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Evangelicals: We aren't divisive -- we're unified in thinking everyone else is a sinner

by Jeremy Hooper

So as we told you yesterday, Barack Obama made some comments over the weekend wherein he lashed out against the religious right for "hijacking" faith. We applauded the decision because, well, we enjoy accurate representations from our possible presidential candidates, and saying that extreme social conservatives have seized control of the nature of faith is about as fair as saying Paris Hilton is overexposed. So yea, we were all like, "Right on, Obama!"

Picture 4-64Someone who is not so fond of Mr. O's statements, however, is Pastor Pat Mahoney (pic.), director of the Christian Defense Coalition. This from One News Now:

"Senator Obama, when he entered the race, promised to bring a new tone to Washington, DC, and a new tone to presidential campaigning -- and that was not to be harsh, not to be divisive, not to be negative," the Christian minister notes. "And here, he literally attacks millions of evangelical Christians, saying that they are trying to divide; that they have co-opted the Christian faith."

Mahoney contends it is Obama who is doing the "dividing." The Coalition leader cites a oneness he says he has witnessed on moral issues.

"Historic Christianity and evangelical Christians have been unified in their commitment towards the protection of innocent human life, the sanctity and dignity of human life, and protecting women from the violence of abortion," he says. "The evangelical community has been one voice in terms of saying that marriage is between a man and a woman."

So basically, here we have an evangelical leader trying to refute Mr. Obama's assertions by using the same sort of behavior for which his team is being criticized! He says his side, by opposing a woman's right to reproductive freedom, is protecting "the sanctity and dignity of human life." So of course the implication is that those who are pro-choice think life is lacking is virtue and grandeur, and is as disposable as a snot-filled Kleenex. And then he acts as if by "saying that marriage is between a man and a woman," his team is in no way offending the faith and convictions of those who (a) believe with all of their might that they were born gay, and (b) desperately wish to marry the love of their life. It's thee evangelical team's failure to consider the realm of humanity for the WHOLE realm of humanity that is the highlighted issue!

What Mr. Mahoney is failing to see is that it is not the unity within his movement that's the problem. He talks about his team's "oneness," as if Mr. Obama was accusing them of being splintered. He was not. The issue the presidential hopeful actually brought to light is how the evangelical conservatives, as a unified front, so staunchly refuse to listen to the other side, or consider that maybe one can be a gay, liberal person and still have a finely tuned moral compass. The highlighted problem is that they act as if their "one voice" is the voice of God speaking through them. They attempt to reframe debates on the basis of their personal faith convictions, and they routinely put others on the defensive about their own virtues by acting as if they hold the title to the one and only heaven-bound bus! This is, no matter how you look at it, divisive!

This "culture war" is only militarized because of their side's attacks. Our team, by and large, can't wait for a peace treaty.

Pastor says Obama abandoned campaign promise by condemning 'Christian Right' [ONN]

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Your thoughts

Ugh. So depressing. And what's really hurtful (not so much enraging as painful) is Mahoney's implication that all Christians are unified ("historic Christianity and evangelical Christians have been unified") because those of us who disagree are not really Christians. If people like Mahoney could acknowledge our Christianity (i.e., stop coopting the faith for conservative politics) there would be no need for separate "teams." By placing us on an opposing team, the evangelical right implies that we are not even Christians.

And they wonder why we're mad.

Posted by: Jamie | Jun 26, 2007 3:26:54 PM

This is what happens when religion is being practiced rather than faith in Christ alone. Conservative Evangelical/Fundamentalist beliefs rely only on scripture as the foundation for their judgements against what they find as sin. The problem with that is it treats the Bible "as God". An object of worship. If Christ came down to add to their belief system they would not accept him and most likely would say,"Its not scripture!" Jesus himself said in Acts 1 and 2 that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them as a helper.I don't hear much about the Holy Spirit when it comes to guiding man in his ways. It's only the Bible that has the final say they claim.

Sorry, while scripture is important God is still speaking. And he has a lot to say. I just wish more Christians would listen to him.

Posted by: Ken | Jun 26, 2007 4:28:22 PM

God I love to watch Jesus puke. As a former evangelikkkal God damn dee damn pastor. I was proud. My God was a whoop ass carnivore and he gave better head to all the other Gods. As a proud Santa of the California Republikkklan Evangelikkklan christimas package to those poor fucking ass wipes we need to save we gave them no dental, no glasses. Love me Democrat fuckers you need to know our Jesus Scrooge. Jesus who wants to screw you and our bigot Bible where you can come as we are. We welcome you to our services as long as you want to join us republikkklans, if you are gay become straight and join your local NRA Otherwise no Jesus cookie, no date with Ann Coulter and you can't watch the video of Carrie Prejean get her boobs enlarged.

Posted by: Leighton Cooper | May 10, 2009 10:57:51 PM

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