God's Politics

God's Politics


‘Bush Has Given Christ a Bad Name’ Says Pastor in India (by Jim Wallis)

posted by God's Politics

In two recent posts, The Global Church and America’s War, and Iraq and Christian Identity, I talked about the difference between the perceptions of U.S. Christians and our sisters and brothers around the world. I recently received a powerful e-mail from a Pastor Kuruvilla Chandy of Grace Bible Church, Lucknow, India, who describes himself as “a born again Christian” who supported the Cold War and “as a believer in prophecy, [is] in general agreement about supporting Israel.” Hardly the profile of a left-wing Bush-basher. I’d like to share some of what he wrote.



President George Bush is the darling of most born again Christians in the US of A. But in India many regard him as a liability to the Christian cause. His identification as a believer and his advocacy of the war that the rest of the world regards as unjust has embarrassed Christians who are in a minority in India.


He is not just critical of Bush, but has strong words of both challenge and encouragement for believers in the U.S.:



People will never agree on whether or not Bush is an aggressor. That really depends on political views…. Christians living in America, suffering from fear aroused by 9/11 and desiring their own self-preservation and prosperity will approve of Bush’s war against Iraq and look for ways to justify it even from a biblical viewpoint. It is heartening though to see that there are born again Christians, even in the U.S., who are opposed to the warmongering and see the war as something they have been unable to support precisely because of their faith in Christ. However the vast majority of Americans, especially those who describe themselves as born again Christians, are solidly in support of Bush, and even question the Christian identity and commitment of those who disapprove of Bush.


He further describes the connection between Bush’s faith and Bush’s war:



In effect, Bush has given Christ a bad name. As a Christian writer in India, I wrote an article arguing that Bush’s war had nothing to do with his being a born again Christian, and all to do with his being the American President (Times of India April 7, Lucknow, April 21, 2003). The only problem is that somehow his aggressive American-ness has been identified with his being a Christian. But we in India cannot see the war as the work of a Christian. In this regard, I represent the view of most Christians in India.


In my article I essentially defended born again Christianity as what is practiced by Christians who are committed to Christ and take His teachings seriously. I am myself a born again Christian. I did not deny that, just because Bush had made being a born again Christian unpopular. Being a born again Christian has nothing to do with Bush. It has all to do with following Christ faithfully with a desire to make Him known. In the Indian context it was necessary to show what born again Christianity really stood for. I had to demonstrate that being a Christian did not mean approving Bush’s war.


Perhaps even more sad than the damage Bush has done to the cause of Christ globally is the response of Christians in the U.S.:


I also circulated the article among Christian friends in the U.S., to share my concern as a Christian from a country where Christians are a minuscule minority. I shared it with my friends in America trying to somehow influence Christian opinion in the U.S. Suddenly I lost friends—not just Americans, even Indians settled in the U.S.

As I reflected on my loss of some of my Christian friends living in America, I sadly noted the great divide that has occurred among Evangelical Christians. I know that Evangelicalism is not White Christianity, but somehow I get the impression that the agenda of White Evangelical Christianity is being thrust on Evangelicals around the world. It would seem that if one is to be accepted as a born again Christian, then one is required to approve of the world’s only born again Christian statesman. If you don’t approve of Bush, you’re not okay.


Most American Christians have put their faith in Bush imagining that he will ensure their safety. If anything, he has made the world more unsafe for Americans and even for those who side with Americans.


Will Christians in the U.S. hear the prophetic challenge from their global sisters and brothers? Or, like the friends Pastor Chandy has lost, will they value their political allegiances above their allegiance to Christ, and to his body in the worldwide church?



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neuro_nurse

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:27 pm


It’s an opinion – you don’t have to agree with it…
…although some of us do.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:30 pm


Hey! What happened to moderatelad’s post? It was there one minute, then gone the next.
I might not agree with what he wrote, but enough with the censorship!



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Moderatelad

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:55 pm


Posted by: neuro_nurse | October 9, 2007 3:30 PM
Maybe they did what anyone to see my invitation to Wallis?
Pray all is well with you and your family.
Your MN friend.
Blessings -
.



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squeaky

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:57 pm


I agree–put Modlad’s post back there! I may not agree with everything he said, either, but his opinion deserves consideration! Wassup, Oh Mighty Moderator in the Sky?



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splinterlog

posted October 9, 2007 at 4:02 pm


The association of Christianity with agression in India and in many former colonies goes back a long way and Bornaggayenn Bush has once again reawakened this connection to a shameful past.
At some point we have to realize that there’s more to this than sticking to our guns and supporting our prezz’dent and in the meanwhile excusing the violence chaos and corruption that are the true legacy of this war – never mind “democratization”.



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Don

posted October 9, 2007 at 4:02 pm


Although I agree with the overall theme, namely, that Bush has acted contrary to the faith he professes and that his actions have given Christians a bad name, I still wonder about the sweeping generalizations that are expressed here. I can understand the reasons the Indian Christians might be prone to generalize, because if it’s easy for some Americans to miss nuances, it certainly would be easy for those who live far away from here.
And I certainly know some Christians who have justified the Iraq war on the basis of preserving their way of life and their prosperity, but I am not sure that “most American Christians” have put their faith in Bush. I certainly know many who have not. And I don’t know that my own faith has ever been questioned just because I jumped off the Bush bandwagon sometime before March 2003 (when the “shock and awe”) began. My loyalty or patriotism are probably questioned by some, but to my knowledge not my faith.
The saddest of Rev. Chandy’s comments are his losing of “friends” after sharing his article with Christians in the USA.
Peace,



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 9, 2007 at 5:01 pm


Be careful not to miss Pastor Chandy’s point. As he mentioned, there are few evangelical Christians in India compared to the general population, so by definition he and his church need to cling to the Scriptures to avoid being swallowed up by the non-believers in their midst. So, when he says that we Americans need to rethink things, he does so to point out our own blind spots, which are as plain as day to him.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 9, 2007 at 5:52 pm


Moderatelad,
The Beliefnet moderator pulled this ORWELLIAN tactic with a couple of my posts a few months ago. Not only did she/he remove my one of my posts as well as one from Eileen Flemming, but also removed the posts Eileen, a couple of other people, and I put up asking why they had been removed.
Moderator, I read Moderatelad’s post, and I found nothing offensive in it – far less so than some of the others that are tolerated here.
PUT IT BACK!



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 9, 2007 at 6:04 pm


I wrote this Pastor , interested to see if he writes back . Coming from India his perspective is indeed different then Evangelicals here .
I live in one of the most unchurched areas in the country , the Christians in this area are fewerand do see things differently then in areas where Christians are in larger percentages . I do see your point Rick , it seldom happens but once in a while you are brilliant .
When I agree with that is .



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eileen fleming

posted October 9, 2007 at 6:21 pm


When candidate Bush claimed his favorite philosopher was Jesus-I was still naive back then and believed him.
When THAT DAY we call 9/11 happened and President Bush told us to go shopping if we wanted to help and that ‘they’ hated us because we are free, I did not want to shop I wanted to understand WHY a few-
and back then it was but a few-people in the world hated Americans so much that they could cold bloodedly murder innocent people.
I also wanted to do some good in the world and that lead me to the Interfaith Olive Trees Foundation for Peace, to research about the Middle East and then to journey five times into Israel Palestine.
AND I FOUND OUT PLENTY of reasons WHY some people hate US!
But the good news is all the people of Palestine that I spoke to, do not hate Americans; they just do not trust our government.
ALL governments lie, so neither do I.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights;…to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.” -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence
“Soon after I had published the pamphlet “Common Sense” [on Feb. 14, 1776] in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion… The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”-Tom Paine
“In the long run, there is no JUSTICE without FREEDOM. There can be no human rights without LIBERTY. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for liberty, we stand with you.”-President George W. Bush, Second Inaugural Address
On this day; the 67th birthdate of John Lennon, may we remember:
“All we are saying is give peace a chance…All you need is love…Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”
eileen fleming
Reporter and Editor http://www.wearewideawake.org/ Author Keep Hope Alive and Memoirs of a Nice Irish American Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory, Producer “30 Minutes With Vanunu.”



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 9, 2007 at 6:24 pm


I did not read your post Moderatelad . But it is heartening to see Neuro Nurse supporting your ability to offer an opinion that is contrary .
Considering that the article is depicting Evangelical Christians , and white ones in particular, as a disgrace to Christianity because of the President of the United States I would think that would be considered over the top from some places . In fact racist . I know when it is done in reverse , the thou ares and you ares flow quite loudly .



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squeaky

posted October 9, 2007 at 6:38 pm


“I do see your point Rick , it seldom happens but once in a while you are brilliant .
When I agree with that is . ”
I had to laugh heartily, Mick
at your reluctant compliment for Rick =).
That’s my poem for the day, although the rhyme scheme is a bit odd.



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Anonymous

posted October 9, 2007 at 6:45 pm


if pastor chandy has a karaoke machine in india w/ some bon jovi on it, he & wallis should get together & sing ‘you give love a bad name’ & substitute ‘bush’ and ‘christ’ in for ‘you’ and ‘love,’ respectively.
‘shot through the heart, & you’re to blame, bush gives christ a bad name!’
that would be a sweet rock anthem. i can’t take all the credit for this super-cool idea, the title of this piece practically spelled it out.



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James Palmer

posted October 9, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Don’t we ALL sort of give Christ a bad name? Isn’t that the point? I mean, we are ALL sinners and broken people. Thanksfully, none of us is beyond God’s grace and love…



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jmndodge

posted October 9, 2007 at 8:43 pm


It’s time to hold pastors accountable for the disgrace being brought on the name of Jesus. Bush would be seen for who and what he is, if countless evangelical pastors hadn’t forsaken their vows to serve the lord, and exchanged their birthright for a bowl of porrage — a american world domination fantasy.
I haven’t lost friends, but as an evangelical pastor who refused to deny my vow to serve God rather than political agenda’s I lost my ministry. Nothing has made me feel more free, than to be out from under the embarrasment of my former colleges in ministry. Evangelicals simply can not be as brain dead in America as we profess to be and appear to the rest of the world. Let you pastor know that you will no longer put up with following pastors walking in the exact opposite direction of Jesus.
It is nearly to late. Wake up, repent, hear the invitation Jesus extends in the Gospel. Follow Me.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 9, 2007 at 9:04 pm


jmndodge,
When my wife and I moved to New Orleans we went shopping for a church. After the pastor of one of the churches made a couple of political references, I smelled sulphur and vetoed that one. We found another where we both appreciate the preaching and, although the pastor is very conservative, he keeps his politics away from the pulpit.
My wife’s father is a Baptist pastor, but I’ve never heard him make political references at the pulpit.
Thanks for your input.



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Susannah

posted October 9, 2007 at 9:16 pm


I have to agree with the Indian pastor on this.
It is unfortunate that the most right-wing, American-imperialist Christians get so much coverage and leave the rest of us running for cover. To quote John Wesley – “Sir, if that’s what you believe, then your god is my Devil”
The god of oil wells and American commercial interests is no god of mine, and if that is the only god that people have been exposed to it makes telling them about a merciful, just, and commpassionate God of Nations (not a particular nation) all that much more difficult.



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Anonymous

posted October 9, 2007 at 9:27 pm


It is nearly to late. Wake up, repent, hear the invitation Jesus extends in the Gospel. Follow Me.
Where ? To India .



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JamesMartin

posted October 9, 2007 at 9:39 pm


I am not one to spare W a good zinger. But really the fault lies with religious leadership that has basically written a blank check to this administration and did not ask questions in the months, weeks and days leading up to the war. The President is going to be political. He is doing what Presidents do. The ones who should be disgraced are the Dobson/Hagees/D James Kennedys/Falwells and a myriad of other religious leaders who led the elect down this path of support of the war.



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Me again

posted October 9, 2007 at 9:58 pm


Mr. Wallis,
You are NEVER going to represent Christians in the power or authority you desire, in America or anywhere else.
Your Democrat PAC propaganda is truly alarming.
Alarming in that you think you are really representing Christians instead of just promoting Democrat politics.
Look at JamesMartin’s post.
This is what YOU and your Liberal/Progressive political abomination machine has done to good men. Except for Hagee, whose inappropriate homosexual behavior was dealt with appropriately (he was outed and ousted), YOU are defaming good Christians.



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Donny

posted October 9, 2007 at 10:02 pm


“The monologue of the Religious Right is over and a new conversation has begun!”
Sodomites, hedonists and communists talking in Churches as if they were Christians.



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 9, 2007 at 10:10 pm


Considering that the article is depicting Evangelical Christians, and white ones in particular, as a disgrace to Christianity because of the President of the United States I would think that would be considered over the top from some places. In fact racist. I know when it is done in reverse, the thou ares and you ares flow quite loudly.
Oh, it’s not at all racist. Name, for example, one “patriot pastor” who is black — you can’t, because, even though African-Americans make up a significant percentage of the Body of Christ, that is not on their radar screen. (In fact, you will have a hard time finding some that support the “religious right”!) The problem is that such evangelicals use religion for their own authority in the political world, selling out the Gospel in the process. I know that statement aggravates you but it’s the truth, and “people of color” were almost never involved. What he said is fair.



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Trent

posted October 9, 2007 at 11:21 pm


Christian’s outside the US (and non-Christians too) probably get a fairly one-sided image of US Christianity.
Here in Australia images of US Christianity are largely through televangelists, through radio (Focus on Family etc) or through ‘popular’ books. Most of these presentations are by conservative white men (well I’ll assume the radio presenters are white).
So I’m not surprised that the Indian perspective was the same. We also get to see a lot of GWB saying similar things. The ‘sweeping generalisations’ are based on the information that’s commonly available.
And if the US church has this image in generally pro-US countries like India and Australia, how much greater would these impressions be in the Middle East (or in France)?
Be Blessed



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tee

posted October 9, 2007 at 11:38 pm


I agree with the Pastor, that our president has taken on the title of Christian and therefore is a figure, yet like all groups its hard to place a general statement on Christians in America, if only 33% approve of bush does that mean 100% of them are christians i think not, the end all point is Bush has hurt the image of a Christian in america, but hopefully it will become instead a reflective point for CHristians to find where religion should meet politics > John Yoders POlitics of Jesus is a start.and Tutu’s ubuntu > Christians should be as one.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:07 am


Rick said
Oh, it’s not at all racist. Name, for example, one “patriot pastor” who is black — you can’t
Not only do you advocate the politics of the pagan left , you appear to act more and more like one . You support abortion , now you support lying . I guess the !0 Commandments are not in red letters , but holy molly .
Ever hear of a Reverend Ken Hutchinson . Very popular around these parts , made Microsoft back down when they came out supporting gay marriage .
http://www.abchurch.org/
This is his church , quite the Man of God . Got in trouble for saying republican loose elections when they act like democrats . His church is quite large .
Gets ridiculed for his race at times . Mainly because out here you can say anything about a black person if they are on the right of the compass. We Had a college professor talk about C Rice and spoke about Watermellons in his class .
The NAACP was quiet about it. The Professor was eventually reprimanded. Good think he is not doing some important like talk radio and only teaching kids . therwise he wold have been fired huh ?
Abortionists , gay activists , they are beyond criticism out here in Seattle .
Most of the Black Church has allowed it self to be given a seat at the table with non believers for a piece of the pie , and the pie has nothing to with Christ . They need to repent and come back to the church . Like Hutch !
Whose God Do You Believe?
By Keith Boykin, in spirituality
Thursday, January 19 2006, 10:59AM
What would the new year be without another self-righteous minister trying to make a name for himself by attacking gays? A black pastor in Seattle has called for a national boycott of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and other businesses
“deleted for brevity and anti Christian Bigotry”
Sorry Rick , you have to continue to use your own talking points .



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:47 am


JamesMartin said
“The ones who should be disgraced are the Dobson/Hagees/D James Kennedys/Falwells and a myriad of other religious leaders who led the elect down this path of support of the war.”
You forgot the Religious Right media advocacy group, the New York Times . Not to mention Colin Powell , and host of outspoken democrats at the time . We secretly used our decoder rings and hypotized them .
Hagee gets nailed by the Bible Answer man all the time on Christian radio , this before 9/11 for his cult like teachings.
Is Christian radio and music run by the Christian rightsell outs too ? I am learning still .
D James Kennedy is dead , their was a ripping editorial on this site not too long ago where the author hoped his ideas died with him , I hope his family never read it . Good to see Sojourners attack Presbyterians though ,I was worried they discriminated .
Falwell is dead too . , Dobson has a bad heart , who you going to blame for the political and policy mistakes by the people dealing with terrorist then James ?
Because the dems are going to have all control soon .
And since our culture is fine , and kids are all doing well in our Secular Progressive Fundamentalist schools , most folks are going to agree with democrats more and more . Then even mr Wallis is going to wish he had a least ignored us , everybody else does .



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N.M. Rod

posted October 10, 2007 at 1:04 am


Anyone who thinks that either the Democratic or Republican Party are vessels of God is completely naive about politics, or that “left” or “right” intrinsically support anything to do with Jesus’ agenda.
There is a prophetic voice that ought to hold either, or any others accountable, though.
Many seek to conflate national identity and purpose with that of God, without that purpose actually having anything to do with Him or His purposes.
This occurs not just with Americans, but with other nations, that saw their national mission in messianic terms, for a supposedly just tranformation of the world under their hegemonic aegis.
Americans often see their national mission as divine, although this looks to others like expansion – Manifest Destiny – domination, imperialism or colonialism.
If we behave just like every other people or nation in the past has, regardless of their national religion, what difference is there, other than a claim that it’s wrong when others do it but not wrong when we do it?
Such practices make the functional “national” Christianity identified not the radical, real Christianity identified by Jesus, in which we are called to live radically and love our enemies, for in reality, we are our enemies, humanity. Especially since this displaced nation is made up of all other nationalities.
When will we realise our hearts are no different from those we war against?



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 10, 2007 at 1:11 am


Ever hear of a Reverend Ken Hutchinson. Very popular around these parts, made Microsoft back down when they came out supporting gay marriage.
What I said had absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage — in fact, most blacks actually oppose it. I was specifically talking about “patriot pastors,” who wrap the flag around the cross. And, truth be told, the NAACP has bigger fish to fry — did you know it was driven underground in parts of the South during the civil-rights movement? Or that right-wing figures have always hated it?
Most of the Black Church has allowed it self to be given a seat at the table with non believers for a piece of the pie, and the pie has nothing to with Christ. They need to repent and come back to the church. Like Hutch!
Like Falwell, Dobson and the like getting a place at the table? Oh, I forgot — they’re Godly prophets, not like the folks actually in the streets.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 10, 2007 at 1:57 am


The late Jerry Falwell was already a popular preacher who promoted racism from the pulpit until it was no longer profitable or considered in the Christian mainstream of the South to be so. It’s true he later received commendation from the NAACP; that’s all well and good that he changed direction. I just have to question how authoritative someone ought to be considered in speaking for God who can make such egregious errors from the pulpit. And he is not the only one – so there is something at work in the “prophetability” of such prominent “national pastors” that makes the fallacy of their voice
less important than their role in establishing credibility and authority of the political governance they serve.
Mr. Falwell was certainly one of the “patriot pastors” who identified parochial American national, political and economic interests around the globe as identical to those of Christ, as did D. James Kennedy and as James Dobson does, at as long as Republicans were in charge. They really are overt court politician pastors who act as advocates and give religious cover and approval to their political allies’ public policies and party platforms.
Like the function of chaplains, their purpose is to keep the political morale of the voting flock in good psychological order and keep them ready to act on command. It is no wonder that they are very much drawn to the authoritarian military model as the embodiment of a holy order and even make the identification of the soldier’s purpose in killing or being killed with the mission of self-sacrifice that Christ made for our salvation.
This is a kind of Christianity-flavored religious nationalism and even imperialism that has been current throughout history regardless of any particular nation. It is what Jesus himself rejected in practice and in theology in his own earthly mission when asked to do so by the nation He was born into. It is what eventually became the Christian heresy of the gentiles through Constantine and Rome and repeated through to our own day in many nations. It calls on sacrifice of blood and treasure in the cause of national greatness and violent conquest instead of in service to God and man through peaceful self-sacrifice and love of one’s enemies – one’s own humanity, after all, which since the Fall we have warred against.
It is the expression of national religion, regardless of the particular cultural expression or actual religion that is emptied out to serve as its vessel. Dwight Eisenhower recognized the necessity of generic national religion in support of sustaining national purpose: “Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply held religious belief — and I don’t care what it is.”



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Rukia

posted October 10, 2007 at 3:21 am


Hi all,
The purpose of this blogsite – the main one anyway (it seems to me), is for people like you and I to show up and shout at others, often without any substance at all, about matters we understand little of, thereby exposing our prejudices for all the world to read.
Great.
From here I do not see how I can argue with the good Pastor Kuruvilla Chandy’s words below:
“People will never agree on whether or not Bush is an aggressor. That really depends on political views…. Christians living in America, suffering from fear aroused by 9/11 and desiring their own self-preservation and prosperity will approve of Bush’s war against Iraq and look for ways to justify it even from a biblical viewpoint. It is heartening though to see that there are born again Christians, even in the U.S., who are opposed to the warmongering and see the war as something they have been unable to support precisely because of their faith in Christ. However the vast majority of Americans, especially those who describe themselves as born again Christians, are solidly in support of Bush, and even question the Christian identity and commitment of those who disapprove of Bush.”
I see this on these pages daily.
God bless you!
- Alu



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 3:58 am


Like Falwell, Dobson and the like getting a place at the table? Oh, I forgot — they’re Godly prophets, not like the folks actually in the streets.
Posted by: Rick Nowlin
No Rick , I don’t like to believe one Minister has more of a right to use Christ to promote political parties . For me personally it has always been a challenge to be a politcal particpant , Christ does not compromise , politics is all compromise . No not principles , unless your a republican , if your a democrat you don’t even have to worry about principles .
“that was a joke”
I love you Rick , as a man Of God , you make it hard , I try to listen , but all you see is stereotypes . Why would any conservative politician think well of the present NAACP .
They like you hate Reagan , hate the religious right , at times bring political discourse that makes Ann Coulter appear Godly .
I was a member of the NAACP , I let my membership expire , no loss to them I know , some of their organizations came out against the Promise Keepers. And I can not in the way support the use of government supporting one race over another , its how I taught my kids and live my life . The NAACP will treat you like a racist if you are against that political view point , if your Black and agree with me your worse.
I detest the NAACP view a man has to think a certain way because of his race . There are those who believe certain races are inferior intellectually . Both views have their origins from the pit .
If that gets conservatives upset because I am no better then you so be it . If that gets liberals like you or blacks hating me because I can not support Affirmitive Action in regards to race preference poits , so be it .
.
Your right I do like James Dobson , for his ministry dealing with educational tools for families . I enjoy listening to him and the people on his talk show . His stand on social issues , and his belief that the family structure is so important to support I am in agreement with .
I believe its hurting us , if nothing else 10 million African Americans is a number I recently heard should be of voting age , but have been aborted . Which means statistically Gore would have won .
Love of life covers a mulitude of sins , I rather have those folks alive and well then win any damn election . It sounds like you prefer me and others dead . That is how it sounds anyway .
Wrap the flag in religion , no . The folks I know hope we as a nation can be on the side of God , not the other way around . Your wrong again .
.



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A guy

posted October 10, 2007 at 9:13 am


“The late Jerry Falwell was already a popular preacher who promoted racism from the pulpit until it was no longer profitable or considered in the Christian mainstream of the South to be so. It’s true he later received commendation from the NAACP; that’s all well and good that he changed direction.”
N.M. Rod,
The above actions are called repentance and forgiveness. You know what Christians preach, teach and do. Except “Progressive Christians.” Repentance preaching is a hate crime now. By secular law.
“The Left” i.e., Sojouners, Progressives, Liberals and other anti-Christian and non-Christian groups do not repent for anything because they are all one and the same. Secularists don’t repent. When you cannot tell the deifference between a Sojo political view and that of the Gay Agenda, you are not looking at a Christian position. Yet, when you compare what Jesus was quoted as saying and what the Apostles wrote (what we call in Christian circles “testing all things”), you cannot find a contradiction from the Gospels or the Letters in regards to what Falwell, Dobson or Kennedy preached, teached and taught. And Hagee is just trying to keep Christians informed on what Leftists try to hide.
You can find gross Biblical contradictions when comparing what Wallisites do and preach. Love does not mean anything goes. Progressives are nothing less than humanists in Christian garb, and this can be seen in the behaviors of their children. If this Indian Pastor Chandy, wants to open his Bible and compare actions, behaviors and doctrine, he’ll see the enemies of the Church body are not “on the right” of the political spectrum here in America. Notice how many responses here at “God’s Politic’s (which here is only Democrat) get removed. Typical of a Leftist to eliminate any dissent, and/or bring out the troll label, to slam fingers in heretical-leftie ears. Hugo Chavez is a good example of a Leftist gaining control. Opposition is silenced.
When you can hear and see no difference between a secular Leftist and a “Christian” Leftist the proof is that you are dealing with a secular Leftist. Testing what Wallisites “are” in light of Biblical truth, you see that this Indian Pastor is being duped by very cunning political leftists.



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Dave P.

posted October 10, 2007 at 9:24 am


Sojo – Put back Mod’s post…or explain why it was removed. I very rarely agree with him, but censorship is giving you a bad name, in my opinion.



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squeaky

posted October 10, 2007 at 10:02 am


Yes, Sojo,
Put it back.
It seems strange to me that the posts you have censored are ones that don’t tend to be from people who habitually use inflammatory rhetoric, and yet those who often do don’t seem to have any problem posting here.
Maybe you didn’t want Moderatelad’s opinions to be expressed, but censoring his post was hypocritical. It’s important that all voices be heard, even those we disagree with.
You owe us an explanation.



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joekc

posted October 10, 2007 at 10:22 am


Interesting. . . when “liberals” run the government, then John Shelby Spong, Martin Marty, Jesse Jackson and the like are the invitees to the White House for “spiritual consultation” with the President. When the “conservatives” are in there, Dobson, Kennedy, Hagee and the like are the “spiritual advisers.” In fact, neither group has any business being there at all, ever.
There is a third alternative, then for either left-wing or right-wing “spiritual leaders” to hold sway in government circles. Simply follow Jesus. And Jesus took no counsel with government. . . period. “The Politics of Jesus’ were the politics or relating to the people in the streets. Herod never received Him for a consultation. Pontius Pilate never asked him to stop by for a late supper. And Jesus probably wouldn’t have gone, if He had been asked. His only comment, that I can find, related to a government official was to refer to Herod as “. . . that fox. . .” and I don’t think He meant that Herod was good-looking.
There is another way. Refrain from involvement with secular institutions. Stay away from government, it is of what the scriptures call “the world.” “The world” and “The Kingdom” have nothing to do with each other. They are antithetical to each other. “The whole world,” John says, “lies in the lap of the Evil (One).”
There are followers of Christ out there who get this. Old Order (Brethren) German Baptists get it; Amish get it. Others, also.



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Anonymous

posted October 10, 2007 at 10:34 am


Posted by: James Palmer | October 10, 2007 10:14 AM
‘…Robertson openly advocates for the assasination of a foreign head of state…’
Robertson recanted this the day after he said it and it has been reported on several news agencies.
‘…Falwell said that the ACLU and the People for the American Way were partly responsible for 9-11…’
In what context was this said? If it was that they purchased the tickets for the terrorists hijacker – that is stupid and wrong. If it was in the context that some of their ‘stupid’ lawsuits in the past may have paved the way for 9-11 to happen. That is arguable by any number of groups.
My parents taught me that your yes needs to be yes and your no be no. I lived through the previous adm. in the WH and totally understand that if you have to parse your words and be overly concerned about the difinition of ‘IS’ – you need to know the context of the statement to try to understand its meaning.
Blessings -
.



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JCinSunnyLA

posted October 10, 2007 at 11:30 am


I have said many times that anyone can call himself a “Born Again Christian”. That does not necessarily make it so. The Gospel of Christ was never a “philosophy”, but Good News of the Kingdom of God.
I do not question George Bush’s sincerity when he declares himself to be born again. I do, however, worry about his seemingly boundless capacity for self-deception.
Where in the Bible did Christ say that we should tell our enemies to love US, or else? Where do Christians get the idea that it is our Godly right to force others to live as we do? Why do we seem to have so little faith in the power of God that we must create ever more efficient means of destroying life? Just how can we justify “collateral damage” in the process of spreading “freedom and democracy”?
Calling the US a “Christian” nation is, in my view, an abomination.
Yes, America was largely settled by those seeking religious freedom, and many of them identified themselves as Christians. This is not to ignore the fact that there were Native Americans already here who initially welcomed the newcomers to their neighborhood. However, they soon found that their trust was betrayed by a few who coveted their land.
The US was established not as a “Christian” nation, but as a politically and economically “free” nation that “guaranteed” freedom of religion. There was never a compelling religious argument for the Revolution, notwithstanding the declaration that “all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights”.
Many of the movers and shakers in our Colonial past were of the mind that they were more equal than those of a different race, creed, color or religion. Hence, the creation of reservations for the “Godless heathens” who carved totem poles instead of statues of Mary and various “Saints”. Likewise, the shameful Dred Scott decision that branded Negroes as fractional humans for the purpose of determining which white landowners were more equal than other white landowners.
In my view, the so-called “philosophy” of Christ is simply this:
Everyone is family unless (and until) they decide that IAM NOT!
As such, I find the posts of N.M. Rod and neuro_nurse (among others) to be highly relevant to the Gospel of Christ and to the Great Commission to “Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
If Christians were intended to conquer the world militarily, Christ would have done it Himself. Actually, He will in God’s own time—for He always followed the will of His Father in Heaven. I can’t say that we have done the same; but then none of us is perfect, and that is as it should be for now. God has allowed many nations to increase in power and influence for a time irrespective of their religious “philosophy”. All eventually have declined in prominence and dominance as God works out His plan for our salvation.
We have gotten used to the idea that we are exercising world “leadership” in spreading “freedom and democracy”. It is a nominal freedom in a faux democracy that promotes the ideals of making lots of money and having lots of fun. It is heresy to advance the notion that this somehow “proves” that the Neo-Con brand of Christianity is the “right” way to live. We have proven ourselves to be a wasteful society, overwhelming and suffocating ourselves with “choices” in the name of competition in free markets. And yet, God has given us all the freedom to choose our own way for a time.
It is time to realize that our time is almost up to take up our crosses and follow Christ rather than lead others down the broad path of self-destruction. Those who would call themselves “Born Again Christians” must come to realize that we cannot beat the Devil at his own game—for then we must play by his rules and contradict the Word of God.
By the way, I would rather see what Moderatelad had to say than guess what he may be thinking. I have found many other posts, both left and right in their viewpoints, to be much more offensive than his.



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Ryan Rodrick Beiler

posted October 10, 2007 at 11:32 am


It seems strange to me that the posts you have censored are ones that don’t tend to be from people who habitually use inflammatory rhetoric, and yet those who often do don’t seem to have any problem posting here.
Maybe you didn’t want Moderatelad’s opinions to be expressed, but censoring his post was hypocritical. It’s important that all voices be heard, even those we disagree with.
You owe us an explanation.
I appreciate that many of you are standing up for the voice of your ideological opponent. It has been my experience that on the flip side, lack of courtesy seems to know no political boundaries among commenters on this site.
Moderatelad’s post was removed because he attributed statements by Pastor Chandy as if Jim Wallis had said them himself, which struck me as misleading, inaccurate, and unfair. It would have been fine to criticize Jim for quoting Chandy, but Jim was quoting Chandy email as an important perspective for the U.S. Church to hear, even if Jim wouldn’t endorse every single assertion. I’m sure that will now be a point of discussion–whether quoting someone must imply blanket endorsement, or if we’re splitting hairs and being uneven in our comment moderation.
In general, we’re doing our best–with 10 different staff members on a two-week rotation–to enforce the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct (which are always linked above the comment box). These are the ones we wrestle with most:
——
Courtesy: You agree that you will be courteous to others, even when disagreeing, and even to those whose beliefs you think are false or objectionable. When debating, express your opinion about a person’s ideas, not about them personally. Do not make negative personal remarks about another’s age, disability, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, sexual orientation, intelligence, character, appearance, health, mental health, education or any other personal characteristic.
Detractors: You agree not to use Beliefnet community functions primarily to harass any person, group, or entity.
Disruptive behavior: You agree not to disrupt or interfere with discussions, forums, or other community functions.
——
Admittedly, we have a hard time applying these with 100% consistency, and there is room for interpreation of almost every one. If we strictly enforced just the first one: “You agree that you will be courteous to others,” by any definition of courtesy, we’d remove many more comments.
Moreover, neuro_nurse, if we were “ORWELLIAN,” would we allow any dissenting views? We are doing our best to preserve a fair, honest, respectful, and courteous enviroment for discussion. It is a Sysiphean task.
I’m sure objectionable posts slip through, and others may get removed that seem less clear-cut, such as this one by Moderatelad. However, we’re doing our best to foster civil dialogue, and from the many complaints we receive about the viciousness of these threads, it would seem we’re far from a good balance.



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 10, 2007 at 11:34 am


I try to listen, but all you see is stereotypes. Why would any conservative politician think well of the present NAACP.
They like you hate Reagan, hate the religious right, at times bring political discourse that makes Ann Coulter appear Godly.

Conservatives never liked the NAACP from the beginning, so that’s nothing new. (I have never been a member.) You see, folks who have belonged to it for any length of time and others cognizant of that history understand that they cannot rest for a minute because they don’t want to go back to the way it used to be, which is all Reagan & Co. have ever offered blacks. In short, they know full well that modern conservatism has always been their chief enemy and will not compromise with it.
If that gets conservatives upset because I am no better then you so be it. If that gets liberals like you or blacks hating me because I can not support Affirmitive Action in regards to race preference poits, so be it.
You then reject the heart of the Gospel, which ultimately is about reconciliation, not necessarily principles. But to reconcile you have to admit to a breach that you want and need to heal, and and based on your participation on this blog you simply won’t admit that.
If this Indian Pastor Chandy, wants to open his Bible and compare actions, behaviors and doctrine, he’ll see the enemies of the Church body are not “on the right” of the political spectrum here in America.
Tell that to Martin Luther King Jr. were he here today.



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Moderatelad

posted October 10, 2007 at 11:58 am


Posted by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler | October 10, 2007 11:32 AM
‘…we’re doing our best to foster civil dialogue, and from the many complaints we receive about the viciousness of these threads…’
I would like samples of what you thought were not civil dialogue. I took examples from the article and took issue with Wallis using them in his article. Challenging him on some of his statements and asking him to do more to bring the issues to us without the liberal agenda attached to them. I believe I was very respectful and never lampooned his character, just his point of view.
If you are going to split the hair that thin – you have a long way to go with several of us on the site.
You have my e-mail so you can reply privately if you want – publically if you wish. But I believe more than just me deserve to know.
Blessings -
.



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James Palmer

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:04 pm


Posted by anonymous
“In what context was this said? If it was that they purchased the tickets for the terrorists hijacker – that is stupid and wrong. If it was in the context that some of their ‘stupid’ lawsuits in the past may have paved the way for 9-11 to happen. That is arguable by any number of groups.”
Here you go. From a Sept. 13 discussion on the 700 Club with Pat Robertson: “And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”
Pat’s answer? “Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we’re responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system…”
I ASK THE QUESTION AGAIN WHICH NO ONE ANSWERED: HOW IS THIS REFLECTIVE OF CHRIST’S TEACHINGS???
I agree that context means everything and, to be fair, he issued an apology later… Still, he did make that statement and Pat Robertson concurred!!
As to the Pat Robertson calling for the assasination of Hugo Chavez, he apologized after the U.S. Gov’t told him to button up. But that comment aside, he has made other outrageous statements about Islam, Evolution. In addition, he suggested that God punished Ariel Sharon for “…Dividing God’s land.” Even the “God-appointed” Bush administration repudiated those comments…
My point in all of this is to simply to say that it is a mistake to hold these guys up as the last word on scripture or the Gospels or pretty much anything…



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jesse

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:04 pm


Critics of Bush have their faith questioned about as much as they have their patriotism questioned. Which is to say “hardly ever” (I’ve never heard or read such, at least). But I guess it’s easier to argue with “people” out there who supposedly “make these claims.”



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neuro_nurse

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:06 pm


Ryan Rodrick Beiler,
This struck a nerve with me.
In the paragraph in which I referred to the removal of Moderatelad’s post as “Orwellian,” I recalled the removal of several posts from a previous thread as well as the removal of several requests for an explanation for why those posts had been removed, so I’m pretty sensitive to this.
I’m also rather perturbed with this in light of some of the repeated personal attacks that have been directed against me in the past few days on this blog which, in my opinion, violated the very Rules of Conduct you cited.
I understand the difficulty of the task of monitoring the content of these threads –I am very familiar with being understaffed and overworked – but in this case, I think it’s fair to cry foul.
I apologize for the harsh tone of my reaction to the removal of Moderatelad’s post.
JCinSunnyLA,
Thanks!
neuro_nurseInSunnyNOLA



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neuro_nurse

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:10 pm


Addendum:
I sincerely thank you for your response.



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Anonymous

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm


Affirmative Action, Affirmative Action.
Look at a map of North America. Get out a magnifying glass and try to find the Indian Reservations and First Nations Reserves without squinting.
That was one hell of an affirmative action wouldn’t you say?
Now check out the settlement and economic growth in the East, right from a couple years after the Jamestown settlement was established, when black slaves were purchased from Portuguese slavers and used to create the wealth and trade with Europe.
Now there’s Affirmative Action like you’ve never seen before.
Build those railways in the west, tote them bales, with Chinese coolies.
Affirmative Action is an American tradition, more so than Thanksgiving.
Now’s no time to give it up.
If you get my drift.



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J. A. Holm

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:21 pm


Concerning what I think was the point of Pastor Chandy:
I believe Pastor Chandy raises a very important issue that we in the U.S. are too close to see – and history proves that – when we claim to be a Christian nation and our leaders use Christianity to underpin their self-interest it ends up being harmful to the advancement of the kingdom of God. In his book, The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church, by Gregory A. Boyd, Boyd writes (page 110):
“When President Bush repeatedly says that America has a responsibility to spread freedom throughout the world, what some people around the globe hear is that American Imperialism is alive and well and that we are planning on aggressively bringing other governments under control for self-serving purposes. . . What is a concern – and should be the primary concern for all Kingdom-of-God people – is that this disdain gets associated with Christ when America is identified as a Christian nation. The tragic irony is that those who should be most vehemently denying the association for the purpose of preserving the beautiful holiness of the kingdom of God – in contrast to what America represents to many people – are the primary ones insisting on the identification! The result is that it has become humanly impossible for many around the globe to hear the good news as good. Instead, because of its kingdom-of-the-world associations, they hear the gospel as bad news, as American news, exploitive capitalistic news, greedy news, violent news, and morally decadent news. They can’t see the beauty of the cross because everything the American flag represents to them is in the way.”
Once again I am reminded that when someone outside of my culture tells me how they experience me and my culture I better listen carefully.



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:22 pm


Critics of Bush have their faith questioned about as much as they have their patriotism questioned. Which is to say “hardly ever” (I’ve never heard or read such, at least).
Read WORLD magazine or any other Christian publication that leans conservative — you’ll find it fairly quickly. And both Bush and Cheney have challenged the patriotism of war opponents, as has Rush Limbaugh and others in right-wing talk radio.



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Kevin Wayne

posted October 10, 2007 at 12:29 pm


I’ve had my posts blocked on here and even when linking over to Counterpunch.org, which I don’t think Sojourners would have a problem with. So I think we can dispense with the claims of bias.
Also I don’t know if there was tech probs or what- I 1st saw this blog post when there were 0 replies, and tried to add to it but kept getting a 404. Unfortunately, the internet isn’t a static object.
But I too would like to see some explanation of why some posts are held up or denied. I really could care less if that assuages the Moderatelad’s who hang out hree, or that “another opinion be represented.” But it would be nice to know so I would avoid laboring over something that won’t be shown.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 10, 2007 at 1:20 pm


I’ve never had any posts “disappear” due to Sojourners.
What does happen is that their database manager does take a long time to accept the post before the site reloads.
In the interim, if you disconnect too soon, your connection drops, or you keep pushing the post button your post can get duplicated many times (and then removed) or not finish being posted.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 10, 2007 at 1:59 pm


I realized something was amiss with the journalistic integrity and truth quotient of World Magazine when in the aftermath of the torture scandals one day the issue arrived wherein their Gene Edward Veith railed against the prisoners at Guantanamo enjoying resort-like, all-expenses-paid vacations, “sunning themselves on a Carribean beach.” He seriously wrote as if it were Club Med run amok, with us, the taxpayers cheated so they could live in luxury.
Throughout the time we had a subscription, once the Republican presidency was in full swing, the administration was referred to exclusively as “Team Bush.” This positive sort of appellation was never extended to the previous administration to say the least.
The other characteristic was the propensity to urge folks to make World the exclusive source of news for its subscribers, often expressed by those subscribers themselves in its letters pages, if not outright by Marvin Olasky or Joel Belz themselves. After all, every other source other than Fox News, possibly, or Rush, was the liberal mainstream media that proffers nothing but lies and bias and whose veracity on any subject could never be trusted.
Well, I have to say that advocacy journalism is different from what I took in college. One may be biased, but there’s still an objective way to report what occurs instead of ignoring it or completely lying.
In other words, you make the committment to report what occurs regardless of asking first whose ox, yours or another’s gets gored.
Unfortunately, World is advocacy journalism, which is opinion-making, and for which the de facto motto is, “All the News That Fits” [our worldview], rather than the NYT’s “All the News That’s Fit To Print,” hoever imperfect that might be.
For instance, because the mainstream media reported the abuses at Abu Ghraib, people in our own congregation refused to believe it, because World chose to ignore it.
World really ought to be called “America” because it’s very nationalistic and patriotic in its emphases and definitely promotes the view that America’s mission has always been and is coincident with that of Christ since the founding, going all the way to 1611 and Jamestown. It constantly invokes the same shibboleths of “right” and “conservative” while hurling the epithets of “liberal” and “left” against what it sees as politico-religious heretics. In addition, while being willing to call Republicans to repentance for any deviance from the Christian Nation agenda, it is unremittingly Republican, seeing the Republican Party as the chosen vessel for Christian political will and expression.
To World’s editors, the “world” – America’s World – is all either Red or Blue, and every single story has to be forced into extolling that perceived morality play whether it really does or not.
My own kind of journalism is to tell what happens, let the people know, regardless of whether those affected or your friends or enemies or what your own personal political or religious bias might be as a reporter.
I guess it comes down to whether or not one believes the media ought to be propaganda for a cause – in real or virtual cultural wars – or should just tell the facts and trust the news consumers to make up their own minds instead of being manipulated into believing what those who have access to first sources want them to believe for their own purposes.
Democracy and freedom mean nothing if the information given to the people is false, causing them to make decisions that they otherwise would not if they had factual information.
Lying is a form of mental rape, where people have their minds invaded to force them to do the will of others.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 10, 2007 at 2:19 pm


I might add that simply having labels on propaganda, like “Fair and Balanced” or “You Decide,” doesn’t make it so – those are just slogans until somehow it’s hoped they achieve a legitimacy in people’s perception through constant repetition and appeals to flattery.
The main Soviet disinformation organs were “Pravda” and “Izvestia.” However it was clear to the average Muscovite that “There was no Pravda in Izvestia, and there was no Izvestia in Pravda” (“There was no truth in News, and there was no news in Truth.”)
Dissident Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was quite popular in America, as long as he restricted his criticisms to that misinformation put out by the Communist leadership and its apparatchiks. When he made the valid observations about our engaging in disinforming our own public with the willing complicity of the public in having real information displaced by consumerist and hedonistic trivialities, he became anathema. Even Ronald Reagan wouldn’t receive him at the White House after that.
Jesus’ warnings about the beam in our own eyes obscuring our judgment about the log in another’s are apt.
In fact, when we criticize others, maybe what we are seeing them through are our own defects and even projecting them on others while distorting their nature as well.
Reinhold Niebuhr wrote that the capacity of the human heart for self-deception is almost without limit.
“He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”
I hope we can behave at least as well as those who were ashamed and turned away from what they were about to do.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 10, 2007 at 2:40 pm


The fear I have is that people won’t realize they are capable of the same faulty behavior as those we have criticized in the past.
We now know we engage in the same sort of behaviors we have condemned in others, even those of the most reprehensible sort, to at least some degree, from the human rights perspective.
We are somehow told that even in a democracy, where supposedly there is accountability to the people and from whose informed consent we are all supposed to be governed, that the security of the nation depends on policy decisions and the occurrences devolving from them remaining hidden from those same people.
I worry, along with Solzhenitsyn, about how democracy can function in the absence of truth from rulers and the media, when the President can advocate this, as he did recently:
“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
Our own Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA) offered this psychological profile of the totalitarian propagandistic approach used on populations leading up to in World War II:
“Never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”
Is it only wrong when others do these wrong things, because their evil ends make them bad? Are these wrong things transformed into a good simply because we assert we are using them in service of a higher good, and in our Manichean view, we ourselves are so good we are incapable of doing wrong?



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 10, 2007 at 2:52 pm


N.M. Rod — I’ve since learned enough about Marvin Olasky to be suspicious of anything he writes or edits. He’s a pariah at the University of Texas, where he teaches journalism, for some very good reasons, and the magazine has a journalism institute to train right-wing Christian writers. I too am a journalist by trade and spotted the slant in World from the first issue I looked at in 1989.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 3:41 pm


You then reject the heart of the Gospel, which ultimately is about reconciliation, not necessarily principles. But to reconcile you have to admit to a breach that you want and need to heal, and and based on your participation on this blog you simply won’t admit that.
You are twit Rick . It means when people such as youself use race and political stereotypes to judge hearts , or when someone ridicules my belief that you being wrong is not because of your race , but your experience and failure to distinguish your experiences being different than anothers , I stand my ground and reach out to both sides , but stand my ground .
Start judging my heart ? your a hypocrit . You spent a day telling me not to call folks who murder babies evil in the middle east because it was judging .



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 5:11 pm


Therefore, trying to maintain the conservative agenda, especially in a place like this, without critical analysis just isn’t going to happen and you best get used to it.
Getting away with race baiting is fine in certain corners , usually left behind during political vcampaigns , but in areas with open minds and hearts , it is seen just what it is is .
You better get use to it , from history the views you uphold have always been here , the groups change , the cultures are different , the colors even change , the words change , but your music is the same . Hate = scapegoat =Hate



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Anonymous

posted October 10, 2007 at 5:11 pm


I’ve seen posts that were up for days and then mysteriously disappeared – like the post pointing out Rigoberta Menchu’s documented falsehoods and Sojourners’ continued use of Menchu as a source of spiritual guidance.
It is no coincidence that most of the posts that “disappear” are not satisfactory to the Wallis message.
There is some heavy-handed censorship going on here, and the above explanation from Beliefnet just doesn’t explain why some posts continue to disappear after having been on the site.



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Anonymous

posted October 10, 2007 at 5:15 pm


Where did the post exposing Rigoberta Menchu’s plagiarism and lies go? It was removed on Sept. 14, 2007. What gives? Is someone censoring the post detailing Menchu’s credibility issues to cover up the mistake of promoting Menchu as a moral authority when she is far from that?
I would think that Sojourners would not want to hinder their message by endorsing people like Menchu who deliberately mislead her readers. A known liar does not make a good spokesperson for a cause.
There are ethical problems with using Menchu as an example of moral virtue and wisdom. If someone has a problem with truth and telling it like it was then they shouldn’t take it upon themselves to tell others how to pursue virtue and justice in society. I guess I will have to ask why some are more interested in symbolic justice rather than genuine justice. Is Menchu excused from basic tests of reliability and honor because she gives voice to the proper politics – if so, then this ends up telling us more about the virtue of the enabler all the while exposing the moral platitudes of some activists as relatively empty and remarkably self-serving. What arrogance to expect morality from some but not all.
Perhaps Sojourners is embarrassed by their repeated appeal to Menchu as a moral authority in past blog posts?



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 5:18 pm


I just had my last retort to Rick censored .
A good thing I believe in my case .



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Anonymous

posted October 10, 2007 at 5:34 pm


Rick said
And, truth be told, the NAACP has bigger fish to fry –
LOL So having ateacher use Watermelons in a class is off their area of concern , but
During the 2000 campaign it outrageously tried to blame President Bush for the sickening murder of James Byrd. (Note to NAACP: John Kerry, not Bush, is the one who opposes the death penalty for vicious killers).
Democrat Julian Bond, chairman of NAACP, in 2001 tried to compare the Bush administration to “the Taliban.”
Democrat NAACP boss Kweisi Mfume accused Bush of treating blacks like prostitutes and of wanting to “take blacks back to the days of Jim Crow.”
So Rick another example of a person whose heart is on his sleave retorts
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, has fired back: “So who’s really pimping the black community, President Bush, who refuses the phony overtures of a black racist organization, or the NAACP, the liberal elite Democratic Party, and are led by a man [Mfume] who has fathered five children out of wedlock by three different women?
Peterson, author of “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” concluded: “I commend President Bush for rejecting the NAACP’s invitation. Had the president accepted the invitation, it would have been a slap in the face to Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and black Republicans.”
President Bush address NAACP? Why, that would be like:
Sen. Teddy Kennedy facing a group that opposes violence against women.
Sen. Rick Santorum speaking to NAMBLA.
Rep. Barney Frank addressing the Boy Scouts of America.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush promoting a pro-infanticide outfit.
Sen. Patty “Osama Mama” Murray speaking to Daughters of the American Revolution.
Phyllis Schlafly addressing so-called National Organization for Women.
Sen. Robert Byrd urging on an anti-Klan rally.
Kerry, who of course will speak to the pro-Kerry NAACP, today sniped at President Bush by issuing this punctuation-challenged claim: “I will be a president who talks with everyone those who agree with me and those who don’t.”
And this punctuation-challenged claim: “I will be a president who when he is invited into your home, will always say yes.”
Really? Then when will he address Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth and all his other critics?
Rick said
Tell that to Martin Luther King Jr. were he here today.
Right Rick , reconciliation , you act as though a person can stand up in Church and confess his racism and figure he is done with his issues .
You just started dealing with them .



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Anonymous

posted October 10, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Affirmative Action is an American tradition, more so than Thanksgiving.
Maybe in your home



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 10, 2007 at 8:31 pm


Getting away with race baiting is fine in certain corners, usually left behind during political campaigns, but in areas with open minds and hearts, it is seen just what it is.
You wish. In fact, more and more people actually are beginning to recognize the long-standing race-baiting of the right wing, and we all know that it’s how the Republican Party captured the white South in the 1980s. This is the truth, and anything you say in rebuttal will not change that.
Democrat Julian Bond, chairman of NAACP, in 2001 tried to compare the Bush administration to “the Taliban.”
That’s not exactly what he said. He specifically referred to “the Taliban wing” of the Republican Party — and, from what I know of the Taliban, the comparison was apt.
Democrat NAACP boss Kweisi Mfume accused Bush of treating blacks like prostitutes and of wanting to “take blacks back to the days of Jim Crow.”
Great line — and, again, accurate. Some honest right-wing activists will even tell you they intend to do just that.
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, has fired back: “So who’s really pimping the black community, President Bush, who refuses the phony overtures of a black racist organization, or the NAACP, the liberal elite Democratic Party, and are led by a man [Mfume] who has fathered five children out of wedlock by three different women?
Peterson, BTW, has little pull in the black community, for the reason that he’s understood as being pumped up and set up — bought lock, stock and barrel — by justice-hating white conservatives interested only in putting a black face on their racially regressive policies. The truth be told, no one would have heard of him otherwise (check his funding sources if you don’t believe me). Same for the likes of Walter Williams, Armstrong Williams, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, J.C. Watts and Condi Rice; Colin Powell was popular in the black community only as long as he challenged Bush (and, in fact, he’s basically shot). And as for Mfume, he’s never denied what he’s done and taking responsibility for that. If he were a conservative, you would be pumping him up for all that or, at the very least, downplaying it.
Peterson, author of “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” concluded: “I commend President Bush for rejecting the NAACP’s invitation. Had the president accepted the invitation, it would have been a slap in the face to Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and black Republicans.”
Yeah, all dozen of them … anyway, there are reasons why most 90 percent of blacks vote Democratic, and it has nothing at all to do with political “liberalism.”
Sen. Robert Byrd urging on an anti-Klan rally.
He would today. You conveniently forget that he quit the Klan in the 1960s, repented and apologized. Again, if he were a Republican you would tout him as a man that blacks can admire.
By the way, just because something says something true about you that’s unflattering doesn’t make it hateful. You see, African-Americans have always known who their enemies are even if they refuse to acknowledge that. And be advised they don’t take any more right-wing crap.



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Randy Thompson

posted October 10, 2007 at 8:39 pm


Some good discussion here. I would suggest a little reading on a simular views on Evangelicals in the U.S.
“”Another Point of View: Evangelical Blindness on Lebanon”
The academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary is angry at evangelical Christians, Israel, Hezbollah, the U.S., and the international community.””
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/julyweb-only/129-42.0.html



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James Palmer

posted October 10, 2007 at 9:16 pm


Anonymous post:
“It is no coincidence that most of the posts that “disappear” are not satisfactory to the Wallis message.”
Uh, have you READ some of the comments on this blog? There lots of people here who offer rebuttals to Sojourners/Wallis’s point of view.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 10:12 pm


Rick said
You wish. In fact, more and more people actually are beginning to recognize the long-standing race-baiting of the right wing, and we all know that it’s how the Republican Party captured the white South in the 1980s. This is the truth, and anything you say in rebuttal will not change that.
Me
The same folks in my state who put In Patty Murray , Maria Cantwell, a majority Democratic state legislature past 60 percent level , plus vast majority of DC Congressman and women voted to do away wiith Affirmitive Action . I live south of Seattle , but I guess the white conservative racists moved up and put on their robes and secretly used their Eisenhower decoder rings and took over this liberal state . Could it possibly be that your race baiting techiques are loosing strength . The democrats are focuing in on Hispanic voters now , and as always will leave your issues on the Political Platform collecting dust .
YOU
That’s not exactly what he said. He specifically referred to “the Taliban wing” of the Republican Party — and, from what I know of the Taliban, the comparison was apt.
ME
Unbelievable . and whats the democratic party using your logic , NAMBLA .
YOU
Democrat NAACP boss Kweisi Mfume accused Bush of treating blacks like prostitutes and of wanting to “take blacks back to the days of Jim Crow.”
Great line — and, again, accurate. Some honest right-wing activists will even tell you they intend to do just that.
ME
Yeah their are sick racists in every group , The Pimp Mfume sold out the NAACP to the democratic party . Follow the money , why don’t you . Lets see , Federal money for NAACP supported by democrats , NAACP supprts democrats . To justify becoming so partisan, the NAACP like you have to say Republicans are dangerous…a constant threat to civil rights…We must defend against them. Thus did the politicalization of the NAACP begin. The rhetoric coming out of the NAACP has since become increasingly pathetic , even by political standards. Not yours obviously . You defend them , and tomorrow talk to someone about Christ . and reconcilation . The Church of the Creator must be part of your denomination .
YOU
Peterson, BTW, has little pull in the black community, for the reason that he’s understood as being pumped up and set up — bought lock, stock and barrel – by justice-hating white conservatives interested only in putting a black face on their racially regressive policies.
mE
What ? , and the black community is following black perverts who defend perversion making comparisons its like allowing someone drinking at water fountain . Lets just start spelling out why your polices have caused more African Americans to kill one another then graduate college . No its easier to blame the CIA for a little drug problem in the community , or was that Reagans fault ?
YOU
The truth be told, no one would have heard of him otherwise (check his funding sources if you don’t believe me). Same for the likes of Walter Williams, Armstrong Williams, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, J.C. Watts and Condi Rice; Colin Powell was popular in the black community only as long as he challenged Bush (and, in fact, he’s basically shot). And as for Mfume, he’s never denied what he’s done and taking responsibility for that. If he were a conservative, you would be pumping him up for all that or, at the very least, downplaying it.
Me
Well actually your lying , you don’t know me , you don’t know who or what I believe . You think because you have a point of view you have a right to trash anothers , so did the Pharisees , so does Farenkhein, so does most of the small minds who use bigotry and intimidation to get what honesty and integrity can promote . If you have no undertanding of the later , you can’t comprehend Justice .
A black man agrees with me and he has to be proped up . Your days are numbered in the national debate , this thinking has already have lost all respect from one political party , you defend rasist remarks and what do you expect . Your party , Mother Democratic Party of Justice uses you and dismisses you depending on the area and state . Its so easy to see.
You
Sen. Robert Byrd urging on an anti-Klan rally.
He would today. You conveniently forget that he quit the Klan in the 1960s, repented and apologized. Again, if he were a Republican you would tout him as a man that blacks can admire.
Me
I have not forgotten , I hold nothing against him for that . That was baiting you , and you took it . Your answer was obvious , agree with me your ok , don’t and you have a despictable reason for it . Your answers are easy, why bother thinking Rck ? , every person who disagrees with you is fooled or has a bigoted reason for it . Just make a standard response , actually it looks like you have .
I hold nothing against Jerry Falwell . You support one and believe the other racist based on their belief of more or less government . That is sad , its why you are becoming a relic of the past . . As long as they hold to your idea of Justice , heck you can promote lowering the age of consent , killing the unborn , you will rationalize it .The NAACP joined with The Sierra Club , now they are concerned about Civil Rights , to sponsor a series of radio ads lambasting Republican candidates. One ad charged Republican senator Spence Abraham with being “more concerned with protecting polluters than. protecting our families.” Another denounced Virginia Governor, George Allen, as beholden to Smithfield Foods, “one of Virginia’s largest polluters and one of the largest contributors to George Allen’s 1996 campaign.” A third savaged Rep. Anne Northup of Kentucky
And interesting in the ad about Brryd is was not important saying that the murderer got the death sentence , Now dealing with Justice , should not one be Just ..
The NAACP is not concerned about Justice , , just beating republicans , Civil rights have been replaced with beating republicans . Violence against kids ? Yeah public education is violence against the Black community , somehow even vouchers and Charter schools have become a secret right wing conspiracy to undermine the opportunity for kids to get educated . The cities are doing such a good job , ask Hillary , can’t Rick she sent her kid to a private school . You would think with a black husband she be more open sending her child to where the other kids had to .
During the 2000 election, the NAACP fired its Colorado chapter president because he went public with his support of school vouchers. Oh my God , the man supported a conservative idea .
YOU
By the way, just because something says something true about you that’s unflattering doesn’t make it hateful. You see, African-Americans have always known who their enemies are even if they refuse to acknowledge that. And be advised they don’t take any more right-wing crap.
ME
The best thing for republicans is for your views to be open for the majority to hear , You have no respect for intellectual diversity as the NAACP so proudly hails . What is sad is that thinking has gone into the black church , Jesus wept .



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N.M. Rod

posted October 11, 2007 at 12:19 am


“Affirmative Action is an American tradition, more so than Thanksgiving.”
Retort: “Maybe in your home.”
Well, maybe in a whole lot of homes – yours included, if you stop to think about it!
I think the person offering the rejoinder may have missed the point,
which really isn’t all that subtle:
Affirmative Action for white Europeans has been the policy since they arrived on these shores and put themselves in the preferred positions of ownership and power as they pushed American Indians westward in an orgy of ethnic cleansing.
Now it might be that they were genuinely thankful that they thought their God had blessed them so well for their own goodness with all the rewards of their iniquity against others, and their God had cursed those they stole from and cheated to gain that material abundance.
Like the man who said, “Thank God I’m not a sinner, like those miserable people!”
All too often, people take material abundance as the sign of blessing from God for their own goodness, and then concomitantly make the error of believing those who haven’t been similarly given wealth, or have had it taken by strength from them, were justly accursed.
All this proves is that they believe in a God whose right is made by might, through a kind of deific cock-fight, where the toughest and meanest rooster is the one God decides to bring wealth through.
The vast majority of people enjoying the wealth generated by their forebears, as we all do, owe it to the pre-eminence forced by their own forbears over the Indians, the Africans and others who were considered next to beasts – a kind of affirmative action they practiced on their own racist behalf.
Now it’s pretty mean-spirited to try to say, “Hey, now that happened a long time ago, and now we just about got everything, but now we’re gonna be fair and we’ll keep what we took since so much time passed and maybe you can keep what’s left, if anything, but no promises if we need it after all. Savvy?”
You can’t simply ignore the crimes of the past and act if everything’s now on an even playing field, having stacked the deck, yet claim to be for equality and justice.
That’s just selfishness and greed – the scripture calls it the love of money, the root of all evil – pretending to be a morally defensible, legitimate political philosophy.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we could boil it down to, “Gobble, gobble.”
Well, go get stuffed.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 11, 2007 at 5:20 am


Rick said
More utter delusion on your part, and the fact that this blog even exists and that the Democrats won last year should tell you that you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about
Me
Their are blogs popping up for midget sex , talk about delusional .
You
Yeah, improve public schools all around by siphoning off the best students. Right. Seriously, what sense does that make? Most blacks, upon closer inspection, actually oppose vouchers for that reason.
Me
Not in Seattle , of course we have NO race problems here so it most likely three propped up secret republican African American organizations , Bill Gates and some other sealth folks acting like conservatives . Actually keeping the possibility of a black kid having more of a cahance having police record then a HS certificate in many cities is just what the NAACP needs to stay in business .
Right keep things the same , that will work .
You
You have no right to talk about that — none. For openers, the reason there became a black church in the first place was white racism, from which conservatives are still running but cannot escape.
Me
You have no authority to give me rights or take them away .
Its the truth , and I will not retreat from that view , and it is becomming more obvious as the years go by as the black church slips into any viable use and into obscurity . Till they rwaxch out to God and ask for forgiveness and repent , things will become worse .
You
As a result, the black church has a much different orientation, toward social justice, and thus knows not to take any crap from the likes of you –it knows the kind of oppression that you can’t relate to. FYI, the NAACP and the black church haven’t changed over the years, but the country (until recently) moved to the right.
Me
Poor victim , only you understand oppression , death of children , suicides , only your neigborhoods have kids loose out to drugs , and the daily temptations that this great world of Love and compassion offers .
The sick abortion lobby , and professiona victims that have linked up to get something from mommy government will end up fightin each other in the end for the scraps .
You lie to yourself and say your pro life but social injustice causes you to support abortion politicains . Delusional ? .Considering the recent stats just given, I can understand why family values is really nonsense to your thinking . I see through that .
The recent out of wedlock births recently given in the black community has the Klan believing in your idea of social justice , jsut reversed .
and to someone like you who wears their race and victimhood issues on their sleeve, you and the Klan both should should be happy .
You have something to blame Christians on , and the Klan is glad because the democrats will keep on winning .
Its a win win solution for both of you , government has all the answers .
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 11, 2007 at 10:01 am


Mick — You continue to shoot yourself in the foot with every word you write, and what’s worse is that you can’t see it. There is a saying that “he who doesn’t know and doesn’t know that he doesn’t know is a fool — shun him.”



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N.M. Rod

posted October 11, 2007 at 11:42 am


It’s very, very hard to find the myths you’ve had made central to your meaning were false and riddled with self-justification.
In order to resist the truth, people will do everything they can to point out what others have done. Every straw justification will be seized at.
We know that our capacity for self-deception is almost infinite, as Niebuhr pointed out.
One would almost think that people don’t really acknowledge, despite their putative theology to the contrary, how completely corrupting sin is and how totally lost it makes one.
Without true repentance, there is no remission of sins, and how obvious that is, for all of us.
I know that Mick is me.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 11, 2007 at 2:58 pm


I have to ask, when we think of America, do we see ourselves as an
inherently superior nation and people, compared to our neighbors?
Is America and are Americans morally superior to Mexico and Mexicans,
to Canada and Canadians? To France and the French, to Zambia and
the Zambians, to Russia and the Russians, to Iraq and the Iraqis?
Is the role of these nations, and their people, to play a subservient role to America and Americans? If so, why are America and Americans superior? By what right could this be claimed?
If the right is divine, where in the Bible is America mentioned? Where
is such a theory found in Christ’s teaching? Just where does it come
from if not?
We do know that prominent Democrats and Republicans have claimed
America to be “the indispensable nation” – in contrast to all others,
according to Democrat Madeleine Albright’s assertion, so this is
a thoroughly American idiom, not one that can be neatly attributed to left or right, blue or red, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.
But is it a Christian idea, or one founded in the misuse of nationalism
and the elevation of one set of humans over another, as long as it
one’s own?
There is a legitimate use of nations, as organizational structures to permit human freedom and serve mutual needs for community and support and give a basis for keeping the minimal order necessary to the safety of its society.
There is an illegitimate use, too, to seek ascendancy and primacy
over others, or for their exclusion or exploitation, in an organized fashion, through use of force, and for which moral justifications have to be made and messianic purpose internalised, to make the case for an intrinsic superiority of one as against another in order to allow conscience to be defeated.
Because of sin, all nations and peoples at some point and in some manner are guilty of the second use, without exception, for the members of any nation are the same sinful human beings no different from the common humanity of any other.
I have noticed that when we pray for the repentance of our nation, America,
that we often invoke the scripture that begins, “If my people who are
called by My name will humble themselves and pray…”
But the political entity of America is found nowhere in scripture. Nowhere
does God conflate the political entity grown up since 1611 as His peculiar
people, no matter how repeatedly we invoke it by our own merely flattering,
human and expedient authority.
Moreover, the sins that we fall to our knees and asked national forgiveness for, as I have been a part of several times, are not seen as those of ourselves at all, but those of our supposed cultural war enemies, the same sins we have continually and publicly rebuked others for, not ourselves – primarily abortion and homosexuality.
This does not pass the test for humbling oneself and confessing one’s own sins – our own remain unacknowledged and we are unrepentant. Now there are those who would say we have none, or they are merely trivial and venial, not mortal – the “we” being the Christians who are the supposedly “real” America.
Although scripture doesn’t recognize or give America preeminence whatsoever, it does have this to say about us, as Christians who happen to be in a nation called America:
“He who says he is without sin is a liar.”
And named among those who will have no place in Christ’s Kingdom are
such egregious liars – ourselves. As well, we and the others we rebuke for practicing the same and other sins, will be cast away, if we fail to repent, without discrimination.
Isn’t this of sufficient danger to lead us to re-evaluate our first principles, personal and political, to make sure they’re in harmony with His – assuming that He really is the One we want to follow, that we belong to Him and are counted as citizens of His kingdom?



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Anonymous

posted October 11, 2007 at 10:37 pm


Not only do you advocate the politics of the pagan left , you appear to act more and more like one . You support abortion , now you support lying . I guess the !0 Commandments are not in red letters , but holy molly . Mick Sheldon
Your ad hominem remarks are really pretty unconvincing, they are more of a reflection on you than a negative reflection on Rick Nowin.
Me: The ones who should be disgraced are the Dobson/Hagees/D James Kennedys/Falwells and a myriad of other religious leaders who led the elect down this path of support of the war.”
Mick: You forgot the Religious Right media advocacy group, the New York Times . Not to mention Colin Powell , and host of outspoken democrats at the time . We secretly used our decoder rings and hypotized them . Colin Powell means preciousl little. He was part of the administration, which misled us. The New York Times and the “outspoken” Dems were clearly wrong.
ME: Even the NY Times admitted that it dropped the ball in that it was not sufficiently skeptical of the Bush Administration’s exaggerated claims regarding WMDs in the lead up to the war. But for the pharisaical religious leaders whom I mentioned before, it was below them to admit they were wrong.
Mick sheldon: D James Kennedy is dead , their was a ripping editorial on this site not too long ago where the author hoped his ideas died with him , I hope his family never read it . Good to see Sojourners attack Presbyterians though ,I was worried they discriminated . Falwell is dead too . , Dobson has a bad heart , who you going to blame for the political and policy mistakes by the people dealing with terrorist then James ?
Me: May Falwell and Kennedy rest in peace. Their deaths, however, does not remove the harm they did in teaching an unquestioning support of authority. The same goes for Dobson’s physical ailments. You seem to have a great deal of compassion for these men and are quick to forgive their faults. Maybe you could be just a bit more gracious with the Christians on the left who do not agree with you politically. Is that asking too much?
Mick Sheldon: Because the dems are going to have all control soon. And since our culture is fine , and kids are all doing well in our Secular Progressive Fundamentalist schools , most folks are going to agree with democrats more and more . Then even mr Wallis is going to wish he had a least ignored us , everybody else does .
Me: You act as if the cultural phenomena of today were attributable to liberals whereas conservatives stand at the forefront of defending moral values. The utter love of money in evidence in some (not all) conservative circles has contributed to cultural decline just as much. I sometimes wonder what message it sends to our kids when this “conservative” “family values” administration allows Haliburton to openly fleece us of our money in Iraq while they sit by and do nothing. Boy, that sends a strong moral message, doesn’t it? It’s okay to steal. Liberals have their own flaws and I will admit it. But please don’t intimate that conservatives have it all together- the American people figured that one out and voted accordingly in 2006.
Mick Sheldon: Therefore, trying to maintain the conservative agenda, especially in a place like this, without critical analysis just isn’t going to happen and you best get used to it.
ME: Nobody forced you to be here. You can always hit that little green arrow pointing to the left in the upper lefthand corner of your screen or the “x” in the red box in the upper right hand corner.



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Shirley Hayden

posted October 11, 2007 at 10:45 pm


In regard to the Christian in India thinking that all American Christians support George W. Bush, he should be made aware that this is not so. He (and a lot of other people) might read Why the Christian Right is Wrong by Robin Meyers.



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JamesMartin

posted October 12, 2007 at 9:14 am


That response (two posts above)to Mick Sheldon was me, for the record.



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Mary C

posted October 13, 2007 at 2:32 pm


Believe me, Paster Chandy, many American Christians see it as you do and don’t even begin to justify American aggression as necessary to preserve our safety! Or, to sum up my response to your article in one word, AMEN!



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