dear politicians: if you claim the Christian God as your own, here’s your benchmark

Posted by PeteEnns on June 1, 2015 in politics 76 Comments

povertyChristianity has fallen on hard times in popular western culture. I get it.

Christians are known more for what they are against and for having perfected culture war tactics–and the grotesquely fearful and hateful versions of Christianity peddled by ambitious politicians doesn’t help the Christian image one bit.

There is plenty of bad press out there about what Christianity is more the problem than the solution to world problems.

On Easter Sunday, however, I heard a sermon I was glad to hear–on what makes Christianity “good news.” Here is the gist of it.

Did you know:

  • The Church is the largest single provider of healthcare in the world, and also the largest single provider of education in the world.
  • The Early Church Fathers successfully campaigned against infanticide, and the same Church Fathers stood up for the rights of women by codifying marriage as a sacrament.
  • The first orphanages were churches, and churches pioneered the first homes for the elderly and the first homes for the disabled. 
  • It was the evangelicals of the 19th century who led society to abolish the slave trade (Wilberforce), and those same evangelicals pioneered modern social work (Jane Adams), modern foster care (Charles L. Brace), modern nursing (F. Nightingale), and free health care for the terminally ill (Douglas Macmillan).
  • 100 out of 110 US universities were church founded (including Yale, Princeton, and Harvard), and it was a missionary who pioneered the most successful world literacy effort in history (SIL and Frank Lauback). Christians were also pioneers of free schooling for poor young people (John Pounds), including slums (R. Raikes) and orphans (George Mueller).
  • A minister spearheaded a campaign in the 19th century to protect children from abuse at home or in the workplace (Richard Oastler), and a Christian woman who campaigned for the age of consent to be set to 16 so children could not be abused (Josephine Butler).
  • The Salvation Army pioneered radical care for the poor and disadvantaged in society, and the Quakers campaigned for prison reform.
  • Christians were at the front end of promoting “fair trade” in the 20th century (Tearfund), as well as Microfinance for poor countries (D. Bussau).
  • And it was the church who led the effort for the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
  • And how about that Pope Francis – his latest ideas is to provide showers and free haircuts for the homeless in St Peter’s Square.  And when a person goes in to take a shower they are met by an attendant who gives them a shower caddy will toiletries.

The source of this list (all but the last item) is a blogpost “Impact on Modern Society” at “Good things Christians have done in society,” which lists over 80 examples with links for further reading. And that is simply a partial list.

Just so we’re clear, I am not saying that only Christians do good in the world or that non-Christians aren’t involved in the some of the same humanitarian efforts. Nor am I in the least interested to paper over the harmful and unhelpful things done in the name of Christ through history ranging from the crazy to genocidal.

I’m just saying this is an impressive list of what Christians have felt compelled to do for society as they follow Jesus.

Here’s something I’d like to hear in election years: “I don’t believe as these Christians do, but I sure do want them running our government!”

Instead, the general public is skeptical, if not fearful, of politicians who parade their Christian faith, and I don’t blame them.

They are used to the usual fare of politicians claiming to uphold “Christian values” while in truth promoting the negative agendas of a small sliver of privileged western culture.

Well, politicians, I’ve got your “Christian values” right here in this list.

Show us how you follow Jesus by how you treat the marginalized, outliers, helpless, abused, poor, elderly, disabled, orphans, and persecuted. Pick one. Any one. There’s plenty to do.

 

  • Scott Irenaeus Watson

    I’m a 56-year-old African American clergyman; my wife is caucasian. A few years back, in my hometown, my in-laws, who are white, Southern conservative evangelicals, who drink at the well of Fox News religiously, were riding in a car I was driving when I was stopped by the police. I had done nothing wrong. My father-in-law couldn’t grasp why I was stopped and my explanation that it was a case of DWB. I think a lot of white people have a worldview which won’t allow them to see or understand the legacy of white supremacy in this country, which we’re still saddled with. And regrettably some forms of Christianity enable this worldview to stay in place, to legitimize people distorting the past to paint a skewed version of reality which won’t allow them view the issues of race as historical and systemic and which still undergird people’s presuppositions about race and life in America.

    • 92JazzQueen .

      Racial Supremacy is a lie from the devil. In fact I think Satan does thrive on racism because it destroys the body from the inside out. For racism runs on hate and divides the church from being truly united.

  • Erp

    “100 out of 110 US universities were church founded” seems an odd phrase. It can’t include most of the state universities (though one or two of those had religious foundations and were later taken over by the state). Also the anti-slavery movement was started in the 18th century by Quakers and to a lesser extent Unitarians and Evangelical Anglicans (in the UK at least the leaders of the movement in Parliament had to be Anglicans [until other Christians were allowed to be MPs in the 1830s]).

    • peteenns

      Good point. I will check the links to the original blog post I cite. I wonder what exactly they mean. 100 out of the first 110 universities?

  • http://josiahsprague.github.io Josiah Sprague

    “Here’s something I’d like to hear in election years: ‘I don’t believe as these Christians do, but I sure do want them running our government!'”

    Why do you want to hear this? To be honest, even if there is a long list of things Christians have done and you ignore the long list of harmful things they have done, I would rather have solid scientists running government in a modern society full of people of different religions. The religion those scientists have is incidental at best, divisive and tribal at worst.

    • Bev Mitchell

      I had to read that part twice too. But, it seems Pete is expressing the hope (wish) that the popular impression created by the majority of Christians was such that most non-Christian voters would be happy to see Christians elected to public office. This would mean a general impression that Christians tend to not support war, but peace and have the reputation of going to great lengths to understand others at home and abroad; that Christians are known more for their desire to serve rather than rule; that Christians are generally thought of as desiring and working toward much more equitable access to resources of all kinds; that Christians are known for being open armed rather than fully armed; and known for getting all the things on Pete’s list (his final paragraph) right, in fact, know for leading the way in these areas as history shows can be the case.

  • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

    Yes, it is true that there are many good, kind, generous Christians and Christians have done many wonderful things over the last 2,000 years, if one can look past all the evil committed by other Christians. However, I think more and more people in educated, western societies, are going to prefer good, kind secular humanists over Christians or persons of other religions to run their governments.

    I believe that within not too long a time period, maybe another generation, persons who believe that their lives are governed by invisible gods will be viewed with suspicion, and not viewed as the best choice to entrust the keys to the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

  • Stuart Blessman

    And not a fundamentalist amongst them.

  • Stuart Blessman

    Also worth pointing out a Christian founded the (RED) campaign to fight AIDS, the Drop the Debt campaign to reduce national debts, as well as raised awareness of justice issues for Amnesty International and political prisoners.

    Just to name a very current example.

  • newenglandsun

    Not to mention, there are papal encyclicals that have aggressively attacked the slave trade in America as well as racism.
    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Greg16/g16sup.htm

  • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

    Would I vote for a kind, moral, compassionate liberal Christian? Absolutely.

    I believe that liberal Christians as a whole have a wonderful sense of morality: being kind and generous to the poor and disadvantaged; looking after the well-being of their fellow man, Christian or non-Christian. So the question is not, is liberal/progressive Christianity bad, but, is there something better? I believe that there is. Check out this three minute youtube video that discusses the difference between religion-based morality and humanistic morality, and decide for yourselves which type of person, with their respective foundational views of morality, you would want running your government:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tpL1K8ZqrU

    • newenglandsun

      I am not a liberal Christian and I know many conservative Evangelicals who work at Habitat for Humanity and things like that. In fact, my first church, a conservative Evangelical church, would frequently go down to Mexico each Spring and Fall with their high school youth group and build a house. I don’t think liberals are more morally superior than conservatives and vice-versa.

      Yes, I still volunteer with Habitat for Humanity but I don’t say that to boast about how much I have done. I have left undone things that ought to be done and have done things which ought not to have been done.

      • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

        Even fundamentalist Christians do a lot of good, but that doesn’t mean that their world view is something we should praise or condone.

        At the height of the Inquisition, the majority of hospital and social welfare programs were operated by the Catholic Church. So the same organization that was murdering thousands of people for “thought crimes” and for being Jews was also the primary provider of much needed social programs, treating the ill and needy.

        ISIS and Hamas today both provide social and medical services to the general population, but these “good deeds” hardly warrant considering the belief systems of these two groups good or praise worthy.

        • newenglandsun

          Conservative does not mean fundamentalist. All fundamentalists are conservatives but not all conservatives are fundamentalists. For the record, all Christians on here would be fundamentalists holding to some fundamental beliefs about Christianity. I don’t think there would be religions without some set of fundamental beliefs. But sociologically, fundamentalism is usually accompanied with an aggressive attitude toward seeing outsiders in a negative outlook in all perspectives. One can hold to conservative theological views and not the overtly negative outlook toward outsiders.

          My first Evangelical church I went to was definitely not fundamentalist. Conservative, yes. But they welcomed you wherever you were at in your spiritual journey as all churches do.

          And your “history” of the inquisitions is guffawed at by the rationalists over at RationalWiki.
          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Inquisition

          My suggestion, next time you bring up the inquisition in attempting to prove that you are more “rational” than a conservative, make certain that that conservative doesn’t have a B.A. magna cum laude in European history to call out your bullshit.

          I have taken courses at a collegiate level on the inquisitions and know that there are numerous debates centering around the topic with some historians actually pointing out that the inquisitions were actually instituted to combat the lex talonis that was going on among the laity previously. Voltaire’s “Grand Inquisitor” is completely passe in the historical field nowadays. Sorry to burst your bubble.

          • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

            I never said that all conservatives are fundamentalists.

            So you are saying that it was morally justifiable for the Church to torture people on the rack and burn people at the stake because the laity was involved in lex talonis???

            My goodness. You sound like a fundamentalist, my friend.

            There is NEVER any justification for torturing people or burning them alive. Never.

          • newenglandsun

            I suppose it depends on where your opinion on the death penalty lies. But why, might I ask, would you say there is “never” any justification for torture or burning people alive? Using pure and simple “reason” as your humanist perspective wants, I can give plenty of counter-examples for why burning people alive and torture is justifiable. For instance, would you want Hitler, having accomplished the task of killing millions of Jews alive? You want to trash my own beliefs for this very reason as well. You really want the Flagellants running around physically whipping the original sin out of their children or would you prefer to burn the unrepentant Flagellant at the stake?

            So we see, human reason alone gets us no where in the ethics department. Now drive recklessly because not every person is a good person.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S75Rfva9O8

          • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

            Sorry. Your logic (and morality) escapes me.

          • newenglandsun

            Actually, the “drives recklessly” video was brought to my attention by my older sister who is a secular humanist…apparently, secular humanists disagree about logic and morality it seems.

          • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

            Morality is society based, determined by the majority in the society, or by those in power in that society. There will always be a minority who disagree with the moral standards of the majority.

          • newenglandsun

            Sounds like a democracy–two wolves and a sheep debating about what to have for dinner.

          • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

            Morality has always been determined by…us.

          • newenglandsun

            Who is “us”? Lots of people have different views on morality. For the inquisitors, burning people at the stake was moral after the investigation and determining if the person was truly a heretic or not. For you, this is not moral. If “us” is all humans then either the inquisitors are not human or humans don’t determine morality. All I am asking you to do is to please revise your philosophy a bit more before you try and evangelize us with it in the future.

          • Warren

            Wait, what? If you’re saying that burning someone alive is an appropriate punishment for child abuse, then we clearly have vastly different definitions of morality. If you’re saying that secular humanism supports burning someone alive as an appropriate punishment for child abuse, then you clearly don’t know much about secular humanism.

          • newenglandsun

            I’ll never figure out why philosophical net debates always end up in the contrarian’s views completely misrepresenting my own statements. Can you read what I wrote in the future before commenting? I never said “secular humanism supports burning someone alive as an appropriate punishment for child abuse”. Where you got this from is beyond me. Gary was discussing how pure and simple reason tells us what true and proper morality is which is the basis for secular humanism. I simply used pure and simple reason to make and argument for burning someone at the stake for child abuse. And honestly, the argument about whether abusive parents should suffer the death penalty could probably be argued either way using “pure and simple reason”.

            I don’t think we have different “definitions of morality” though but rather different views on what is moral. Just because someone disagrees with you on whether something is moral or not does not mean they are assuming an entirely different definition of morality. We *clearly* have the exact same definition of morality but disagree on what is moral. The difference is that I am actually the one using pure and simple reason to show why the death penalty is legitimate while you are simply using ad hominem attacks and misrepresentation. Since you are not using “pure and simple reason”, I am actually making a secular humanist argument for the death penalty. I am not saying I agree with the death penalty in circumstances stated but rather am demonstrating how someone can be a secular humanist and still maintain the death penalty against abusive parents.

            Now properly represent what I am saying next time. This is not a discussion on whether something is “moral” or not but rather as to the grounds of how far “pure and simple reason” can guide us. If you are willing to stay on topic, we can continue discussing but if you go off topic and attack certain moral view using ad hominem and misrepresentation as you have just done, then you have strayed from the topic and have excluded yourself from the discussion.

          • Mark

            My understanding of Christian fundamentalism is that it is based on a strict, literal interpretation of an inerrant Bible, said interpretation being given by authority figures in the church, rather than being left to the discretion of the individual. My personal opinion is that fundamentalists tend to emphasize the negative much more than the positive aspects of Christianity. This is not meant to be a criticism or argument. Your comments about conservatism vs. fundamentalism just kicked off a thought train in my head.

          • newenglandsun

            Interesting comment about the “discretion of the individual”. Historically, the Church has been usually opposed to the discretion of the individual. We even have a statement that reads: “no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (1 Pet. 1:20).

            Just wondering what your comments on this would be.

    • http://thoughtinflux.blogspot.co.nz/ Micah Did-Dell

      Fry is a smart guy but he ultimately makes the mistake of assuming that all religious people are deontologists and all secular people are utilitarians. In reality you’ll find a mix of both religious and non-religious in each camp.

      • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

        I agree that there are many very good, very kind Christian humanists. The point is: Peter made the comment that hopefully people will want Christians to run their government. I think this is completely unnecessary. Just look for someone who is a humanist, Christian or otherwise.

      • newenglandsun

        I actually agreed with nearly everything stated in that video.

  • Allan Bevere

    Pete,

    I love this post, but you forgot the unborn in your list.

  • Ken Cooper

    Amen, Pete.

  • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

    Saying that “the Church is the largest single provider of healthcare in the world, and also the largest single provider of education in the world.” is a bit like saying that government is the largest single provider of healthcare and education in the world. Neither church nor government can be usefully described as a “single” entity.

    • Gary

      What the resume says: “Helped stabilize the world’s largest economy.”

      What I actually did: “Buy a $50 US savings bond.”

    • Andrew Dowling

      I think the main point is there is a long tradition of church established hospitals and care centers, and these were not particularly common in the ancient world. But yes “the church” certainly is a wide umbrella, probably overtly so

  • Judy Buck-Glenn

    I don’t know about the first hundred, but I found a list of the 25 oldest, and clearly many were founded by clergy. All 9 of the “Colonial colleges” were linked to churches.

    https://ink.niche.com/25-oldest-colleges-america/

  • gimel

    But, but that would be good works! And don’t you know that good works have to be *avoided* in order to get to heaven on faith alone?!

    • Jonathan Bernier

      One needs to wonder about a group of people for whom doing good is utterly adiaphoric and yet spend all their time and energy ensuring that others conform to their definition of the good.

    • louismoreaugottschalk

      foolishness yeah?

  • http://www.godconversations.com/ Tania Harris

    Love this

  • GeeJohn

     “But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” – Luke 6:49

    Here in the US with trillions in debt, dysfunctional government, poverty by race and country of origin, etc., I’d say Jesus continues his perfect batting average.

  • Matt

    Evangelicals are all taking credit for abolishing the slave trade, but it was only when they were pushed by Quakers did they even see it as a problem.

    • Erp

      I wondered about that also though many would say Quakers are also Christian. Are Quakers Christian? If one goes by accepting ‘Jesus is Lord’, then yes (at least for all Quakers at that time). If one requires baptism by water, then no. I’ll note that it took some time for the Quakers to realize that the slave trade and slavery was wrong.

    • R Vogel

      Slavery, from the Evangelical cause, also has to be at least be a push given that the biggest religious opposition was also from that faction….

    • Judy Buck-Glenn

      In all justice, even the Quakers took a while to get on board. John Woolman, who is one of my great heroes, went around from Quaker slaveholder to Quaker slaveholder to convince them to free their slaves. It was a gradual awakening. I think it is fairer to attribute it to the working of the Holy Spirit in many places and quarters. Quakers AND Anglicans. Unitarians AND evangelicals. And doubtless others of no faith but in our common humanity.

    • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

      Instead of trumpeting Christian involvement in the abolition of the slave trade, I suggest that Christians look into why their holy book (and their God) condoned slavery to begin with.

      There is no condemnation of slavery in either the Old or the New Testaments. On the contrary, the Christian Bible tells slaves to obey their masters; which would make any attempt to free a slave against the will of his owner (the Underground Railroad, for instance) a sin. I would hope that all Christians living today would agree that the enslavement of another human being is about as evil as one can get. So why would a just, moral, and righteous God condone it?

      I have heard some Christians try to excuse the slavery condoned in the Bible by saying it was “different” than the slavery of African-Americans in the New World. “It was more humane,” they say. Sorry. There is no such thing as “good” slavery. ALL slavery is immoral and evil. There can be no such thing as objective morality if slavery, in any form, can be viewed as moral and good.

      • Mark

        This gets to the heart of looking at our scriptures as “the inerrant word of God,” rather than the writings of men on their beliefs about God. If you look at it the second way, it is much easier to make sense of things like slavery, misogyny, tribalism, and the changing nature of a God from one who demands genocide to one who commands that we love our enemies. Also makes it easier to accept others’ beliefs about God which are different than one’s own.

        • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

          I assume you are an adherent of the second way and I agree with you. But if the Bible is simply a book of men’s opinions about God, how do you know that the god in question even exists? Maybe he is simply an imaginary figure invented by these same men.

        • Stuart Blessman

          Mark, you make an excellent point. And one that’s backed up by two scripture references that come to mind the quickest:

          “Who do you say that I am?” “You are the Christ.”

          and

          “You search the Scriptures looking for eternal life, but they really just point to me.”

          I don’t know why it’s taken me 30 years to see something so clearly obvious…and freeing.

          Amen.

    • louismoreaugottschalk

      what compelled the quakers one wonders?

      • Judy Buck-Glenn

        Read John Woolman’s journal. It was a vision. One of the few real Protestant mystics. The Journal of John Woolman is available on Amazon and from other sellers. It is in print in many forms.

  • a_w_young

    It was “the church” that, alongside government, administered Canada’s genocide known as “residential schools” where aboriginal children were essentially kidnapped from their families so that they could “beat the indian out of the child”. They were to be stripped of their identity, many died, many were abused physically and sexually and psychologically.

    It’s a sad, sad story that is not told fully or enough, but even today, families affected by that not-so-distant past are not getting the justice or help they need and the government(s) have been standing in the way because it’s not in their political interest to be overwhelmingly helpful.

    These are conservatives, supported by evangelical “Christians”

  • jsexton9

    Notable omissions from your excellent piece include Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton and Mother Cabrini. Look ’em up.

  • JamieHaman

    Here in the States our so called Christian lawmakers cut school funding, cut women’s health care, and build prisons to lock human beings up. It’s a part of the Great Christian Madness.
    I wish they would hurry up and get over it.

    • Andrew Dowling

      Right, sadly much of American Christianity is some odd configuration of social Puritanism, economic libertarianism, and prosperity nationalism . . which is so utterly foreign from what would’ve been the beliefs/theological outlook of Jesus of Nazareth that it’s literally incomprehensible these people call themselves CHRIST-ians.

      • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

        Jesus and his earliest followers were socialists and pacifists. They would not be welcome in the modern Republican Party.

  • R Vogel

    Good list. We should always see the past with the balance it deserves, rather than simply supporting our worldview. The problem I think about is how do we untangle how much of these were the result of enlightenment thinking expressed through religion versus the result of the religion itself? What would Christianity look like without the influence of enlightenment thought development? What would western thought look like with Christianity? I suspect both would be very different.

  • Mark K

    In today’s America, ‘Christian politician’ strikes me as an oxymoron. But maybe that’s the point you’re making.

  • Ross

    An interesting post which shows the great difference between the US and UK. Over here vocal identification with the Christian faith is fairly likely to hinder the chances of any politician (I’m sure I can hear the anti-theists singing amen to that). Tony Blair (Christian? Really?) seemed to keep that part of his life very much out of the public eye and ear. However we still have some memory of Christian values being along the lines of love, care and charity. Those of judgment and condemnation feel a bit more of an American import.

    Maybe the more vocal “Christian” Americans should quieten down a bit to stop our Christians getting any more of a bad name!

  • newenglandsun

    I can’t help but look at the discussions and think to myself through this that Enns’s point was not to start a discussion on the moral superiority of Christianity but to challenge fellow Christians to actually maintain to Christian values when considering political ethics. How it broke down into a fight between secular humanism and Christianity and whether conservative Christians or liberal Christians were better morally is beyond me. Neither is better morally unless they stop moving their lips and actually do the things they’ve been talking about doing.

    • Ross

      Good point

  • trinielf

    It would make sense that coming from a history where Christian churches wielded a considerable amount of power and unquestioned devotion of the common people and a lot more wealth than sometimes even the State, they controlled all social systems. But let us not forget that ultimately, the status quo the church served was not invested in equality but in racism, colonialism, classism and keeping everyone in their place.

    The Christians who were for equality, ending slavery, Suffragette supporters, against the treatment of indigenous peoples etc. were rare and considered radical progressives in their day and unduly influenced by newfangled, dangerous ideals that came out of the Enlightenment.

    Churches were also deeply invested in their own self-perpetuation. It was never a question before if the Church fed, educated or healed you, you were to convert. So they were in fact not entirely doing it 100% altruistically but securing a future. Charities came with strings. They did not take too kindly to a Cherokee getting an education and then going back to his shamanistic religion and culture.

    Today, however, you can be a Hindu and attend an RC College, no pressure to convert (that I know of).

    So the question really is in THIS AGE where nobody is under social let alone legal obligation to be a Christian, can Christians serve ALL PEOPLE entirely for altruistic reasons and do so unconditionally? Or is it that in order to serve all, it must be a means to an end which is to try to command some kind of control over society?

    • Jeremiah Henson

      trinielf…the response implies that a group of people “ought to”…. Therefore, making a moral claim and trying to “control” others…

      • trinielf

        Can you point out the implication of “ought to”? Mine was an observation and a query based on that observation.

      • trinielf

        Where is that implication? Can you point it out cause that certainly was not my intention at all.

    • Hopaulius

      Can socialists serve ALL PEOPLE entirely for altruistic reasons and do so unconditionally? Are only Christians, who do not claim perfection, required to perform perfectly?

      • trinielf

        It would seem they do. Right now, countries where there is social welfare, belief in a certain religion is not a requirement to access it. One can be Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian or pagan or atheist, so long as one is a citizen, you are equal.

      • trinielf

        Doesn’t that already happens in very socialist places like Canada, Sweden etc. ALL benefit from public social services regardless of spiritual belief or lack thereof? Even institutions of learning that were traditionally Christian teach all people, Christian or not with no obligation to convert either. I went to a Canadian Presbyterian College and all were welcome, Hindus, Muslims, etc. Their cultures were also acknowledged and respected.

        But this seems to happen only in countries where there is an overriding, universal, mandate to the equality of all humans enshrined in law and respected by the religious institutions.

        • axelbeingcivil

          Canada isn’t very socialist; we just look it compared to the US. Looks like we may head more that way, though, hopefully.

          • Guthrum

            No. This country is already too socialist. We need to return to a free market economy, abolish half of the government give a way programs, and stop printing phony money. I would remind everyone that the government has no money of their own, they are using the money of the taxpayers.

          • axelbeingcivil

            Speak for yourself. I love Canada’s current system.

  • Frank

    Indeed if you are Christina you cannot support anyone who support abortion or gay “marriage.”

    • MrCorvus

      That seems awfully specific. Poor Christina.

  • trinielf

    If we are speaking of getting back to the authenticity of Christianity, then politics is out of the question PERIOD! Politics to govern a military superpower controlled entirely by corporate interest even MORE SO.

    The very nature of politics is anti-Christian. Seeking man’s approval and popularity. Making war on other nations. Making decisions that will sacrifice the weak in order to maintain power.

    The first Church did not involve itself in the politics of its day, not the Jewish side or the Roman side. They believed the true Kingdom was not on this earth but in heaven.

    The corruption began when they became the Imperial Religion and now had to do unconscionable things that would make Jesus weep, just to secure and maintain power.

    Can Christianity return to being nothing else but a spiritual path chosen of people’s own free will, to apply to their own lives while they live peaceably and charitably with friend and enemy alike? Some sects can and already do. Some cannot.

    I think what people fear are the sects who cannot. They fear a return to the dark ages of dominionism and theocracy and that fear supersedes any good deeds done by individual Christians or Christian organizations, past or present.

    So the real question is, “Is the fear valid?”

    Do people have reason to doubt (given the religion’s history and the words and actions of the type of Christians who are jostling for political power) that if they held power, they will uphold equal rights and freedom for ALL or just seek their own religious supremacy at the expense of those who are not, cannot or do not want to be part of their religion?

  • Jesus Bones

    Christianity is a theocracy! Eashoa’ is the King of the Kingdom of “God” King Of Kings!! It’s about control.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    The Early Church Fathers most certainly did not codify marriage as a sacrament. Marriage was not considered a sacrament until the middle ages.

    Some evangelical Christians certainly stood up against slavery, but more of them stood up to defend the horrid institution.

  • ravitchn

    Voltaire said he looked forward to when the last king was strangled in the entrails of the last priest! This for him would be human freedom. Christians believe “the truth shall make you free.” Pilate said ” what is truth?”

    We have pretty much gotten rid of the kings. Should we get rid of the priests? Are we better off with or without them. Voltaire may have been wrong, too optimistic about men being able to rule themselves and to face nothingness by themselves.