“God? Yes! Theocracy? No!”

I consider it to be one of the most important campaign developments of 2008 that every major aspirant for the … Continued

I consider it to be one of the most important campaign developments of 2008 that every major aspirant for the presidency must now submit a Faith and Values Portfolio to the American electorate.

These portfolios are usually crammed with the strangest things, the most variegated faith-based overgrowth (e.g., spiritual mentors, conversion experiences, family Bibles trotted out for inspection by journalists). But beneath this luxuriant vegetation all FVPs are rooted in a candidate’s: 1) personal narrative of faith, and, 2) vision of the place of religion in American public life.

For the first time in recent memory all the Democratic frontrunners have solid FVPs. This is unusual. Around primary time there has always been a John Kerry, or a Howard Dean, or a Jerry Brown, or a Paul Tsongas, or a Michael Dukakis on the ticket–secular ministers without portfolio. But with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, the Democrats are assured of nominating a candidate who can appeal effectively to religious constituencies.

John Edwards, come to think of it, occupies a storied place in the history of FVPs. The campaign he ran with John Kerry was the Chernobyl of the Faith and Values Industry. Kerry/Edwards 2004 is a cautionary tale. It is the very reason that all Democratic contenders have been polishing their portfolios, churching-up, citing the Scriptures and hiring consultants with advanced degrees in theology.

This having been said, let it be noted that when it comes to religious imaging, Edwards himself is quite impressive. As for the narrative, he speaks quite convincingly of growing up in the small-town, church-going America of Georgia and the Carolinas. He reports that he drifted away from religion until a family tragedy reawakened his faith.

Dwelling on his non-privileged past (as opposed to his privileged present) he can speak fairly convincingly of working class values. These values have been desecrated, he argues, by the policies of the current administration. As with all Democratic hopefuls, he will thump the Bible and he will identify poverty–not homosexuality or abortion–as its abiding priority.

A pious, Dixie Democrat is the gold standard in presidential races and Edwards knows fully well how to exploit his regional assets. Less heady than Obama and far more at ease discussing faith than Clinton, Edwards could charm a room of (undecided) Red State folks with his breezy, like-my-pastor-always-says oratory. Connecting with White Evangelicals is crucial in a general election, and he could most likely best his two rivals at this game.

In terms of his vision of religion’s role in public life, he is no George W. Bush — and no Michael Dukakis either. All the Democratic frontrunners have understood that the electorate is uncomfortable with both extreme secularism and the theocratic Will to Power of the Christian Right. Like all Democrats, Edwards attempts to walk a middle ground–a strategy whose motto I describe as “God? Yes! Theocracy? No!

Yet even with his good religious imaging. John Edwards is flagging in the polls. My impression is that Democratic voters care infinitely more about winning this election than about the particular politician who will lead them to victory. That politician, they seem to agree, is Hillary Clinton.

All this, alas, reminds us yet again of an important lesson. While a good Faith and Values Portfolio is essential to modern presidential campaigning, it is not enough to win a party’s nomination.

By Jacques Berlinerblau | 
October 25, 2007; 9:52 AM ET


Save & Share: 

 


 

<!–Twitter
 –>

 


 


 


 


 


 

Previous: Rudy Double Dares Christian Right |

Next: The Atheist’s Dilemma: Live Right or Live Large?

<!–
Main Index –>

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Professor Berlinerblau,In my book any politician who trots out a Faith and Values Portfolio is a pious fraud and a Pharisee.One reason I liked Howard Dean (good New England Congregationalist that he is) is that he refused to play that tawdry game, thinking it an improper intrusion into civic discourse, as well a blatant case of wearing your religion on your sleeve.Jesus would not approve of these pharisaically hypocritical self-promoters.

  • BGone

    Jacques Berlinerblau:It’s the Devil Is “religion the great enemy of democracy”? Is there a religion that does not preach and teach a KINGDOM of some God? Maybe the “Christians” that have a religion “without” a God?Squared pegTheocracy or bust. This election is about choosing a puppet so the ministry can control the “kingdom of God” while we wait for Jesus to return and take the throne. Only a silly ass thinks heave is a democracy. Heaven is a kingdom. The dumbest Baptists alive, and there are some really dumb Baptists knows heaven is a kingdom. Ever hear of “Kingdom Hall”?

  • Mike Brooks

    ‘Democrats are more interested in winning than faith, so they’re all gone to Hillary”? Oh please! I am nominally a Democrat. In fact, in my 60 years I have never voted for a Republican. I even campaign for Democrats. There is no way, no possibility, that I will vote for Hillary Clinton. She is a product of, and the candidate of, Wall Street and radical feminists. If you replace the radical feminists with Fundimentalists, you’ve got Bush. In every other respect, Hillary Clinton is no different than Bush, you just have another group of hateful fanatics pushing their agenda on their candidates back. Clinton, from what I hear from plenty of people who worked on the Kerry campaoign, flat out has no chance whatsoever of being elected. It may be that a majority of present Democratic activists support her. The majority of Democratic voters, however, do not and will not.

  • Diogenes

    May the Supreme Being spare us the hyprocisy of those politicians that declare that “God is my co-pilot.”

  • Richard Lloyd

    The right wing pushes Clinton for President thinking the male center will refuse to vote for a woman for President of the United States. Those votes plus their base, they hope, might squeeze out a victory. Edwards is the most electable democratic candidate as Obama’s skin color hurts his chances as much as Hillary Clinton’s gender. Let us not overlook who in reality go to the polls and votes.

  • BGone

    Mike Brooks:Unfortunately, everything you say is probably correct. Trouble is it applies to all candidates of all parties – the ones we’ll ever hear about at least.In a sense that’s a subconscious cause of the “evangelical party” – we can’t trust any candidate so let’s go with the one God’s representatives picks for us. Never they ask is that really God’s representative or could the Devil be behind it all.We have the best government money can buy is absolutely so. The fact that evangelical ministers, proved agents of Lucifer have been able to “buy” the government tells us about their great, unaccounted for wealth, tax free, tax deductible to gift-ers, collected at tax exempt and really spiffy, stained glass windows etc facilities.All roads lead to hell. What better ones to guide us than Lucifer followers. Haven’t you heard? Miss Hillary is an evangelical and a “born again” Baptist, or whatever suits the situation at the time. McCain is real religious too – became a Baptist.Is Georgetown NOT a Baptist university? I mean, we do have ecumenical don’t we? That’s a really slick way for the pope to take over the US government. Fit’s Hillary well – her first man will be Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton.Do chickens have three breasts? According to Colonel Sanders they do. People buy their chicken by the piece, just like they buy their government.And you thought the mafia had too much political influence. The one thing missing that the mafia has to offer is honesty. They’re a pack of ruthless murdering crooks and are proud of it.

  • kuvasz

    What God-awful crap. The average Democrat is looking for neither savior nor pastor in voting for president. The essayist is not only wrong but intellectually lazy.Voters vote for a person who they believe is the best vehicle to transport their ideas of government actions into reality.And I have yet to hear from a single friend who is a Democrat who believes that person is Senator Clinton.I don’t know how often the editors of the Post will attempt through their news articles, editorials, and even cartoons to shape the narrative of conventional wisdom that “Hillary’s the One!”But its time that you stop your propaganda towards the woman’s inevitability of winning the Democratic nomination. You look like fools.The mass media and cultural-elite decision makers are so frightened of the message John Edwards ennounciates about fairness and equal opportunity being the bedrock of the American Experience that they rarely even debate it or if it is done like this knuckle-headed professor of religion, it is distorted beyond reason.Instead of a vigorous debate concerning the moral and ethical bases for any politician’s positions on civil matters of concern the essayist misses the point entirely; viz., that like Edwards’ own life it doesn’t matter where you come from but where you’re going that is important.

  • David Henry

    I was fortunate enough to hear John Edwards speaking at a campaign ralley last year for another candidate. He was by far the most inspirational person who spoke. It wasn’t God talk. He just said things that made me once again feel that America could be a place where everyone is included. He gave me hope.

  • BGone

    Richard Lloyd:If I were a betting person I would wager that Giulaini can beat any one of them. I’m not a Giuliani supporter or any candidate for that matter. I’m a realist. The three most populated states will most likely go for Giulaini over any Democrat. Any other Republican will be lucky to win the third most populated state. That’s just my handicap at this time.I’ve been practicing spelling his name. Huckabee is another one that should be disqualified because of his name along with Giulaini. Anyone besides me for president Jones? Wong even. Nah. He’d be declared to be the Wong candidate for reasons unknown.

  • cowalker

    The spectacle would be entertaining if it didn’t indicate a terribly low level of intelligence among American voters. The majority of Americans require their candidates to accessorize with Christian ornaments, but wouldn’t dream for one minute of electing someone who sincerely advocated turning the other cheek, or who reminded them that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. If Jesus was right, most of the candidates themselves won’t make it into heaven. But nobody wants to think about that. I wonder how long it will take before most of the 70% percent of Americans who call themselves Christians realize that the actual values they live by intersect only coincidentally with what the Bible says Jesus said. There are practical reasons for being against murder and theft, but divorce is pretty convenient. So lots of Americans ignore Jesus’ prohibition of divorce, and the divorced Reagan was much preferred to that stodgy, principled Carter. And that’s just one example.

  • Rich

    “Connecting with White Evangelicals is crucial in a general election”No, it isn’t. It should be understood by now by anyone who follows American politics that the Republicans have controlled the media for a very long time now and have used it to drive into the public consciousness certain talking points that become “true” in popular political lore through repetition, regardless of objective facts. The Republicans are masters of propaganda and know this–but members of academia and the media should also know it and be more critical about simply repeating them. America is not a “conservative” country, we are not hostile to government, and it is not necessary to appeal to conservative Christians in order to win a presidential election. To keep mindlessly repeat these errors is to bolster the right-wing propagandists in their work…

  • Mike Brooks

    Rich – Evangelicals are, like it or not, a sizeable block of voters. As such, their concerns need to be addressed by anyone pretending to be our nations leaders. Likewise, other sizeable blocks, “Choice proponents”, immigrants, gun owners, opponents of globalization, all need and deserve to be heard and represented. This *IS* a democracy and if the upcoming election is about revenge, as I am so often hearing, then god help us all! We have been represented by the extremes in the recent past and it has brought us nothing but trouble.

  • BGone

    Anyone seen McCain’s campaign add – Hillary wanting to spend over a million dollars of tax payer money on a Woodstock memorial? Horrors!The money is needed for Iraq. That little evangelical adventure “higher power” (recognize Lucifer anyone?) Bush consulted to give him the courage to attack Iraq will cost $1,000,000,000,000 if we get out now. If we can save 1,000,000 one 1,000,000 times we’re there. (the numbers are so big and long I have difficulty with them) It’s a million dollars one million times.Let’s try that a different way.. $1,000,000,000,000 present cost of Iraq adventureA cruise missile costs 1,000,000 dollars and we shot 678 of them at Iraq, for openers.Let us pray for only God can help us now. When man cries out to God, God never comes but Devil is always there to soothe those jangled nerves. Is a supernatural being a supernatural being or what? Aren’t they all higher powers?In the words of the Bowery Boys, leave is go, and at the command of the big chief George W Bush, “go to your churches, temples, synagogues and mosques and pray” 9-11-2001. To whom shall we pray, God or Devil?Oil topped $100 per barrel today. It was $2 per barrel when Nixon was sworn into office. And, a bottle of pop was a dime, a candy bar a nickel and a buck-fifty would get you a complete meal at Bob’s Bib Boy.Welcome to the kingdom of the being Moses made the deal with, the one in the fire that burns but does not consume. For it’s the foundation of the God vote and all it brings us here on God’s mostly green but scorched in places earth.

  • HOLY SMOKE!!

    Well……….not exactly holy – more like smoke (and mirrors).Hillary that scary? (he chuckled).Calm down everyone (all you “good christian”, white, bigoted, southern and mid western rednecks).You are going to LOVE Hillary. Trust me on this one. Everything is going to be just fine.Savior? Yep, that’s what Hillary is – “Saviour of the Nation”, “Saviour of the Constitution”. Another Joan of Arc.Savior of evangelical souls.That’s right, Hillary will stop, then redirect your inclination to become NAZIS (who would Jesus kill? the innocent? no). Hillary will return “Christianity” to America’s foreign policy.God will “shed His Grace” upon America once again.You evangelicals will be rescued from your ‘dark night’.God bless Hillary.

  • God is My Co-Pilot

    As a card-carrying member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, I genuinely hope that all democrats will vote for Hillary because of her “electability” (See also, John Kerry.) John Edwards and Barack Obama are too much a breath of fresh air for me to simply ignore when I make my decision. Hillary, on the other hand, would bring no hesitation to my usual Republican vote. John Edwards fights for the underdog and Barack is intelligent, passionate, and a welcome change from usual politicians. Oh that we Republicans had as unique and likeable candidates as these 2. We have 10 white men trying to convince us of their “Republican-ness”. It’s getting old. I wish we had a Red-State version of Obama.

  • Jeff D

    In 21st-century American politics, and unfortunately also in 95% of American media coverage, there is a false linkage (usually tacit, sometimes explicit) between “values” and some vague, amorphous religious upbringing or belef. Just about everyone — even murderous sociopaths — has values. What we need in our elected representatives, judges, and leaders are values that (1) promote human flourishing and the long-term survival of peaceful, productive human civilization and (2) are consistent with the American creed. In my opinion, public piety and private religious conviction are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for a person to form and hold such “good” “values.” But the 4th-century highjacking of public morality by organized religion has resulted in a conflation of “values” with “religion” in the minds of most of the public. The idea that pagans, pantheists, non-believers, etc. could have formed and practiced good, civilized values comes across as a complete, bewildering mystery to most Americans. And so we now have “faith and values portfolios.” I’ve never read one, and if I am handed one I expect I’ll run in the opposite direction. I’ve heard enough of “faith and values.” “Faith” in a political candidate — the ability or inclination to believe anything on no evidence or lousy evidence — doesn’t interest me, and the more a candidate talks about his or her “faith” informing or influencing his or her official decision-making, the less inclined I am to vote for that candidate. Real values, stated in specifics, I can use. I can also use old-fashioned trust, confidence, and even hope. But “faith”? No thanks.

  • E favorite

    jeff D: “And so we now have “faith and values portfolios.” Don’t worry, if Google is any guide, the only place that term exists is in this essay.

  • RecoveringRepublican

    I’ve always said that democrats are smarter and more compassionate than republicans. But, without faith, without that revelation of what drives their opinions in common with my own, I will never know what will guide their fundamental approach. I think it is good to see the Democrats “rediscover” these things. I may not agree with where they come out, but at least we can discuss from the same point of view….and who knows, I just might vote for one this time. That’s especially true if the Republicans trot out Guiliani.

  • Mickey

    “He reports that he drifted away from religion until a family tragedy reawakened his faith.” That is why I love John Edwards. How many politicians would admit they drifted away from religion? He’s the most honest (and trustworthy) presidential candidate — D or R — and I pray to God he is our next president.

  • Keith Budden

    Perhaps it would be better if People checked out the actual historical provenance of religions, looked at the history, not the claims and doctrine. Political ambition is almost a complete contradiction to the demands of religious doctrine and I suspect that if most politicians were given a lie detector test it would be found that they believe in morality and ethics and possibly the existence of some form of divinity, but not the tenets of religion.The existence of a supreme being cannot be proved either way but there is an overwhelming proof that many of the doctrinal claims of religions are invented.The apostolic succession has no validity except in one sentence of supposition by Irenaeus AD180 and so the whole authority of Catholic doctrine,particularly that of infallibility, becomes questionable at a stroke. The original oldest New testament(Codex Siniaticus) has no Christmas story and no resurrection and these were provably inserts to the Bible, devised and added later so the modern Bible may contain moral lessons but it is a provably a construct. There are similar questions in regard to the Koran and most other doctrinal sources. If there is a Divinity who has implanted morality within us and knows our every thought and guides us daily then it must be religions with their invented doctrine and their rich and powerful hierarchy that cause disharmony between between God and man. Certainly for a politician belief in a Supreme Being who has created evolutionary morality and ethics is a much less questionable platform than one who has caged himself around with provably questionable doctrines.

  • Mike Brooks

    RecoveringRepublican:

  • E favorite

    MIke Brooks: ” In every study conducted, self defined liberals” donate to chariteies less than 25% of what self defined “conservatives” donate”Please provide links to a few of these many studies. I’d like to see what qualifes as a charity. Specifically, does this include church pledges?thanks

  • Mike Brooks

    I’ve played that ganme with people like you before. I post citations, you distort them or don’t even bother to read them, then blow the whole thing off and toss off a few personal insults. Nope! YOU GO LOOK THEM UP. You obviously have a computer and have access to a search engine. Why not just try a Yahoo search and type in “charitable donations politcical leaning” – that is if your actually interested. Otherwise, quit playing games.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear E Fav -Mike Brooks won’t bother to supply you with links because it would destroy his argument.That fact is that when it comes to philanthropic giving in the USA, giving to religious/faith-based groups far exceeds any other type of giving. The 5 Most Popular Causes Americans Give ToReligious/Faith-Based ($88.3 billion)(Source: Giving USA 2006, published by American Association of Fundraising Counsel. Americans gave a total of $260 billion to charity in 2005)More here: Obviously, as the majority of donations given in the USA GO TO religious organizations, it stands to reason that most gifts are MADE BY the religious. As most conservatives also self-identify as “religious” givers – as opposed to what liberals tend to self identify as – the numbers are most likely quite skewed.It would be interesting to see what percentage of giving to the Arts, Human Services, Heath and Education come from people describing themselves as religious types. Does it break down along similar party lines? I sort of doubt it.

  • Joe Rutherford

    “As with all Democratic hopefuls, he will thump the Bible and he will identify poverty–not homosexuality or abortion–as its abiding priority.”Well, duh, I believe that poverty was the priority of Jesus in terms of morally compelling responses to people in bad situations – at least the New Testament reports that it was a big concern …

  • Mike Brooks

    Mark – Mob rule, huh? I’ve *watched* these forums for a long while. You get some poor schmuck, running around, collecting web links to prove some point they make. Then, after a ton of work, you may read something completely at random that you can twist to around and you insult the smuck and make them look like a complete fool. The fact is, you play plenty of games, invent utter rot, blow a lot of hot air, but not much else. Again, are you so lame, so lazy. so completely utterly without even a basic knowledge of computers and the internet that you cannot even do a basic search? What a twit, what an intellectually banklrupt collection of lightweight twits.

  • Thanks Mike

    Spot-on Mike,E favorite:Mark, Your analysis is flawed (‘it stands to reason ‘ was the first indicator). Nevertheless, I am impressed with your powers of rationalization.Please provide the number of people assisted by the “good christians” and the standard deviation of the assistance.Then let’s compare that with other groups.

  • Evangelical for Liberty

    Mike Brooks is spot on and the lot of you blowhards would do well to listen. I attend a certain mega church in suburban Washington that is contantly criticized by the left as being ‘facsist’, ‘scary’, ‘brainwashing’ etc. Do you know what message I hear overwhelmingly every week? Give to the poor. I used to be an athiest leftist. I gave away probably 1-2% of my income to NPR and a dog shelter. Since becoming a Christian and joing an ‘evil right wing evangelical church’, and in addition to the astronomical taxes I pay, I give away easily 10-15% of my income any given month to local, national and global chartities that take action to directly help the poor. And guess what? I can research these charities on any number of online websites that will tell me exactly what percentage of my donation will go to fundrasing vs. program etc. When the govt steals my money at the point of a gun (threat of bodily harm or imprisonment) do I get to ask that question? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! When Jesus said give to the poor he meant YOU! He did not mean pay higher taxes to Ceasar! Edwards is so full of it. Americans, especially of the evangelical variety, are a very generous lot and they would collectively solve the problem of poverty a lot more effectively than clueless, lazy, government bureaucrats. Yes. There are two Americas. One is the group that made American what it is today by believing that anyone can succeed on their own merit, that hard work is its own reward, and that it is each person’s individual responsibility to give back. The other is a group of self-important ‘elites’ who think that they have been chosen educate everyone else on the 50 point plan to save that world that their unaccoutable ivory tower professors dreamed up in the 60s. They think we need to open our pocketbooks to them so that they can put their Ivy degrees to work saving the world for the rest of us slack jawed yokels that have the audacity that maybe we were put on this miraculous earth for a reason.

  • Evangelical for Liberty

    Mike Brooks is spot on and the lot of you blowhards would do well to listen. I attend a certain mega church in suburban Washington that is contantly criticized by the left as being ‘facsist’, ‘scary’, ‘brainwashing’ etc. Do you know what message I hear overwhelmingly every week? Give to the poor. I used to be an athiest leftist. I gave away probably 1-2% of my income to NPR and a dog shelter. Since becoming a Christian and joing an ‘evil right wing evangelical church’, and in addition to the astronomical taxes I pay, I give away easily 10-15% of my income any given month to local, national and global chartities that take action to directly help the poor. And guess what? I can research these charities on any number of online websites that will tell me exactly what percentage of my donation will go to fundrasing vs. program etc. When the govt steals my money at the point of a gun (threat of bodily harm or imprisonment) do I get to ask that question? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! When Jesus said give to the poor he meant YOU! He did not mean pay higher taxes to Ceasar! Edwards is so full of it. Americans, especially of the evangelical variety, are a very generous lot and they would collectively solve the problem of poverty a lot more effectively than clueless, lazy, government bureaucrats. Yes. There are two Americas. One is the group that made American what it is today by believing that anyone can succeed on their own merit, that hard work is its own reward, and that it is each person’s individual responsibility to give back. The other is a group of self-important ‘elites’ who think that they have been chosen educate everyone else on the 50 point plan to save that world that their unaccoutable ivory tower professors dreamed up in the 60s. They think we need to open our pocketbooks to them so that they can put their Ivy degrees to work saving the world for the rest of us slack jawed yokels that have the audacity that maybe we were put on this miraculous earth for a reason.

  • Ralph

    All the hopefuls telling how they have their faith to show them the way reminds me of an old admonition, from a very wise man:”FOLLOW THE MAN WHO SEEKS THE TRUTH. WHEN HE SAYS HE HAS FOUND IT, RUN LIKE HELL!”

  • Leo E Myers

    Isn’t it just time to chuck Christianity! It is a hopeless jumble of ridicules theology without an iota of foundation and with absurd premises! It should be embarrassing to anyone claiming to have any intelligence to accept the Christian mumbo-jumbo!1) There is no basis for the virgin birth, it has no relevance in any case, and making this a core belief is baseless. and wrong! Enough already. All Christian priests, pastors, ministers, evangelical rabid ranters, etc. are con artists plain and simple, stealing the monies and the well-being of the not so innocent flocks, promising fulfillment and returns on their gratuities after they are safely dead; while they themselves suffer the difficulties of living a virtuous life with all these temptations and wealth! Save me Lord, I am a Sinner…Amen!

  • Mike Brooks

    Reasonable, Evangelical For Liberty – All that said, and I really do agree with you…mostly, I really like John Edwards. I think he is a genuine Christian and a decent man who would make a far better President than any of the other Democrats running. I like him so much, I am thinking and praying about sending he and Huckabee each a $100 donation.

  • Mark

    I suggest some caution and introspection before we cheer an article that so critically judges in fell-swoop fashion the faith statements and religious backgrounds and upbringing of our political candidates. I think more the reality is that many candidates have feared talking about their faith for fear of invoking the ire of secular media, such as we’ve seen.I say “hooray” to hear more of the personal side of their lives and convictions. That’s important to many American voters.I also admit that when I read this column, and the remarks of such a ‘tolerant’ group who lump ‘evangelicals’ all together as hateful narrow-minded people, I get a bit scared. I truly feel this is ill-informed. Yes, evangelicals have convictions that are consistent with what the Bible teaches, and that may not agree with the views of many of you readers. But, many also miss the bigger picture. The vast vast majority of people who call themselves evangelicals are those people who pack our churches with food for the poor, give countless millions to the poor overseas, use their vacations to rebuild houses in New Orleans (check out the percentage of relief workers volunteering on-site in New Orleans — who haven’t forgotten the need — happen to be evangelical groups from all across America), volunteer with city ministries, open our doors to homeless and hurting, help single parents survive life, take in foster kids and orphans, teach people how to be good consistent loving parents to their kids, run cub scout programs, etc. etc. All of it is because we want to follow Jesus. These are our convictions — to walk as Jesus walked in this world. This isn’t to toot any horn, but it is to provide some balance to the views of those like the author. My challenge is to everyone reading this is to ask yourselves the question “when did I last volunteer to serve someone in need I’ve never met before?” My hunch is if you take a few hours to visit a mission in the center of your city, or some other place where people are really hurting, you’ll meet some evangelicals who follow Jesus that might help you understand our hearts.If we can pull back a bit from defining evangelicals by those who have overly politicized our faith, we may be able to return to greater civility in our political discourse. I say this to both the secularist trying to ‘purge’ our nation’s leaders of expressing their faith convictions, as well as to my evanglical brothers and sisters who view politics as the way to change the world.

  • hammerhead1

    I am always weary of multi-millionaires who inhabit estates befitting a king determining that they want to make “poverty” a priority.

  • ElPocho

    Frankly I’m sick and tired of having religion constantly being forced down my throat. This desire reminds me that America is on its way to becoming an increasingly third-rate power. BTW, the noxious belief that everyone needs to accept everything written down in some bronze age text is disconcertingly weird. We evolved on this planet — there was never a garden of eden — the earth is not flat — heaven is not just above the clouds, etc.In a few decades from now, when the Chinese finally get their wish to have middle kingdom run the entire world, we’ll be living in a ruined and decimated world because some folks were never able to understand that they were part of nature and not given “dominion” over the planet. And the destruction of the world’s ecosystem will be clearly traced back to a bankrupt worldview based and rooted in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic world view.

  • chuck the truck

    How does the Value Voters Value Summit two weeks ago measure upto these standards of Godly values?Do you think Ann and Mitt Romney will give a speech like JFK’s ?

  • Dennis

    It should be clear to everyone the reason why Thomas Jefferson was so very adamant in the separation of Church and State!

Read More Articles

shutterstock_186566975
Hey Bart Ehrman, I’m Obsessed with Jesus, Too — But You’ve Got Him All Wrong

Why the debate over Jesus’ divinity matters.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.

shutterstock_186090179
How Passover Makes the Impossible Possible

When we place ourselves within the story, we can imagine new realities.

This Passover, We’re Standing at an Unparted Red Sea

We need to ask ourselves: What will be the future of the State of Israel — and what will it require of us?

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

pews
Just As I Am

My childhood conversion to Christianity was only the first of many.

shutterstock_127731035 (1)
Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church?

In an age of rising singlehood, many churches are still focused on being family ministry centers.

2337221655_c1671d2e5e_b
Mysterious Tremors

People like me who have mystical experiences may be encountering some unknown Other. What can we learn about what that Other is?

bible
Five Bible Verses You Need to Stop Misusing

That verse you keep quoting? It may not mean what you think it means.

csl_wall_paper
What C.S. Lewis’ Marriage Can Tell Us About the Gay Marriage Controversy

Why “welcome and wanted” is a biblical response to gay and lesbian couples in evangelical churches.

Antonio_Molinari_David_y_Abigail
How to Resolve Conflict: A Bible Lesson for Foreign Policy Leaders

The biblical story of Abigail shows how visible vulnerability can create a path toward peace.