Oct 20 2008

Evangelicals, politics and society: what the Left wishes was true, but isn’t

Category: election 2008,left,philosophy,politics,right,theologyharmonicminer @ 2:17 pm

J. Daryl Charles, author of “Between Pacifism and Jihad“, comments on an example of journalistic wish-fulfillment in which David D. Kirkpatrick prays earnestly for the “crack-up of Evangelical politics”. Well, to be fair, he only cheerleads what he wishes was the end of Right-leaning evangelicalism.  After pointing out that the trends present in mega-churches and the “emerging” church are not dispositive of the major part of evangelical Christendom, Charles, whose knowledge of evangelicalism is wide and deep, provides plenty of examples that were in Kirkpatrick’s backyard, but which he failed to notice…  maybe the fences were too high in New York City, so Kirkpatrick had to go to the midwest to find something to write about.  Ending graphs, though Charles’ entire take is worth reading:

And yet, had Kirkpatrick done his homework, his research would have taken him, not to Wichita, Kansas, but to his own backyard and New York City, where evangelical congregations are vibrant and socially engaged. Consider, for example, the very large and increasingly influential Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which embodies what is salutary, healthy, and encouraging about Protestant evangelicalism. But because Redeemer, given its simultaneous commitments to theological orthodoxy and social responsibility, has been making a difference in the city for almost two decades (and doing so without a so-called leftward political shift), such evidence would undermine Kirkpatrick’s thesis. Similar examples abound in metropolitan areas nationwide.
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Oct 14 2008

Two Americas: but is the divide one of ideology, not wealth?

Category: left,rightharmonicminer @ 8:49 am

Dennis Prager writes that there are Two Irreconcilable Americas .  Here’s a bit of it, but the whole thing is very much worth reading.

It is time to confront the unhappy fact about our country: There are now two Americas. Not a rich one and a poor one; economic status plays little role in this division.

There is a red one and a blue one.

For most of my life I have believed, in what I now regard as wishful thinking, that the right and left wings have essentially the same vision for America, that it’s only about ways to get there in which the two sides differ. Right and left share the same ends, I thought.

That is not the case. For the most part, right and left differ in their visions of America and that is why they differ on policies.

Right and the left do not want the same America.

He’s correct, with some qualifications I discuss below.  In this article, Mr. Prager makes the case that the Left is primarily focused on equality, thoroughgoing secularism, and internationalism/moral equivalence, while the Right is focused primarily on freedom, a more or less Judeo-Christian society with secular government that is not hostile to religious values, and American exceptionalism/patriotism.

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