Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I was looking for inspired new evangelic comments, but found a somewhat cautious turning toward opening up the values and family crowd. Furthermore, his article clearly addresses white evangelical Christendom. When American Christians begin to embrace open-minded thinkers who embrace social issues with compassion rather than an impaired sense of morality, I will believe. So I think that he is suggesting a rather cautious opening, nothing more.

Jim Willingham

St. Petersburg, FL

Mar 18 2008 - 7:28am

Web Letter

This was in general a good article, but I have a correction to make. Tom Wright is not a "liberal" New Testament scholar but one of Britain's leading evangelical scholars. He is a former professor at Oxford and now Bishop of Durham, and he has a political theology that supports Christians engaging with the world, which fits the new, younger, profile of evangelicals who, as the article mentions, wish to take their faith into the international arena in a variety of constructive ways--this is what distinguishes them from more conservative evangelicals and Republicans. But a good article, and a follow up might be comparing young British and American evangelicals. Your readers might be very surprised how much they have in common! See also my briefing paper for the Institute for Pollicy Studies in Washington, DC, their online think thank, Focus on Foreign Policy, "How and Why to Support Religion Overseas."

Scott M. Thomas

Bath, England

Mar 13 2008 - 4:46am

Web Letter

Thanks to the efforts of the Religious Right to take control of virtually all organized religion within the various Christian denominations, my family no longer attends any church. I have become utterly disillusioned as a result of this group's success in politicizing our churches--and in the way in which the churches have rolled over.

If organized religion within the churches ever returns to teaching about the life of Jesus and encouraging people to live, to the best of their ability, by following in His footsteps, I may be back. An enormous response on social justice issues (poverty, hunger, our climate) would be hard evidence that our churches had regained their footing And those issues extend far beyond abortion and homosexuality (two of the right's polarizing favorites).

People also ought to investigate the efforts of organizations such as the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD), which has been highly effective in fomenting dissent and division within specifically the Episcopal, United Methodist and Presbyterian (USA) denominations. IRD doesn't fall under the category of "Religious Right," but they are doing tremendous damage to those denominations listed.

People remaining in churches need to grow brains and begin to figure out for themselves how they interpret the political landscape through the eyes of their faith. You don't require a church leader to do that for you.

Kimberly G. Jones

Evanston, IL

Mar 12 2008 - 10:22am

Web Letter

Okay! Just for fun I'll bite. Jesus would probably not even be registered to vote; therefore, he would not vote for anyone. Did he every publically claim to support any political party or regime or leader? Of course not, so what makes anyone think he’d do it today, especially since he allegedly predicted things would be worse the second time he visited this planet?

I’m not an atheist, but at times I wish I were, because atheists are not as conflicted over such things as why God allows evil to rule and so much shit to happen, but since I’m a believer and since I happen to have evolved from being a born-again Christian to a person who believes God hates us all, I feel I have a unique perspective to offer when it comes to things like answering hypothetical questions such as this one.

Christ was definitely a democrat, while his father was certainly a right-winged dictator. It must make for some incredible arguments in heaven, but in spite of Christ’s left-leaning message, people like Paul and the Church that followed co-opted his message and turned it conservative to fit their insane understanding of the world they knew. (Read the Bible carefully and also check out the Gnostics if you want a better understanding of just how much to the left Jesus is.) Today is no different, as the right-leaning Christians have co-opted the Republican moderates in order to spread and eventually enforce their insane view of the world they know. Christ, being of the same character he was 2,000 years ago, would simply condemn them all, as he allegedly said he will do when he returns, but do not tell this to a right-leaning Christian because they may… well, who knows what they may do, but it won’t be rational.

I am not an alarmist, but I do have serious concerns that we’ve started down that slippery slope of losing our rights, for whatever supposedly justifiable reasons, and I have concerns that religion is no longer protected from the state and the people are no longer protected from religion. Nutty Muslims and Christians and Jews have succeeded in putting the power and fear of their vote into the hearts of moderates and even some quasi-liberals, and as a result we are in great danger of becoming a well-masked Babylonian-style religiously paranoid, hate- and fear-mongering state. As a man who believes God hates us all, I can only pray that the son kicks the father’s ass and returns as the progressive democrat he was when he left us the first time. At that point, I think he might even vote for Obama.

Lucem ferre LeVan

Thorndale, PA

Mar 9 2008 - 10:20pm

Web Letter

Great article, Mr. Moser. I don’t see anything disturbing about the rise of religion in the Democratic Party, especially Christianity. It’s also maybe not so surprising.

As a 63-year-old male Republican, I find myself with two absolute views: pro women’s rights and anti abortion. In a society educated in the principles of personal morality, these positions do not necessarily conflict.

Steven L Bradley

Lakewood, CO

Mar 8 2008 - 11:18am

Web Letter

The possibility that evangelicals are abandoning their far-right commitments is leading progressives into believing that they won't again allow themselves to be fooled by the Christian Right. Maybe. But remember, anyone who is an evangelical has already abandoned reason, logic, history and common sense in order to believe the nonsense of the New Testament. They in my view will remain fooled and foolish.

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, GA

Mar 7 2008 - 10:43am

Web Letter

While I am not sure who Jesus would vote for, I do believe he would be praying very hard for the candidates' souls! However, religion is no stranger to the Democratic Party. Our first Catholic candidate for President was Al Smith in the 1920s. I can't recall if the Republican party ever had one. Catholics have long been active in the party, and we would recognize our differences on issues like abortion and work together on the many issues on which we agreed. Along with adherents of many religions, Christians have been interested in helping people and in charity. It was therefore puzzling to see them attached to the Republican Party, which is interested only in tax breaks and not in social programs that help people. It would seem to me that the traditional Democratic Party would have been a better fit on those issues. It is very difficult to find a political party that reflects your particular point of view. Political parties and governments generally reflect areas of broad agreement if they want to be successful.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Mar 6 2008 - 5:42pm

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