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View Diary: Evangelicals and The GOP (282 comments)

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  •  I am a Democrat because I am a Christian (24+ / 0-)

    If we don't take the opportunity that this article describes, then we are fools. I'd love to see a series of articles in Christianity Today, many of which could be written by folks on this board, that explain the ways in which Democratic values are more in keeping with Christian values.

    Note to atheists and others: To me, one of the most important Christian values is tolerance.  Jesus never forced anyone to do things his way, indeed, the temptations are about him refusing to use force to bring about his own rule. This mutual acceptance of many different viewpoints has always been a hallmark of the Democratic Party, and I hope that it always is.

    •  Now (11+ / 0-)

      that is a type of Christianity that this Atheist could live next to.

      "Man will never be free until the last King is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." -Denis Diderot

      by joeyess on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 06:48:22 PM PDT

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    •  I am not a Christian (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philoguy, Wary

      but I am all for that part of the message.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 06:48:58 PM PDT

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    •  I am a Christian and a Democrat (12+ / 0-)

      "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."  

      That about seals it for me. Gotta be a Democrat. Got to be of service to someone other than myself.  

      Jesus had nothing to say about the primacy of free markets, or the lowering of taxes, or the exaltation of wealth and privilige, except to remind us that a camel will pass through a narrow doorway a lot easier than a rich man will get to heaven.

      •  actually he said through the eye of a needle (0+ / 0-)

        Jesus said it would be easier for a camel to pass through the "eye of a needle" than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.  He did not mention narrow doorways in that passage.

        •  You are correct (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          espresso, mon

          but many people have been taught that there was a gate into Jerusalem that was called "the eye of the needle."  The idea here is that the rich had to completely unburden their beasts of burden to get through. There is disagreement about the evidence for this.

        •  The eye of needle was actually a pass (0+ / 0-)

          in Galilee that was a prime spot for highwaymen. So if a caravan got through unscathed they were very lucky. One of many mistranslations in the bible. The 10 Commandments also originally said Thou shall not murder, not kill.

      •  I read on FR (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        belindapope

        that you can be a Democrat or a Christian, that they are mutually exclusive.

        They do believe that.  Most of the ones I know - the evangelicals, that is - will vote against Hillary Clinton regardless of who the GOP nominee is, because their hatred of her approaches true derangement.  Even if the GOP nominates Guiliani.  

        Although they also hate the other candidates, I have simply never seen anything like their hatred of all things Clinton.  Most of their issues are centered on fear and hate, actually.

        •  the evangelicals are not monolithic (0+ / 0-)

          it includes Sojourners and Freepers (evangelicans) and lots of others.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 07:54:45 AM PDT

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          •  My view is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            belindapope

            probably skewered because I am a homeschooler and am most accustomed to the views of evangelicals in that sub-culture.

            However, certainly the percentage of evangelicals who embrace the GOP stands on abortion, gay rights, and so forth is far higher than those who reject that stand, despite diversity on some issues (the war, for one).

            •  no doubt (0+ / 0-)

              but the "90% for GOP" vote is splintering. Even if it remains a majority vote, it isn't what it was in 2004. And it is no longer reasonable to assume all evangelicals are evangelicans. That doesn't make them evangelicrats, just no longer a lock for the GOP.

              of course, all politics is local.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 08:00:37 AM PDT

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              •  there is the small matter of blacks (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DemFromCT, DKHOLLA

                I startled my Religion and Politics students by showing them a crosstab of a Bible belief question by Kerry/Bush vote. Among the folks who said that the Bible should be "taken literally, word for word," about 45% voted for Kerry.

                But if the crosstab was limited to whites (white-only), then only something like 28% of this group voted for Kerry (according to the NES). That's still a lot of people.

                This isn't to advocate any particular political strategy -- it's just reality.

                •  especially in SC! (0+ / 0-)

                  Many of the Pew links and others refer to white evangelicals. And then there's blacks, who vote differently.

                  however, in the context of eroding GOP votes, I don't know that looking at that population changes anything. Do you have any data that suggests it does?

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 10:13:14 AM PDT

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                  •  naw, I'm down with your analysis (0+ / 0-)

                    I do think it's weird the way some people talk as if evangelicals or various 'Bible-believers' are all white, or as if religion only matters to whites. Not that I think you would fall into either of those traps.

                    Even limiting the analysis to whites, the vote isn't monolithic, as KibbutzAmiad also realizes.

                    •  there are assumptions (0+ / 0-)

                      built in about the party of Nixon's southern strategy that really beg for re-analysis.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 10:35:35 AM PDT

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    •  Same here. (4+ / 0-)

      And I've been raised SBC (technically still am). Granted, parents are liberal as well, but a lot of my family is conservative.

      One of the odd things about the current Southern Baptist Convention is that the kids seem to be heading for the exit doors en masse. Those leaving may be a reason the support in the young is so low for the Republicans: self-identification as an evangelical without the politics of the official major evangelical groups.

      Also, I've noticed the trend in some to define the country as split between Republican/'Christian' and Democrats. When the things those people define as properly 'Christian' (anti-gay-rights or just plain anti-gay-people, anti-choice, wife subservient in the house if possible, Bible inerrancy, etc) as tossed aside by someone who has grown up hearing that, the party affiliation as well as the religious affiliation may be rejected as part of the basic act of leaving. Meanwhile, if the ones leaving have been told 'evangelical means we share our faith with others' then that mental affiliation may remain after the denominational affiliation is long gone.

      Give the kids who see something is wrong the understanding that the way they have been taught is not the only way to identify as Christian, and things may go easier for them in leaving and finding ways and places to express their real beliefs, however they may come to them.

      •  I weep for the SBC, (7+ / 0-)

        which has become an arm of the Republican Party. Its carefully planned takeover by Right Wing Republicans is a sad, sad story. I was raised a Baptist, and the principles I was taught were: the priesthood of the believer and the total separation of church and state. How things have changed.

        "What politics has become requires a level of tolerance for triviality and artifice and nonsense that I have found in short supply." -- Al Gore

        by Vico on Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 10:29:19 PM PDT

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        •  I weep even more for the way women (4+ / 0-)

          are treated in the SBC. It's tragic.

          •  23-year-old SBC female in a red state. (6+ / 0-)

            We had a Sunday School social. I joined the class this spring, so it was my first one.

            The man sitting on my right leaned over me to look at my left hand rather than ask me if I was married. His wife was sitting next to him and talking to me at the same time, so I know it wasn't a clandestine availability check. Never a question about if I was dating anyone, and I like to talk about my boyfriend, but no either you're married or you get treated as a completely unattached single, apparently.

            The question everyone asks after "are you married?" and "do you have kids?" is "are you blessed to stay home with them?" Note that this occurs before the age question, and usually the age question is assumed in it. (I'm waiting for the day someone says she is blessed to stay at home with her 35-year-old basement-dwelling geek son, hallelujah praise the glory!)

            I didn't even know women had lost ground in the SBC until I was a sophomore in college.

          •  As the son of a mother who attended the ... (8+ / 0-)

            Baptist Missionary Training School (American Baptist), which I recently saw described in some fundamentalist Baptist website as having been an institution singularly responsible for the horror of many Baptist women thinking they could actually have a leadership role in the church, I do as well.

            When my parents moved from Illinois to Texas after my dad's retirement, they attended a Southern Baptist church for awhile, until my mother had heard all she could stand from the minister about women's proper role of subservience, and at her insistence, they then switched to a much more liberal Disciples of Christ church whose minister's dedication to things like caring for the poor and homeless was in many ways responsible for me beginning to go to church again after a number of years of absence.

            "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

            by leevank on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 03:05:35 AM PDT

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        •  I learned about priesthood of the believer (7+ / 0-)

          the year before the 2000 BFM. I kept saying it was the thing that made be proudest to be a Baptist until my sophomore year of college, never knowing why people looked at me like I was deluded or weird.

          That was the year I found out how much things had changed, right as the 2004 election cycle went into General Election Mode. First presidential election I was able to vote in, and I knew the church was messed up, shouldn't be so influenced by a party and shouldn't be taking the stands it was on issues.

          ---

          I've been reading the things Gore's written for the first time recently. I had just finished The Assault on Reason when I found out Gore was raised Baptist, at some point joined the SBC, and that he and Tipper left an SBC church to become generic Baptist again some time prior to 2004. I flipped through The Assault on Reason again, and you can sort of hear the pain. That worries me, because it makes me wonder if what I feel would fade even if I left tomorrow.

          I envy Al Gore. He has gotten out. Every time I think of leaving, something makes me stay.

          •  I hope you won't think it pretentious of me (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pHunbalanced, Tenn Wisc Dem, mayim

            to say that I'll keep you in my prayers -- I don't mean personally, but everyone who has been conflicted about the direction the SBC has taken, thus having to decide "Should I stay or should I go?," as Clash would put it. I know several good Baptist ministers and scholars who are appalled at what has happened to their once-respectable theological seminaries. My sister has decided thus far to stay, but she has found a church whose minister is a member of the small group that is trying to distinguish itself from Convention bullying -- and in Nashville yet.

            "What politics has become requires a level of tolerance for triviality and artifice and nonsense that I have found in short supply." -- Al Gore

            by Vico on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 08:41:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  On the contrary, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vico

              it's quite appreciated. Actually, my first comment here months ago was asking for pretty much just that in one of pastordan's Sunday "Brothers and Sisters" diaries, only in that case I was focusing on getting people to realize what has been going on. But then there is the question of what happens when people do understand, particularly those raised in the SBC before the initial take-over began and those raised in the recent years of upheaval. Stay and try to wake others or even change the church back or take it to what it should be even beyond reclaiming the lost ground, or find another place and faith community to believe within?

              The only prayers I have issues with are those against someone's well-being (which in my book includes praying for someone to be not who they are and the phenomenon of yelling "I'll pray for you!", particularly when the unspoken next words seem to be "to be struck by lightning", as a way to end an argument).

      •  Are They Leaving the Actual FAITH or Just (0+ / 0-)

        that particular institution?

        Much of the megachurch movement is the so-called "non" denominational crowd which I accuse of being such for the purposes of rebranding "Christian" as solely themselves. I don't see any religious or political/cultural distinction between the "non" denominational fundy/evangelicals and SBC.

        And maybe I"m blind but I don't see megachurchism on the decline.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 08:28:45 AM PDT

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        •  umm... (0+ / 0-)

          lots of the nondenominational crowd are theologically very close to SBC, although I don't know that they have been politically mobilized to the same extent. I'm open to evidence there.

          Megachurches vary considerably in their political views and mobilization. Here's something Rick Warren said about this point:

          The second myth is that mega-churches are politically active. In fact, you don't get to be a mega-church if you get involved in other issues. You would find that most of the churches that are politically active tend to be medium- or small-size churches. They are not the largest churches. And because they tend to get caught up in a political agenda, they don't grow to the size of others. The largest churches tend to focus on issues like the ones that we're focused on.

          http://pewforum.org/...

          I don't think that's exactly right, but there's something to it.

    •  I've said the same thing many times myself (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tenn Wisc Dem, mayim

      If I voted my narrow self-interest, I'd probably be a Republican, but as my faith has become deeper, my politics have become more liberal.

      "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

      by leevank on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 02:58:29 AM PDT

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    •  Well said.. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm agnostic myself, because I doubt everything, including atheisim..(somewhat snarkish...)

      Tolerance seems to be missing in many who speak out from the other side, it appears.

      They had fangs...they were drinking blood....They had this look in their eyes, totally animal. I think they were young Republicans. (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

      by wrights on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 08:02:54 AM PDT

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    •  many Republican Christians (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced

      are the "Pharisees" of our time.

      hypocrites?  √
      lording over us?  √
      judgmental?  √
      moralists above all else?  √

      If Jesus returned today, these people would be his  target.............NOT sinners.


      "You cannot leave the rapist with the victim to serve as the therapist" - Iraqi journalist

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 08:26:20 AM PDT

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    •  I'll see your "tolerance" (4+ / 0-)

      and raise you religious-interconnectivity........

      Example #1: Catholic nuns who meditate, Buddhist-style.
      Example #2: Buddhists who attend Quaker meetings.
      Example #3: Unitarian Universalists
      Example #4: Atheists, Agnostics, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, etc., coming together to save our planet.

      I could go on.


      "You cannot leave the rapist with the victim to serve as the therapist" - Iraqi journalist

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Oct 28, 2007 at 08:31:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for sharing (0+ / 0-)

      that.

      Many on this site would be wise to take these words to heart.

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