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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Evangelicals against Bush

Christianity Today reports that evangelical leaders including Franklin Graham and Rick Warren are criticizing the Bush administration's stance on North Korea. They call for open negotiations with North Korea rather than the current emphasis on containment.

How come? I thought evangelicals were supposed to be mindless toadies of the Bush administration. And of course we know that any humanitarian concern religious conservatives may display is a sham, because we're all just hungering for the end of the world.

How is helping the Koreans going to bring in the Apocalypse?


thoughtspot said...

Sounds more like an invitation for an essay rather than your usual thoughtful essays. What to say? The media, of course, will never understand any Christian body, much less such a confusing conglomeration of semi-alligned Christians as the "evangelicals." Meanwhile, many Christians (Catholic, evangelical, and other) do not fully understand their own group's sometimes ambiguous relationship with politics and power.

I have been struck by a study that showed that most who voted Democrat in the last election recorded feelings of "inspired hope" at the thought of John Kerry, but most who voted Republican recorded feelings of "affection" for GWB. I suspect that evangelicals (many of whom voted for Bush) kind of like the guy and think he might be right, or at least well-meaning when wrong. I don't really think any of them (us) see Bush as perfect, or our salvation, or our hope for the future of our country.

There is (see the most recent issue of First Things) a hyped-up fear of theocracy that the media has stoked. This a) sees any Christian involvement in politics as a mistake, and b) believes that a return to policies held just a few decades ago (e.g., outlawing homosexuality and abortion) is the equivalent to a Taliban-style sci-fi dystopia. This sort of hysteria is represented by some left-leaning Christians as well as others. To such people any support of Bush (no matter how nuanced) that is grounded in any sort of religious faith (no matter how ecumenical) will be considered quite ominously sectarian.

thoughtspot said...

Hey Edwin. Just trying to keep your blog going. E-mail me some time (I know you're busy).

Contarini said...


I was trying to keep my blog alive as well--I didn't have time to post a "thoughtful essay." One of things that has made this blog languish is that I feel like everything I write has to be lengthy and well-thought-out, which is not the nature of blogs and makes for very rare posts!

Belated thanks for your comments. And it was good to speak to you yesterday.