In One Eye

Saturday, April 16, 2005
Ever since September 11, 2001—and perhaps before—Democrats have been accused of being political subversives. Now they're being accused of religious heresy.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's decision to appear in a national telecast with prominent Christian conservatives -- who are calling for new Senate rules to seat federal judges and are assailing "the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left" -- drew fire yesterday from Democratic leaders.

The April 24 "Justice Sunday" telecast is sponsored by the Family Research Council. Its president, Tony Perkins, said in a letter to supporters: "We must stop this unprecedented filibuster of people of faith."
These attacks by the jingoistic theocrats are just getting to be too much to bear. The judges being referred to share the homophobic misogynistic agenda of the conservative Christians. This isn't Christianity at all, but is an exclusionary philosophy that perpetuates the great divide that is occurring in the nation.

These conservatives can call themselves Christians all they want, but the truth of the matter is that they embrace an Old Testament theology that would no doubt enrage Joshua bar Joseph himself.

I say this for three reasons.

First, Jesus made his own mission quite clear: He wished to bring good news to the poor, release the captives, recover sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free (cf. Luke 4:18). (I might add that the notion of "liberation theology," the basis of which can be found in this verse, was a movement in the Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Guess which conservative ecclesiastic essentially outlawed the philosophy in 1985.)

Second, Jesus saw his ministry as being for all people—not just for a sanctimonious group who saw themselves as saved already.
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick [do]; I have come not to call the righteous but sinners." (Mark 2:17)
Third, when Jesus was challenged to articulate just what the "law" was, his response was quite clear: Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. (Cf. Matthew 25:34-40 and Mark 12:28-31. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 also refers to the principle of extending love to all people. That is, Jesus sees everyone as one's neighbor.)

And yet, with all of these scriptural models provided, conservative Christians continue to see their divisive position as the only morally correct one.

These are sad days for Christianity, but they're also certainly sad days for the country. The fact that the Senate Majority Leader sees fit to give his imprimatur to such an alienating theological position makes the future appear equally dim.