From the Pulpit to Your Ears: Now Say it Like You Mean It

In keeping with yesterday’s pope-fuelled rant against the Catholic Church, let’s talk some more about religion.

I was thrilled on May 2nd when I read an article revealing that there’s a new movement within America’s evangelical religious types to call for a return of separating church from state. They believe the evangelical’s insistence toward ingratiating itself into America’s political landscape during the Bush years has caused harm to the country and even to the faith itself.

CNN’s story on the drafting of this “manifesto” these leaders want Americans to be familiar with included this excerpt:

The statement, called “An Evangelical Manifesto,” condemns Christians on the right and left for using faith to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

“That way faith loses its independence, Christians become ‘useful idiots’ for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology,” according to the draft.

The declaration, scheduled to be released Wednesday in Washington, encourages Christians to be politically engaged and uphold teachings such as traditional marriage. But the drafters say evangelicals have often expressed “truth without love,” helping create a backlash against religion during a “generation of culture warring.”

“All too often we have attacked the evils and injustices of others,” the statement says, “while we have condoned our own sins.” It argues, “we must reform our own behavior.”

Yes, THANK you. Many of us have been standing, pointing, and shouting “hypocrisy” a little too long. Our voices have grown hoarse and tired. Put your actions where your words are, and let your walking do your talking. GOOD plan. I, for one, applaud.

CNN has another story on there today, about how the evangelicals appear to even be warming to the Democratic party. Fantastic. Here’s an excerpt from there:

A group of influential Christian leaders are declaring they are tired of divisive politics, tired of watching fights over some issues trump all the good they could be doing.

“Our proposal in [our] manifesto is to join forces with all those who support a civil public square. … a vision of public life in which people of all faiths — which, of course, means no faith — are free to enter and engage public life on the basis of their faith,” said evangelical leader Os Guinness.

What? All people, all faiths should be welcome in the quest to make a new, better country for all to live in as one community? What kind of radical conversation is this, and coming, of all places, from the evangelicals?

It is sensational. It’s fantastic. It’s the voice of reason we’ve been waiting for, a voice to stand up and oppose the hypocrites like Sally Kern, Larry Craig, Tom Delay, and all the other lying bastards who claim they’re religious just to get some votes, then live under very, very unChristian ideals, compared to a Democrat like Obama who really did, at the grassroots, get very involved with his church’s on-the-street ministry.

It is time that we as a world see people for how they act, their generosity, their respect towards others, and the lives they lead rather than for what belief system is tattooed on their forehead, or what their sexual or religious persuasions might be.

Oh, there are no tattoos? Then how have we gotten this culture of intolerance? Hmm. Puzzling.

Sadly, it’s only a fraction of the evangelical leaders getting behind this “Manifesto”, but it’s a start. It’s a wonderful, praiseworthy start. A hope towards inclusion and community and unity taking new hold in America.

Just plain hope. Hope is good, I like hope. But, like yesterday, I still say fuck the pope.