Open Letter to the Religious Right

Snippets to chew on from Joe at the Evangelical Outpost.

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was purportedly asked if God was on his side.
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side,” said the President, “my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”...
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We have ideological enemies (e.g., Islamo-fascists) and ideological opponents (e.g., secular liberals). Our ideological opponents want us to lose elections; our ideological enemies want us to lose our lives. While we have to love them all, we shouldn’t lump them all together.
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I can’t make excuses for us on this one anymore: We have to take a firm stand against torture. Yes, there is a debate about what exactly is meant by that term. So let’s define it in a way that consistent with our belief in human dignity. And then let’s hold every politician in the country to that standard. Our silence is embarrassing. [AMEN-jpu]

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We must keep in mind that term “religious right” encompasses two spectrums. Because of our commitment to the faith, we will often find ourselves in agreement with the religious left. And because our conservatism is informed by our religion, we will find also find ourselves in disagreement with the secular right.

Our political alliances, therefore, will often be tenuous and shift based on particular issues. For example, at the Washington Briefing, Richard Land said that he’d vote for a Jewish pro-life politician who promised to raise his taxes before he’d vote a Christian pro-choice candidate who promised to cut them. The rousing applause he received would be as disturbing to most Republicans as it would to most Democrats.

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America is not a “Christian nation”, though we should aspire to be a nation of Christians. America is not a “shining city on a hill”, though we should let our light of freedom be a shining example for the entire world. America is not the “greatest blessing God gave mankind”, though it is a great nation worthy of our conditional adoration. Patriotic sentiment has its place but we mustn’t let it expand beyond its acceptable borders. We are citizens of both a country and a Kingdom and must always be careful not to confuse the one for the other.


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