Friday, November 30, 2007

God, Evangelicals & War

The below excerpt is from a very profound article in the Boston Globe which I recommend in its entirety. I definitely am not inclined to some of the liberal sub themes the author is presenting. However this article stands as a stark reminder that one overtly religious segment of our country's population was a major component in rallying support for a war that has proven disastrous on too many levels to itemize. It represents the extreme danger to the body politic that can result from the de facto melding of church and state. Over the last quarter century we have witnessed Protestant Evangelicalism (they used to be called Fundamentalists) become a virtual adjunct of one of the two political parties in our country. Such direct, massive and overt politicization of religion should be a source of grave alarm to any American who fears for our constitutional republic.

EARLY ONE SUNDAY morning in the spring of 2003, in the quiet hours before services would begin at the evangelical church where I worship in Charlottesville, Virginia, I opened files compiled by my research assistant and read the statements drafted by Christians around the world in opposition to the American invasion of Iraq.

The experience was profoundly moving and shaming: From Pentecostals in Brazil to the Christian Councils of Ghana, from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East to the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, from Pope John Paul II to the The Waldensian Reformed Church of Italy and the Christian Conference of Asia, the voices of our brothers and sisters in the global ecumenical church spoke in unison.

Why did American evangelicals not pause for a moment in the rush to war to consider the near-unanimous disapproval of the global Christian community? The worldwide Christian opposition seems to me the most neglected story related to the religious debate about Iraq: Despite approval for the president's decision to go to war by 87 percent of white evangelicals in April 2003, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts poll, almost every Christian leader in the world (and almost every nonevangelical leader in the United States) voiced opposition to the war.

Food for thought.

Hat tip to Jake. (Caution: The linked site is very liberal.)

4 comments:

Sophocles said...

John,
Your post prompted this:

http://molonlabe70.blogspot.com/2007/12/censored-images-of-war-part-1_01.html

I do apologize, but I do not know how to actually highlight a link on YouTube when posting so I had to reference your blog in the manner I did.

I just noticed a misspelling in the post as well which I cannot undo from mu Dashboard without erasing the video.

Oh well.

Ad Orientem said...

Sophocles,
Thank you for your kind comments and the back link.

ICXC
John

S said...

John,
The article misses several key elements that inspire Evangelicals to a degree not found in other Christian communities. The first is their attachmment to the state of Israel, which is linked for many of them to the Paraousia in such a way that they feel an extraordinary bond to it. They are to their credit quite honest and open about this relationship, and made no bones that this was part of their steadfast support of the invasion. Why do you suppose the author chose to speak nothing of something so newsworthy? Such absense casts serious doubt on his credibility to me. Secondly, this author probably has no clue about the impact of US military intervention on religious life in Serbia and Bosnia, and so I doubt he's yet to meld that into his worldview. There's no priciple at work here, just power politics in this article. Thirdly, methinks the author doth protest too much; liberals of all stripes tend to love the blessings of religious leaders for their programs, or for public forgiveness (remember Clinton and Graham). The liberal in question, Bush (and he is a liberal, big government, faith in the state to solve problems), is simply not the author's liberal.

Consider, for example, if Gore was in the White House. Very logical to conceive that he would have taken the exact same path as Bush, yet I doubt this author would cast the same spin.

Remember Pete Townsend - Don't get fooled again!

Sophocles said...

John,

My pleasure. Keep up the great work.

In Christ and in fellowship,

Sophocles