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?
You referenced “We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian”
I don’t think there is any racism in the statements made here because they are embracing faith inside a particular cultural context. How is this any different than the Greek Orthodox Church or a Korean Church? I don’t think it reveals racism by just flipping it to say “white” because “white” is not as a specific cultural context as “African” or even “Black American”.
You said, “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!”
Yes you are right that forcing redistribution of other peoples wealth is not Christian, however I don’t think we are talking about a Robin Hood robbing the rich to feed the poor model. If any “robbing” is going on it is the embracing of systems that nickel and dime the poor to death because they don’t have the nickels and dimes to spare.
I think in a different time a strict capitalistic system could be governed by economics; if business was unfair or unjust people would stop using it and that business would loose money. The problem is that businesses are so large and there is so much wealth in the world that businesses simply don’t feel it in the pockets anymore when they operate unjustly and when these people they hurt stop using them. Of course in many cases people may not have a choice and must use them.
Our businesses are too large and systems are too big to have natural economic accountability anymore. Not only that, people themselves are often not held accountable because they are just one piece in a larger corporate systems. Even CEO’s work for systems; the machines are in charge!
I think the fear of Communism is unnecessary because it wont happen as long as we have a people’s government where all people truly have a voice. Corporate lobbyist often make this challenging, but as long as we have these enormous corporate systems we need a peoples government more than ever to put people back in charge of these systems and give it some accountability.
Of course the systems of politics and government are not perfect either but in the context of the world we live in today in our country people simply are better able to have a voice in our political system because they have so much less of a voice in the corporate systems of our country. These systems are not self governing and because they are systems they lack the accountability of individuals and human morality- the systems are set up only to be accountable to the bottom line.
As long as these systems are the ones in charge and not people than I see nothing wrong with people working through government to keep these systems accountable to people when they fail to be otherwise.
You said, “The most forgotten members of society who truly have no voice at all are the unborn…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?”
By all mean carry your faith and beliefs into the voting booth (I carry mine there)and also keep fighting for the life of the unborn! But be consistent and care for the lives of the born too, and understand also that fighting issues such as poverty and even aids will actually go a long way in preventing the need for so many to even have to consider abortions. I think we all must be “enlightened” enough to realize that we can not fix these problems isolated from their broader context and systems of influence. As someone who is very much pro-life I am no longer convinced that just voting republican is the best way of voting pro-life and truly trying to make a difference in the lives of both the born and unborn.
Obama’s church is overtly racist if they even THINK about honoring Farrakhan for ANYTHING. And there is no such thing as “African-American” – that is a racist construct in and of itself. We are all Americans. Period. How many people do we see touting themselves as “English-American” or “German-American”, etc? Perhaps during the first generation of these people it would be appropriate, but it has been almost two centuries since slaves were brought here from Africa, and not all blacks even descend from Africans. The whole construct is to keep darker-skinned people from being part of the national identity, and to keep them as eternal victims. Obama’s church is racist, period!
Don, you did an excellent job on this about Obama, the media, and related matters! As the saying goes, “Let ‘er rip!!!!” From a Norwegian-American in Montana.
I don’t think it is racist to still have some sense of appreciation for ones race, culture and identity. The reality is that for a variety of reasons there are neighborhoods, schools, local places of employment, and church’s in our country that are predominantly black and therefore as a community has maintained much of that cultural identity. It is not so different than things like China town or areas that are predominantly Spanish speaking and share communality. Language is not as much as a barrier in the Black community but even still I think there is a difference from “English American” and “German American” cultures in our nations past; mainly that these groups more easily merged into what now is just considered as one “white” majority. But even this took a lot of time and it is easy to forget that one time in our country there was racism towards groups like Irish and Italians.
You mentioned that it has been almost two centuries since slaves were brought to America, but it has just been barely over 40 years since the civil rights movement, still barely one generation away. It will simply take more time break even further past these barriers. But we are not going to make more progress by denying the real cultural presence of Black America and dismissing their cultural identity as invalid.
How Can any conservative vote for Romney?
He was listed as one of the top ten Republicans in Name Only by Human Events Magazine.
What will he be after the primary?
And would he be another George Bush if he gets elected?
Yes it’s true that Barack Hussein Obama’s religious affiliation is getting a pass because he is a leftist media darling. For an interesting look back into BHO’s leftist political past, here’s a link I found today.
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