As this election season heats up, religion is a big issue. Will Romney’s Mormon faith be helpful, harmful or neutral for him as a candidate and as the president, should he win the election? What about Mike Huckabee’s former career as a Baptist minister? How might that affect his decisions as president? If you are a conservative candidate, it seems that your religious affiliation and how that might impact your leadership are fair game in the media.
Now conservatives are appropriately asking why Barack Obama’s religious affiliation is getting a pass – particularly concerning his church’s bestowal of the Dr. Jeremiah A. Jr. Trumpeter Award to Louis Farrakhan ( “Obama distances himself from Farrakhan” )? Why is the media silent on the views of Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ as outlined in their About Us section?
It is a certainty that if a conservative candidate was a member of a church that proudly and unashamedly described themselves thus,
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly White and Unapologetically Christian … Our roots in the White religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are a Caucasian people, and remain “true to our native land,”
there would he howls and shrieks of racism – and the entire focus of the media would be to run the candidate out of the race immediately! Not only that, but likely every other conservative candidate would be expected to widely and loudly condemn the church in question. But the left-leaning media looks the other way on Barack Obama’s membership in a racist black church, while conservative’s religious affiliations and beliefs are put under a microscope and dissected for the nightly news.
We actually have no quarrel with the media’s fascination with the religious affiliations/beliefs of the candidates, and agree that this information should be made known to the voting public. We just think such an examination should include the beliefs and religious affiliations of all the candidates, liberals as well as conservatives. After all, one’s beliefs will largely determine our decisions and guide our policies, as David P. Gushee notes in his USA Today Opinion piece “A plea to evangelicals — from an evangelical”:
Evangelical politics matter to the general public, which is affected by what conservative evangelicals believe and “value.” In the past seven years, we have seen that laws are written based on these values. Supreme Court justices are named based on these values. Executive-branch appointments are made based on these values. And presidential campaigns now seem to advance or collapse based on these values.
Somehow, however, Gushee seems to view conservatives voting for and with others who adhere to their religious views as idolatry. Why should Mr. Gushee confine his criticism to conservative voters? Why wouldn’t he say the same thing about the religious left, those who align themselves with the Democrat party? Why not question how the left’s religious beliefs will affect their votes and a liberal president’s decisions and appointments? Would it be because he would be immediately labeled a racist, misogynist homophobe for even questioning the left and its religious “values?” If you criticize Afro-centrism, doesn’t that automatically make you, not them, the racist? If you disagree with the policies of a liberal woman running for office, doesn’t that mean you fear strong women? If you believe that the practice of homosexuality is immoral, doesn’t that mean you are intolerant and despise homosexuals? If, In fact, you disagree with any liberal position, doesn’t that make you a “hater?”
Gushee’s attitude can no longer be said to be an attack on Evangelicalism from without, however, since it has been progressively reflected and mimicked even within Evangelical circles. The Emergent Church movement is all aboard the “Republicans and Capitalists are evil” bandwagon. Brian McLaren has been clear that we shouldn’t take any positions on homosexuality. In the article on Rob Bell “The Hipper-Than-Thou Pastor” David Van Biema writes:
Bell, 37, is guilty of none of the negatives. He is largely apolitical, thinks that only those with gay friends are positioned to judge homosexuality
How consistent is he in his views? Does he think that only those with friends that are pedophiles are in a position to judge pedophilia? Or perhaps only those who have a racist friend is in a position to judge racism? Of course, the list could go on. One of Bell’s interests is to eradicate poverty as we read in “Rob Bell on Politics”:
The interest is in giving voice to people who have no voice and using all of our abundance and wealth and resources on behalf of those who have a shortage. Some of our pastors had a meeting with the mayor of [Grand Rapids], which was simply for the purpose of asking who the most forgotten and the most hurting in our city are. They mayor had several very specific answers, and so we’ve actually reorganized a whole area of our church, putting the majority of our efforts around trying to take care of the worst problems in our city. I don’t know if you would say that’s political or not, even though it involved meeting with the mayor, but if Jesus comes to town and things don’t get better, then we have to ask some hard questions.
Of course eradicating poverty is a worthy aspiration, and it is a Godly thing to share our own possessions and wealth with the needy, but the confiscation and forced redistribution of other people’s wealth is not Christianity, but Marxism! Do they not realize that Marxism has failed miserably everywhere it has been tried and has been responsible for the death of untold millions?
The most forgotten members of society who truly have no voice at all are the unborn, but for the most part the emerging liberal Evangelical left have abandoned those hurting and needy to their bloody fate. There are no points to be made by standing up for the truly voiceless – not earthly ones anyway.
Yet, if these Emergents are as concerned as they say about racism and deaths from AIDS, should they not care that large and disproportionate numbers of black babies are murdered every day by abortionists? In discussing Black Genocide LEARN: points out:
Between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 Blacks were lynched in the U.S. That number is surpassed in less than 3 days by abortion.
1,452 African-American children are killed each day by the heinous act of abortion. .
3 out of 5 pregnant African-American women will abort their child. .
Since 1973 there has been over 13 million Black children killed and their precious mothers victimized by the U.S. abortion industry.
The AIDS pandemic is dwarfed by the amount of African American lives taken in abortion. The statistics shown under LEARN’s rap video Happy Birthday show that 203,695 black Americans have died of AIDS vs.13,000,000 deaths of black Americans through abortion.
And for all the claimed concern about sexism, we must point out that females are the most hurt by abortion. In many cultures, babies are aborted simply because they are female! Our favorite pro-life bumper sticker is one that proclaims, EQUAL RIGHTS FOR UNBORN WOMEN. Precious tiny girl persons are murdered every day for the “sin” of being female. These are the religious “values” that the left is committed to.
Jesus, the One who fed the poor and healed the sick, is also the One who said”
” Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. (Mark 9:42)
Jesus was concerned about the poor and the sick. He cared about human life. Healing the sick and feeding the hungry are acts to preserve and protect life, after all. Why is it that those who stand for the life of the preborn today are viewed as evil for carrying their beliefs into the voting booth, while those who are silent about or even endorse the wholesale slaughter of helpless people regarded as caring and enlightened?