Thursday, March 8, 2012

Liberal Christians push back

Remember when Rick Santorum commented that mainline Protestantism is in a shambles, and the work of Satan? It was just the cherry on the top of the usual conservative complaints about wishy-washy liberals. You lot got an ear full of them during the controversy over Gene Robinson, the Dio San Joaquin, etc etc.

Here's a great response:
What I would rather point out is the rhetorical sleight-of-hand that refuses to let liberal Christian convictions stand as actual convictions. For either we are meant to be knee-jerk PC speech cops, you see, or we don’t stand for anything. Imagine that! Only conservatives, evidently, can have deeply-held, tradition-formed shared religious principles; principles which they carry with them into the public square, and which force tricky negotiations between public good, religious freedom, and conscience.
Yes, this is like the argument from the pro-Prop8 folks that only straight white Christian men can be objective judges.    But I digress.  The writer goes on,

Here’s the thing, though: Just like conservative Christians, we too have convictions we are unwilling to toss out just to be more popular. Yes, even in the face of our oft-reported decline. Goodness, one might even call this integrity! For example, we are convinced that Christians have got to drop everything and pay attention when they hear someone say, “You are hurting me. No, I mean, YOU. INSTITUTIONAL CHRISTIANITY. ARE HURTING. ME.” (In fact many of us think that’s generally good advice: If someone tells you you’re hurting them, stop, listen, resist for five seconds the urge to offer a rebuttal, and consider that they might know something about the situation that you don’t.)
Of course this requires that one be able to hear criticism and be open to change.

…Incidentally, it’s also dishonest to act like our convictions have nothing whatever to do with Jesus or the Bible. Yes, gee, however could we connect the dots between Jesus of Nazareth and a principled critiques of the capacity for religions to collude with political power-brokers in ways that abuse the most vulnerable?
It continues to amaze me that Rick Santorum and his ilk robustly oppose health care reform, support torture, and demonize the poor as undeserving, all while claiming the mantle of Christian ethics.

 Interestingly, one demographic Santorum can't win is Roman Catholics. Funny, that, don't you think? The RC laity continue to be far more sensible and Christian than their hierarchy.

Anyway, it's nice seeing liberal Christians push back.  Do you have sites or resources that challenge the Christian Right's voice in politics with a liberal Christian view?

Update:  here's another essay along the same lines.
And whether championing the right to affordable health care, nondiscrimination, and social justice or fighting to protect basic welfare, living wages, and the earth we tread and air we breath -- liberals and their standard-bearers have traditionally favored policies distinctly more geared towards the very issues about which Christ spoke and for which he was marginalized and condemned: the poor, the sick and those suffering from injustices of unfair systems. 
I'm not a Christian anymore. But given Santorum's selective use of the Bible and his clear misunderstanding of the overall message of Christ, neither is he..... 
Besides, Santorum was wrong. There is such a thing as a liberal Christian. His name was Jesus.


Grandmère Mimi said...

Very good article. Thanks for the link, IT.

Counterlight said...

Time for the right wing to account for its "orthodoxy."

Why should we be the one's always having to justify our positions? Let them justify theirs.

JCF said...

[Off-topic, and didn't want to pollute IT's happy BP thread above]

Just watched an (EWTN) interview w/ Oakland RC Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, who was so instrumental in organizing to pass PropH8. (Dated 2012, so it's new)

The subject was..."protecting marriage" (which, per always, means Keeping Teh Gays Out!).

Lots of standard blather re "this [protect marriage effort] isn't religious, this is natural law!" (but then talking about how Prop8 only passed because of prayer and fasting and was God's Will yada-yada-yada).

But here was the most interesting thing---one that filled me w/ DELICIOUS Schadenfreude.

Bishop Cordileone (I want to call him "Bishop Godfather": am I bad? ;-X) drew the analogy that what he fears, as the Po Little "Protect Marriage" crowd get called "Bigots!" (because, y'know, they ARE), that they'll end up in the same place "that racial bigots are. Think of how the people who opposed interracial marriage are seen today! We could be marginalised."

Yup. SUCK IT, LOSERS! [Losers in history, morality, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Common Good, actually protecting marriage (mainly from the ravages of capitalism), etc. etc.]

Remember the name of the Virginia sheriff who arrested the Lovings? I don't, either. Buh-bye, Popoid...