Regent University President Carlos Campo and several people identifying themselves as national evangelical Christian leaders held a press conference in Kelly Ingram Park today to denounce Alabama’s new immigration law.
“We believe Alabama is a better place if they rescind this law,” said Campo. Regent University, a Christian school in Virginia Beach, Va., was founded by TV Evangelist Pat Robertson. Campo said he’s not aware of Robertson’s stance on the Alabama law, described by many as the harshest state immigration law in the nation. “I have not heard him take a stance on this issue,” Campo said.
Campo, whose father came to the United States from Cuba in 1940 and was welcomed into the country, said evangelical churches have been slow to oppose the law.
“It’s to the shame of many evangelical congregations,” he said.
Dave Gushee: “Christian politics, unholy alliances“
Once again, a presidential race is becoming a piety contest.
As an American and also as an evangelical Christian, I can hardly bear to watch this nightmare unfolding all over again. It’s bad for America. It’s bad for Christianity. …
It’s not just the politicians’ fault. If church leaders and rank-and-file Christians were not susceptible to these appeals, they would not work. Head fakes in the direction of Christian symbols still make many Christians swoon. Religious tribalism gets out the votes. It helps that the promise of access to power still intoxicates. When every Republican presidential candidate can be counted on to turn out for the Values Voter Summit, perhaps our current best symbol of everything that’s wrong with evangelical politics, the old formula of support in exchange for access appears alive and well.
Rich Cizik: “The values debate we’re not having“
As an evangelical Christian who believes the Republican Party does not have a monopoly on moral values, I believe this discussion is long overdue. The “compassionate conservatism” espoused by President George W. Bush and many prominent evangelical leaders has been supplanted by a Tea Party ideology that bears more resemblance to the anti-Christian philosophy of Ayn Rand than it does to the Gospel.
Whether the Christian duty to love our neighbors is compatible with a political movement that embraces radical individualism and rejects the ethic of collective responsibility is a central question as the GOP attempts to cement the Tea Party and the religious right into a cohesive base. Tea Party activists and Republican leaders have consistently targeted for cutbacks vital government programs that protect the poor, the elderly, children and other vulnerable Americans. Yet calls for shared sacrifice and proposals to modestly raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans in order to fund investments and protections that promote the common good are derided as “class warfare.” This is what passes for family values?
If you truly believe in the value of life, you care about all of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society.
In these days of economic turmoil, it’s easy to look at programs for the elderly, disabled and others with special needs as line items in a budget. But the effects of cutting them can be far-reaching and sometimes just shift the expense from one column on a spreadsheet to another.
Virtually every state is cutting services for special-needs families and with regulations currently being written for the new health care law, the federal government is headed in the same direction. The Super Committee Senators and Congressmen also are looking at cutting funds for Medicaid as a way of reducing the federal debt.
Unless society holds accountable those who are defining “waste-reduction measures,” the disabled and elderly will lose services and in-home support that are critical to their basic needs.
Drew Smith: “Self-Appointed God-Protectors Hinder God’s Work“
While well-meaning and thoughtful people have zealously protected the traditions, the church and God by continually excluding gays and lesbians from full participation in the church, they have declared them unclean.
In doing so, they look and act very much like the self-appointed God-protectors of Jesus’ day.
I am not God’s protector on this issue, or on any issue, and I cannot and will not hinder what God is doing.
Peter’s evidence for the inclusion of the Gentiles was that he witnessed the spirit of God in them, and thus he could not reject the people he once rejected.
People with sexual orientations other than my own are living out the power of the spirit in their own lives through caring for justice and goodness in the world.
How can I hinder what God is doing by pretending I am a self-appointed God-protector?