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Progressive Revival

The
Matthew 25 Network released the following statement today in response
to Governor Palin’s acceptance speech at the RNC Convention.  In the
coming days we will be seeking thousands of signatures
onto this statement from Christians leaders and individuals around the country.

UPDATE: You can sign the statement here

So far more than 1,400 have signed, included distinguished religious leaders like Brian McLaren, Douglas W. Kmiec, Rev. Dr. Susan B. Thistlethwaite,
Vince Miller, Peter Vander Meulen, Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, Bart
Campolo, Sharon Daly, Rev. Wilfredo De Jesus, and Delores Leckey.

Add your voice for a more civil and compassionate religious voice in politics.

————-

Governor Palin, Put Away Falsehood

September 4, 2008

The Matthew 25 Network is extremely disappointed in Governor Sarah Palin‘s address last night at the Republican National Convention.
We call on her not only as a political figure, but also as a prominent
Christian, to commit herself to campaigning in good faith, with a
strong commitment to truth-telling.

As Christians, we
are called to be respectful and loving toward our neighbors, honoring
their intentions even if we disagree. We are also called to be truthful
in all things, to “put away falsehood” (Eph 4:25) and refrain from
slandering, belittling, or speaking out of contempt for anyone.

If these are the standards God has set for us in our personal lives,
our church communities, and our neighborhoods, how much more so should
they be for those of us who choose to be in the public eye?
Shouldn’t we expect our brothers and sisters in politics to also speak
the truth in love and to extend respect and goodwill even to those who
disagree with them?

Sarah Palin has shaped much of her
life around her Christian faith.[1] It has been continually suggested
that one of the major reasons John McCain
chose Palin as his running-mate was her Christian faith and her ability
to energize evangelical Christian voters. Thus, it is not a stretch to
say that Palin has been thrust into the position of being one of the
more visible faces of Christianity in today’s political scene.

As such, she has a calling higher than her responsibility to her
party’s victory in November – a calling to represent Christ in the
world. This is why her speech at the Republican National Convention
last night was so disappointing to us at the Matthew 25 Network.

To be blunt, we saw very little of Christ’s love in Sarah Palin’s
speech last night, as she heaped contempt on those who disagree with
her politically, while offering no vision for how to resolve the
critical issues facing Americans today like job loss, health care,
growing child poverty rates and the war in Iraq.

In questioning not only Barack Obama’s
policies but also his motivations, and mocking his career, Palin went
far beyond what could be considered acceptable disagreement and into
what looked like open hatred for her political opponents. The name of
Christ should never be associated with hate or contempt for one’s
fellow human being, but last night, in Sarah Palin, we believe it was.

Moreover, as has been documented by major media sources including the
Associated Press [2], Palin engaged in falsehoods not only about her
own record, but about Barack Obama’s record as a State Senator and as a
U.S. Senator. As Christians, we are called throughout Scripture to
speak the whole truth, to put away falsehood, to bear true witness even
when it hurts our own interests. The name of Christ should never be
associated with falsehoods or deception, but last night, in Sarah
Palin, we believe it was.

As a prominent face of Christians in politics, Sarah Palin is called to
do more than represent her party – she is tasked to represent Christ to
the world.  We in the Matthew 25 Network call on Gov. Sarah Palin to
repudiate her attitude of contempt towards her political opponents and
tell the whole truth – if not for the sake of a more honorable
politics, then for the sake of our Christian witness in the world.

Senator McCain
is no less responsible because he selected Gov. Palin and praised her
speech, and he claims to be a Christian as well.  It is ill-fitting to
use Christian identity
and language for one’s political advantage without seeking to live up
to that high calling.  Ultimately, as the Presidential candidate,
Governor Palin’s tone and infidelity to truth reflect negatively on
Senator McCain as well.

[1] – TIME Magazine interview,
http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1837536,00.html
[2] – “Attacks, praise stretch truth,” International Herald-Tribune.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/04/america/CVN-Fact-Check.php

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