Back Into The Religious Fray
Since traditional media prefer to promote right wing blowhard Christian activists on a mission to remake our government according to their limited interpretation of morality, I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to help publicize the works of Christian people and organizations fighting to take their religion back from the conmen/women who are peddling a warped Christianity in order to manipulate people and attain political power. I’m going to start with Randall Balmer, an Evangelical taking on the religious right.
The kind of religious plurality that Randall Balmer describes in his essay, “Jesus Is Not A Republican” excerpted from his soon to be released book, Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical's Lament, is appealing, even to an atheist like me. This is the kind of work that I hope Christians will read, especially those that are uncomfortable with the public face that has been put on their religion by the loudest spokesmen for the religious right. Repairing the damage that the religious right has done will not be a passive endeavor.
There is a very real and powerful movement in this country that is intent on creating a theocratic state, ignoring it simply because it is too uncomfortable to discuss will not do us any good as a society. In this media crazed environment, thoughtful religious voices are being marginalized while loud-mouthed religious right activists are given more airtime than the rest of us should have to endure. I have heard over and over from self identified Christians that the religious right doesn’t speak for them and I take them at their word, but the religious right, in conjuncture with the GOP, is using Christianity as a means to gain political power and Randall Balmer makes a great case that it’s time to reclaim your religion and begin marginalizing the political faction so that the ties between religion and politics can be broken for good. That would be great for the country, and as Balmer argues beautifully, better for religion as well.
I may not have any use for religion in my life, but I have no desire to restrict its practice. I honestly believe in religious tolerance, I just don’t believe in tolerating a movement that seeks to legislate the morality of one particular religion. Thank the Founding Fathers for the First Amendment!