Friday, May 02, 2008

Evangelism Roosts in its Own Petard

An evangelical manifesto criticizes politics in faith

(AP) -- Conservative Christian leaders who believe the word "evangelical" has lost its religious meaning plan to release a starkly self-critical document saying the movement has become too political and has diminished the Gospel through its approach to the culture wars.

The statement, called "An Evangelical Manifesto," condemns Christians on the right and left for using faith to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

"That way faith loses its independence, Christians become 'useful idiots' for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology," according to the draft.
The declaration, scheduled to be released Wednesday in Washington, encourages Christians to be politically engaged and uphold teachings such as traditional marriage. But the drafters say evangelicals have often expressed "truth without love," helping create a backlash against religion during a "generation of culture warring.

"All too often we have attacked the evils and injustices of others," the statement says, "while we have condoned our own sins." It argues, "we must reform our own behavior."

Ya think, evangelicals?

First off, I haven't met any "evangelicals" from the left side of the political spectrum who have done anything other than question the vast right wing "noise" conspiracy on this issue. I know of no one on the progressive side of the aisle who has demanded of anyone else to adhere to his or her religious beliefs beyond what s/he feels in their own heart.

But beyond that, religion shouldn't play a role in politics. Period. The wall separating Church and State has been plastered with right wing bullshit graffiti over the last couple of decades, but that wall needs to be replastered and repainted; it needs to be refreshed and resecured to be stronger than ever. Thank God that even some churches are seeing the negative, residual effects from blurring church and state. When will the Catholic Church get on board?


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