Contact Us    
Religious Right, or Religious Wrong?

Jesus the Republican.

by Barnabas
December 10, 2003

Bookmark and Share

Religious Right, or Religious Wrong?_Barnabas-Jesus the Republican
The Rev. Ted Haggard, a Colorado Springs, Colo., pastor and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, issued a statement saying that while evangelicals will continue to support Bush, they cannot agree that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
—Quotations from “Do All Religious Paths Lead to the Same God? Bush Remark Renews Old Debate”
By Mark O’Keefe, ©2003 Newhouse News Service
It’s a probability that the one who asked the President the question about the “same God” did not understand the question; from the swiftness of his answer, it’s a certainty that the President didn’t. The meaning of the question depends on the definition of “same God,” which, if undefined, makes the question impossible to answer in a few words. So I am not going to attempt it.

I do have something to say, though, about the response by Ted Haggard, presuming to speak for “the Evangelicals.” Put the two elements of it together, and we get this: “The President is heretical in his understanding of God, but we support him anyway.” Though the evangelical position is defined by its theology, apparently Pastor Haggard doesn’t want its theology to get in the way of its politics.

As defined by theology, which is the only legitimate definition, I am an evangelical. It’s likely that Ted Haggard and I would agree on 99 out of 100 theological points; but when he says “evangelicals will continue to support Bush” he loses me entirely. If he means that evangelicals who agree with Bush will continue to support him, that’s a tautology—just as true as that evangelicals who agree with Dean will continue to support him, and as that evangelicals who are Libertarians will continue to back their candidates. We could substitute “Unitarian” for Evangelical in each of those statements.

So it’s the a priori agreement with the candidate, not theology, that’s definitive for the Christian political right. We’ve known that ever since it rejected Carter, the evangelical Sunday School teacher. I don’t mind anyone being for Bush. Most of those dearest to me, by sheer head count, are likely for him. I don’t quiz them on it. What I mind very much are the cavalier and specious assertions like Haggard’s that evangelicalism is a reason for backing him.

As I’ve admitted before, I know the Bible pretty well. On that basis I assert with confidence the following:
  1. Jesus is no more a Republican today than he was a Democrat seventy years ago when Social Gospel advocates were claiming him as their own.
  2. Jesus is the King, and his followers belong to a Kingdom; by definition, a King is neither a Republican nor a Democrat.
  3. There is no political mandate in the Bible directly applicable to the workings of a quasi-democracy like ours.
  4. As Christians, the followers of Jesus are monarchists; as citizens we may be, and are, Republicans, Democrats, whatever.
  5. The Bible applies to the whole world, and God is at work to do his will in it, no matter who the President is.
There is a political right and a political left, fuzzy but distinguishable. If they become the “religious right” or the “the religious left” they are more likely to be the Religious Wrong.

Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
Religious Right, or Religious Wrong?
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Barnabas
Barnabas Says Goodbye
Moving on, not moving out.
by Barnabas, 1/19/05
Seats on the Fifty-Yard Line
Yet another American value.
by Barnabas, 1/12/05
Ethical Endgame
When children become sexual slaves.
by Barnabas, 12/15/04
Eighteen Years on Death Row
We have redefined 'speedy trial' and 'cruel and unusual.'
by Barnabas, 12/8/04
Hard on Drugs, Soft in the Head
Legalizing marijuana.
by Barnabas, 12/1/04
Wesley and Wal-Mart
Destructive competition as a stinky enterprise.
by Barnabas, 11/24/04
The Mandate to Govern
Third party time.
by Barnabas, 11/17/04
» Complete List (137)

Recently Published
View Article A Prodigal Father's Day
The patient, persistent, unconditional love of our Heavenly Father
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/18/21
My Girl Friday
A toast to all administrative assistants
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/11/21
Two Giant Hands in Tulsa
Praying for forgiveness and healing
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/4/21
To a Field of Dreams
Memorial Day ponderings
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/28/21
Don't Mask! Don't Tell!
It's about time for about face
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/21/21
Liz Cheney's Not Lon Chaney
Why recent events on Capitol Hill resemble a horror show
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/14/21
A Mothers' Day Hymn
Remembering our moms with gratitude to our Heavenly Father
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/7/21

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2021 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top