Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Friday, June 08, 2007

CNN Program with Dem Front Runners and Faith

I've been avoiding even thinking about what we saw on Monday night on CNN. My immediate reaction was that there were three Democratic candidates pandering in a forum they had no choice but to attend. The forum was not for a religious-leaning audience *but a nationally televised audience.* They were being asked to demonstrate their religion for audience approval.

I found it offensive and demeaning.

Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, progressive Christian movements founded to fight poverty and promote social justice, has a different view. He says:
I am convinced that the discussion of faith and politics, religion and public life, will be a very different one and far better one in the election cycle of 2008 than it has been for a very long time. That broader conversation, with both sides participating fully, will better for the country, for politics, and for the faith community.

I describe myself in many ways – progressive, woman, pet lover, baby-boomer, middle-class, caucasian – but I make a practice of avoiding admitting in public my religious beliefs. The reasons are complicated and I have to admit that some of it has to do with wanting to avoid being lumped in with the so-called christians shouting their hatred on TV these days.

The word “Christian” today has been twisted like a deliberately misnamed antagonym 1984 newspeak. I don’t want anyone to mistakenly confuse me with the misnamed version of ‘christian’.

My version of Christianity – Sermon on the Mount, Beatitudes, Luke 18 – “sell all your possessions and give to the poor”, James 2 “words versus actions” – is completely opposite to the christianity I see shouted by these so called “values voters.” I don’t want to be identified with them and their hatred of gays, lust for wealth, greed, scorn for women, un-charitable ways, suspicion of other cultures and people, cynical assumptions, cheating, power grabbing, and lying -- so I refuse to call myself Christian in public. I don’t trust anyone who identifies themselves as “christian” because the ones who profess it the loudest do not model it in their behaviors. I want someone to lead this secular Country who models christian behaviors and I don’t care if they are agnostic, atheistic, Jewish, Islamist, Hindu, Chinese folk religion, or Buddhist. It’s the works and attitudes they live, not the sect they identify with.

When candidates think it’s more important to explain their faith than the provision of the constitution that says:
“ religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. ”I wonder why they are seeking a position where they will have to pledge that they will support and defend the Constitution. Why don’t they seek a job that will support and defend their religion? I suspect their motivations.



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