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God's Politics

Tony CampoloWe Red Letter Christians (Evangelicals who don’t want to be identified with the Religious Right) have long been frustrated by the fact that we haven’t had the means to get out the message of who we are and what we believe. The Religious Right has controlled the microphone. There are more than 1,500 Christian radio stations, many of which blare out extreme right-wing politics during the course of the day.

But things are changing! The internet is opening up a way for us to communicate, in spite of the fact that we lack the deep pockets holding the big bucks that are available to our Religious Right friends (and God help us if we can’t be friends with those who differ with us).

Howard Dean, during his ill-fated run for the presidency, proved that this new instrument can connect people who share a common mindset and value system without spending a bundle. We Red Letter Christians have learned, as of late, that we too can use the Internet in much the same way. Through the Internet we can get out our message, unifying those who agree with us into a significant social movement.

This blog is evidence of what I’m talking about. Sojourners magazine reaches tens of thousands but this blog reaches hundreds of thousands. I personally have joined up with Mark Lowry, a Christian music artist, to produce a weekly podcast—which comes across just like a television show. The show, called “Saturdays with Mark and Tony,” is becoming increasingly popular and has a worldwide audience. (Go to www.marklowry.com and click on the link Saturday’s with Mark and Tony.)

What’s more important is that the Internet has become the dominant means by which young people are getting their news and connecting with the outside world. It is just a matter of time before we Red Letter Christians will have a communication system which will equal, and perhaps outdo, the effectiveness of the “talk radio” of the Religious Right.

Jim Wallis was right when he said that the monologue of the Religious Right is over. Not only are we Red Letter Christians coming together through Sojourners/Call to Renewal, but now, with the Internet, we can talk back to our Religious Right brothers and sisters. So let the dialogues begin.

Tony Campolo is founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE) and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University.

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