Saturday, December 13, 2008

Confidence lost in Evangelical Reverend who voiced logic

In yet another stunning example of why Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christians have a reputation of intolerant bullies who resort to legislative force when their testimony fails to convert you, Evangelical lobbyist Rev. Richard Cizik resigned after having the audacity to inject some common sense into the politics of personal lives. Said Rev. Czik to NPR [emphasis added]:
"I'm shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say that I believe in civil unions. . . . We have become so absorbed in the question of gay rights and the rest that we fail to understand the challenges and threats to marriage itself -- heterosexual marriage. Maybe we need to reevaluate this and look at it a little differently." NPR
The National Association of Evangelicals has publicly noted they have lost confidence in Cizik because, in the face of facts, he thought logically and then spoke instead of continuing to echo the distorted view of the NAE and similar organizations that SSM is a direct threat to the institution of marriage in that it somehow mortally injures married heterosexuals and their families. While it's appropriate and understandable for an organization to expect their spokesperson to parrot that organization's views/policies (especially when speaking on behalf of that organization) this incident sheds a light on two different, but equally interesting, tidbits:
  1. There are those within the fundamentalist/evangelical movements who are starting to think critically (judicial) instead of critically (severely judgmental)
  2. The NAE has, as an organization, now (re)confirmed it's commitment to Christian Nationalism in which attesting to a belief in a need for strict, bible literal-when-convenient, adherence to fundamentalist doctrine is the sole definition of patriotism and dissent in word (or by action - but only when the action is done by a "non-Christian") is unpatriotic and, potentially, treasonous.
The latter of the two lifts any remaining veil from the NAE's previous assertion they're not trying to force conversion on non-adherents, just making sure those hell-bent sinners know Jesus's benevolence is matched only by his overbearing father's sure, swift and absolute [negative] judgment of them.

The former, however, gives hope for progressives and devout Christians alike. As clergy and members from the orthodoxy across faiths take a step back to view their faith, religion and politics with a clear head and some degree of objectivity, they may well see that the so-called religious right and their hijacking of the GOP (and, even, the political process) has not only sullied our government, it's intercalated into the fabric of their very religion itself. Will Rogers once said "mixing politics and religion is like mixing manure and ice cream. It doesn't do much to the manure but it surely does ruin the ice cream". Progressives recognize that those espousing that a civically rooted government and legislation (aka "Secularism") is the safest and wisest form of government for humanists and people of faith (regardless of religion, denomination, etc.), this is why it is embraced by progressives, liberals and moderates alike. We also recognize that the politics of morality damages religion itself in that it not only turns religion into a weapon instead a way of living and spiritual healing, but it also leads to the destruction of a sincere faith for some jaded as the sheer hypocrisy of leadership and its most vocal proponents is publically exposed.

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1 comment:

theczech said...

Wow, I am awed that the NAE would rebuke a member so publicly for trying to address the "marriage is threatened" meme in a slightly different way, that also incidentally means hating on gays less.

What is now clearer: they are less interested in "strengthening families" and more interested in hating on the gays. Otherwise, perspectives on the "marriage is threatened" debate that don't harm gays as much wouldn't be dismissed out of hand.