Women’s March in DC, (c) April Kelsey
Some of you might have noticed that, around the time of the November election, some of my posts here and elsewhere became a bit more political. Honestly, I’ve always been a political person. My two favorite conversation topics are religion and politics, which – you can imagine – makes me a much beloved dinner guest in many homes. :p
But it’s a difficult mix. The one thing I criticize most harshly about American Evangelicalism is just how political it has become. I’m a fervent believer in the separation of Church and State, and I do not think salvation, spirituality or purity can or should be legislated. So I thought I’d take a moment to explain why I’ve grown a bit more political and the ways in which my faith informs my politics.
“Snake oil” medicine bottles. From Wikipedia.
It’s been interesting watching the presidential election unfold in the U.S. It is truly revealing the hearts and intentions of those who claim to follow Christ.
For example, I’ve seen articles and videos from so-called prophets and church leaders insisting that Christians should vote for a certain orange-tinted candidate. And not just insist, but actually shame those who have declared they cannot vote for such a person. A few days ago, I read an article by one gentleman who says Christians who dare oppose said candidate for moral reasons are Pharisees…just like the people who crucified Jesus.
I wasn’t going to write about Donald Trump. I wasn’t going to feed the narcissistic machine. I assumed he wouldn’t get this far. I assumed the bluster would blow over after a while–that people would realize who he is and let him fade into obscurity.
When he said Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her…wherever,” I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without respect.
When he mocked a respected POW from the Vietnam War, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without honor.
When he belittled his opponent by threatening to expose his wife’s mental illness, I said surely now people will see that this is a man without mercy.
When he shamelessly ridiculed a disabled person, I said surely now people will realize this is a man without empathy.
When he called his own supporters idiots and insulted members of his own party, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without loyalty.
When the newspapers began to expose his shady business practices and multiple lawsuits, I thought surely now people will see that this is a man without integrity. Continue reading
Warning: In this post, I intend to call a spade, a spade. Which means there will be strong words that don’t normally appear on this blog. My use of these words won’t be excessive, but if you find such language offensive, it might be best to skip this piece.
There have been several reports in the news lately about states that are seeking to place further restrictions on their food stamp programs (called SNAP). The argument is that welfare recipients shouldn’t be able to buy certain items or shop in certain stores if they’re receiving government funds. Aside from the fact that these new limitations will only serve to further deprive and humiliate the poor, SNAP fraud is already the lowest of any government program, at less than 4 percent. The little bit of fraud that is committed usually occurs on the retailers’ side. Continue reading
Deliberate ignorance = dogmatic bliss.
Some of you may have seen this article in Charisma Magazine entitled “How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel.” The writer, Chelsen Vicari, is a 26-year-old evangelical and self-proclaimed reformed leftist who recently penned her own book about how the gospel is being distorted by secular values and young Christians who don’t want to upset anyone by being vocal against sin. David Schell, a pretty fantastic post-evangelical blogger, wrote a great response to Vicari’s article, which you can read here. However, I felt that David’s critique left out a few things, so…here we are.
In reality, Vicari doesn’t say anything in her article that I haven’t already heard 200 times. I could probably turn on The 700 Club or flip open any James Dobson book and get the same spiel, almost verbatim. Vicari’s article is a classic example of the Christian Right’s general pontificating. And I say “general,” because, as is common with these kinds of spiels, the language is really vague and the content contains all the wondrous depth of a damp napkin. For an article that purportedly addresses how the gospel is being twisted, it only contains two – count ’em, two – scripture references. In fact, as I read, I often wondered if Vicari even had a sense of what the gospel is, because not once in 1,900 words does she ever actually articulate it. Case in point: Continue reading