Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Interesting analysis ....

Pardon me. It's late. I'm technically tired, but insomnia is a real pain the butt for me. While tooling around the Internet, I picked this up from Allah as Hot Air's "Quote of the day":

“That way faith loses its independence, Christians become ‘useful idiots’ for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology.”

Now, that link above takes us to this story which explains that quote:

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

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

"That way faith loses its independence, Christians become `useful idiots' for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology," according to the draft.

The declaration, scheduled to be released Wednesday in Washington, encourages Christians to be politically engaged and uphold teachings such as traditional marriage. But the drafters say evangelicals have often expressed "truth without love," helping create a backlash against religion during a "generation of culture warring."

"All too often we have attacked the evils and injustices of others," they wrote, "while we have condoned our own sins." They argue, "we must reform our own behavior."

The document is the latest chapter in the debate among conservative Christians about their role in public life. Most veteran leaders believe the focus should remain on abortion and marriage, while other evangelicals — especially in the younger generation — are pushing for a broader agenda. The manifesto sides with those seeking a wide-range of concerns beyond "single-issue politics."

Now, before I go off half-cocked, I'll say this: If this doesn't pan out to be true -- if this manifesto doesn't come out -- then we're going to have some words on that issue to. No offense, this story doesn't pass our smell detector. Not that we don't have some opinion on the issue at hand. However, I don't really see a group of prominent Evangelicals admitting this, or even contemplating it. If this does pan out to be true, we're expecting this to be from activist Evangelicals, and not the sort accorded to the Evangelical movement in America.

On the flip side, if this is true, then kudos to the Evangelicals in the country. It's not that I have any sort of problem with them, but I do think that their voice in the conservative movement, and moreso in politics, has been vastly overstated, and given credence which, to some may seem warranted, but to a good deal of conservatives, we see it as a detriment.

The Left has used our morals and religious beliefs against us for decades. While I agree that a level of morals has to be included in our party and our ideology, giving them a voice like they've had has been one in which many of us in the grass-roots movement have a difficult time explaining to the Left when debate ensues. (Of course, now that I come to think of it, I find an infinitesimal amount of things I can discuss with the Left that doesn't involve the Crayola rainbow of colors. Just kidding.)

Seriously speaking, though, Evangelicals have been linked to one, hot-button issue in the last thirty-plus years. That's abortion. What I'm guessing is that they have finally seen the light conservatives have seen for years -- If you want Roe v. Wade undone, then you need to worry more about judges, and less about presidents. And while in this election, that seems to have a distinctive flavor, the biggest concern of any proponent of overturning Roe understands you need five justices to agree to revisit the case. You could have a court stacked with seven solid originalists, and the chances of the high court revisiting the issue are slim and none.

So when it comes to adapting, I applaud it. I don't want to see them more to the center, but rather they need to address the issues that will face this nation in years to come. It doesn't just revolve around human life, and nor should Evangelicals allow the media define them as solitarily such. Branch out, and diversify. There are many levels of conservatism. We welcome their "change" in how politics is approached. Granted, prominent Evangelicals like James Dobson have opted out of signing the document. No offense, doctor, but the movement has been defined. Time to seriously re-define it to keep the Left on it's heels. In short, diversify. A divided enemy, a confused enemy, is not an effective enemy.

Publius II


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