbor"
Liberal Christians must, as Danforth writes, bring their values to bear if they are going to participate in politics.
They must insist that any responsibility to live a Christian life is a private matter between God and man and not something
to be "codified by legislators." (Danforth)
Liberal Christians must publish and proclaim that Christianity does not possess a monopoly on the truth of God;
- That most Americans are not in favor of and are resisting a societal shift into something resembling a Christian Taliban.
- that most Americans are opposed to government interference in personal lives.
- that most Americans and Liberal Christians are not opposed to scientific advances, scientific knowledge and an understanding
of the real world, its environment and how things work.
- that scientific advances for human good are not to be limited by blind and willful faith in an inerrant Bible and relgious
- that Liberal Christians are opposed to establishing a constitutional law that denigrates minorities or creates a definition
of human relationships that is exclusive in nature and limited to definitions established by a misguided legislative activism
in a country dominated by one religious point of view.
America's so called "core values" are not something recently created or recently modified by the outcome of elections.
Those core values, many of which are spiritual in nature, include an understanding the there is always much to be learned
in a free America. Liberty allows all to learn and the direction of learning is not restricted to a specific religious belief
American core values have included a psychology that religion is a private matter between a person and God and that everyone
is at liberty to believe and belong to any spiritual system.
American core values do not include the notion that the Christian God is supreme and legitimate while all "other Gods"
are false or evil.
American core values emphasize humility and the idea that anyone who gets "too big for their britches" or who has proven
inept at the job will be put in their deserved place by the wiser electoral majority.
The biggest sharks are not at liberty in this country to pick on the tiniest minnows regardless of their wealth or political
American core values emphasize that church is a place for spiritual nourishment and not political manipulation or excommunication
for political disagreement.
American core values include patriotism with an understanding that dissent and participation is patriotic.
Although it rears its ugly head from time to time, jingoism is not the American way of supporting troops and letting presidents
get away with the slaughter of innocents by bringing God into the equation.
Liberal Christians must reach out and extend their hands of fellowship to any and all neighbors. They must proclaim peace,
actively work for peace, oppose injustice to any neighbor, and work for relief to all who are oppressed and suffering.
Liberal Christians do not encounter victims on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and pass by on the other side.
Nor do they stop and point out that a victim was in some way acted upon by God as a punishment.
Nor do they consider any victim as unworthy, undeserving or sinful in not meeting certain standards.
Rather, liberal Christians are ready to not pass by, but to stop and have compassion, bind wounds and escort the victim
to shelter for tender care.
Liberal Christians can evangelize the Gospel of Christ to any and all without the objective of conversion or bringing non-Christian
souls to Christ. Christ is not a bean-counter nor the head of an exclusive club.
The objective of God is love of one's neighbor and compassion for all and not the herding of humanity into a pearly-gated
corral by born-again whip-wielding sheep herders.