Christianity and Conservatism are both under attack by a Liberal Left-wing professor in a new book, which I may have to go to the library and pick up, as I will not buy it. According to the article/interview, Randall Balmer claims to be a traditional Evangelical and honors the teachings of Jesus Christ. Okay, in honesty, I try to practice Christ's teachings, but am far from perfect.
Here's how the article opens (Red Star Tribune):
Balmer argues that the religious right has hijacked evangelical Christianity and entered an unholy union with conservative Republicans, an assertion that has infuriated some evangelicals and won emotional praise from others.
"Unholy union with Conservative Republicans," give me a break! Because a large percent of the Evangelicals voted for Bush in both 2000 and 2004, and are moving more and more to the right, does NOT constitute an "unholy union."
The actual interview questions gets even better…When asked why he wrote the book "They Kingdom Come," Balmer responded:
I awoke on Nov. 3, 2004, the day after the re-election of George W. Bush, with something like a hangover -- and I hadn't been drinking. I had to decide at that point whether to retreat into my very comfortable life as a tenured professor or to try to do something to change this country's ruinous course. What rankled me most, even more than the outcome of the election itself, was the widespread assumption on the part of my fellow evangelicals that it was something akin to a sin to vote for anyone other than the incumbent, a man whose policies, in my judgment and despite his protestations of faith, are morally bankrupt.
Running this through the left-wing translation computer, we get :"I hate Bush; I hate Republicans and everything they stand far, like Liberty and fighting the War on Terror; everyone that voted for Bush is wrong and I am right. And, by the way, I hate Bush."
Seriously, I don't know anyone who claims to be an Evangelical that claims it was anything remotely sinful to vote for someone other than Bush. I know some left-wing nuts who believe it should be a crime to have voted for Bush, but no one who believes that about voting for Kerry.
It gets even better, as Balmer continues on with this tidbit:
Evangelicals throughout most of American history engaged in political and social activism on behalf of those on the margins of society. I'm thinking here of the antislavery movement, the temperance crusade (a progressive cause in the 19th century), public education, advocating equal rights for women and trying to mitigate the effects of predatory capitalism around the turn of the 20th century. Only relatively recently, with the rise of the religious right in the late 1970s, have evangelicals drifted toward the political right.
Actually, he should not that the anti-slavery movement, which was started by Evangelicals, reached its culmination under a Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, and it took a Civil War to end this horrible practice in the United States. We'll set aside the fact that Saudi Arabia didn't end slavery there until 1963.
Public education was brought about by what today would be termed a "progressive movement," and this had a great impact on America when it came about. However, public education has been seized by the left-wing "liberals" of this country and since the '60s we have watched the quality of our public education system deteriorate. The answer tauted by the left = more taxation, instead of focusing on hiring quality teachers and validating their skills, or allowing the average American where their tax money goes when it comes to educating their children - like school choice vouchers.
Mitigating the effects of "predatory" capitalism? Sounds like Karl Marx talking here. Capitalism is a major component that defines whether r not a society is free. Government control, whether it be through any of the three major forms of Socialism (Communism, State Socialism, Facism) are designed to seize our liberties by limiting the effect of capitalism, or eliminating capitalism altogether.
It is too simplistic to say that evangelicals have drifted to the political right along with the rise of the so-called religious right. How about looking at the policies and goals of the left vs. those of the right?
The left wants more government control; wants to tax the middle-class into oblivion, even though it is those "evil rich people" they say they want to screw. They fail to understand the economic impact of raising taxes on the instruments of capitalism, corporations, only hurts all Americans as that tax is passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices at the cash register.
Jesus taught that we, as individuals, should always help those in need, and REAL evangelicals, and Christians of all varieties (and also, many non-Christians, whether religious or not) practice those teachings. Charity should come from the individual, and not from the state.
So, yes, I am a traditional evangelical; it is the right-wing zealots of the religious right who have hijacked my faith. They have taken the gospel, the "good news" of the New Testament, which I consider lovely and redemptive, and turned it into something ugly and punitive.
Because people on the right do not agree with his understanding of the Gospel, we're just a bunch of zealots that has hijacked his faith. No group has the power to hijack his faith!
All he is is an agree man who hates Bush, Republicans, and conservatives in general.
Do I really need to read his book?
Red Star Tribune