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Bush Courts Christians ... Again

by TChris

President Bush "courted his Christian base" in a speech at Michigan's Calvin College, only to find that not all Christians are of like mind. About a third of the Christian college's 300 faculty members signed a letter criticizing the values underlying the administration's policies.

"As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort," it said. The letter criticized economic policies that it said favored the wealthy over the poor, and faulted Bush for mixing religion and politics and exhibiting an "intolerance" for others' views. It cited "conflicts between our understanding of what Christians are called to do and many of the policies of your administration."

Some of the graduating students wore buttons bearing the phrase "God is not a Democrat or a Republican."

A few dozen protesters gathered outside, carrying signs that read, "Conservatives and moderates reject extremism" and "Thou shalt not torture."

If the president hoped this speech would solidify his support among the extreme religious right, he chose the wrong audience. Was the president surprised to learn that there are people of faith who disagree with his tactics and goals? Did he notice?

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  • Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#1)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    Evangelicals and rw religionists have attempted to appropriate the term "Christian" to describe their brand of religion. It's a deception that long standing denominations seem to have passively ignored leaving the field open for the media to erroneously and slopily drift into acceptance of the evangelical ursurpation and terminology. We should not, ever, make that same mistake and should, at every opportunity correct ourselves, the media and all others, by referring to, at least, "born again", or "evangelical" Christians when referring to these, actually, Johnnie come latelys to the religious scene. Its accurate, and begins to redress a propagandistic movement.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#2)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    Bush courts dealers in death and drug dealers, hell bush would court bin laden, and maybe he has.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    Many of us in the Christian left also identify ourselves as born-again and evangelical. I do. I prefer to refer to the right wing religious crazies as fundamentalists. There really is little difference between Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists. They share a strong sense that they, and they alone, know the true God and God's will. Born again and evangelical don't mean bad things to me. An evangelical approach means you are willing to proclaim the good news as you have experienced it. Born again has many meanings, though for me, it has to do with the Spirit of Jesus finding a home and being born again in my heart.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#4)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    C.A. - Clarification very helpful. Though I wonder how many folks identifiying themselves, these days, as born again or evangelical are in fact of the fundie persuasion. Maybe its only the politically inclined "Christians" who identify themselves at all? Isn't separation of church and state a major sticking point for fundies, after all?

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    From the Book of Matthew... 19:21 Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 19:22 But when the young man heard this, he went sadly away because he had many possessions. 19:23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to get into the Kingdom of Heaven". 19:24 "I say it again – it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" The Bush voters I've seen have nothing in common with the guy who said that.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#6)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    In fairness, those Bush voters who are fundies may, indeed, not all be rich. But they do adhere to a very selective portion of the gospels as their marching orders, interpreted in their very own way , of course. As CA says, they alone know. So, under the guise of "spreading the good news" they would surpress all expression that does not conform.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    C.A. - Clarification very helpful. Though I wonder how many folks identifiying themselves, these days, as born again or evangelical are in fact of the fundie persuasion. I find that bornagains and evangelicals cross the political spectrum. Many of us who focus on the new testament gospels find ourselves bornagains in the mold of Jimmy Carter, probably the most famous bornagain, evangelical leftist. I believe that many sincere evangelicals are being manipulated by a cynical crowd that includes the likes of Dobson, Pat Robertson, et al. Ernesto's chapter and verse list is useful in sorting the wheat from the chaff. But I don't think that wealth per se is the separator. The critical issue is the attachment to wealth and station above all the other things.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#8)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    Agreed, money, or the attachment to meney, is not the issue -- at least not in a political sense. It may be a very important issue in the spiritual sense. But we're not talking religion, or are we? I've got a few of my own favorite Biblical aphorisms, including "By their works ye shall know them" (Matthew 7/20). And what we know the fundies for is meanness of spirit, narrowness of mind, and hypocisy. Oh yeah, and getting up on a soap box and shouting about their righteousness, while claiming to be meek and humble laborers in the vinyard, gentle followers of the carpenter from Nazareth. Give me a break. Jesus would see them for the hypocrites and Pharisees they are, IMHO of course.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    I don't want to belabor the point, but I think Concious Angel said it best. I definitely consider an active, churched Christian, but not an evangelical (and probably not "born again"). However, I do not think those titles apply exclusively enough to the over-zealous fundamentalists. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are some fundamentalists who have not tried appropriate Christianity for political purposes, but enough have that I say the title can apply. I don't even believe the use of the term "christian fundamentalist" is accurate, as I don't believe of the beliefs they are currently espousing qualify and Christian beliefs. I think Angel has it right. Just plain 'ol fundamentalist.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    I believe that many sincere evangelicals are being manipulated by a cynical crowd that includes the likes of Dobson, Pat Robertson, et al
    Indeed. Robertson and his ilk con good people to send them their money, instead of giving to the poor. Robertson got my grandmother for a couple grand.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    It's very important for people to understand the Christian does not equal Republican, and vice versa. If that were the case, Democrats would NEVER stand a chance, considering that the vast majority of the black community in this country votes Democrat.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#12)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    “The Bush voters I've seen have nothing in common with the guy who said that.” Democrat leaning states on average have a greater income per resident. The simple truth is that almost all Christians are monumental hypocrites. None I know give any serious effort to living by Christ’s example.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    Mother Theresa was a saint. Few of us will ever live up to her example. She did say that even if our circumstances do not allow us to do great things, we can do little things with great love. There are many people of faith doing their thing with great love. Some of them are republicans. You will see it when you believe it. Shalom.

    Re: Bush Courts Christians ... Again (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:18 PM EST
    Well you don't necessarily have to be rich to value your possessions more than you do the well-being of others. But my point was directed at so-called Christians that vote for Bush. These are the people with the power to have Jesus crucified all over again for his radical Socialist preachings.