Monday, August 17, 2009

How liberal is your church?

Christians fight about almost everything--baptism, end times, Bible translations, role of women in the church, clothing (is a zipper more worldly than a button?), but on politics, they do have some agreement. You are probably a member of a liberal congregation (although not necessarily a denomination) if you can spot the key words in your literature, sermons, workshops, retreats, magazines: Healthcare reform, social justice, inclusiveness, peace at any price, Bush blaming or bashing.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement (or nodding off) with most of your religious life speakers, academic faculty and government retirees/CNN wannabees hired to inform and entertain you, then you're in a liberal church. And that's probably where you are comfortable, and where you belong. Peek in the congregational wallet. Conservatives give more than liberals at every level from voluntering time to donating money, but all churches could benefit if the $5/week folks would just double that. Churches could then be right up there with the gambling industry, which incidentally would fall apart without Christians like Governor Strickland, a former Methodist pastor.

Journalists vote 100:1 Democrat party to Republican. Librarians vote 223:1 Democrat to Republican. So that reflects what we see in the news, what gets published and which titles are purchased for public libraries. This is your community; do you really want it from the pulpit? Or check the speaker or preachers' resumes. A Congregational, Episcopal, Lutheran or Methodist pastor who believes marriage is for one man and one woman is probably on his or her way out the door in career terms. Many churches now have their sermons on-line--that might be a clue. Major universities don’t promote conservative faculty (if their views are public) and faculty at 2nd and 3rd tier colleges are probably hoping to move up. For that they'll need to carry the liberal union card. There is no freedom of thought, speech or publishing at major name universities; there is some at the smaller schools. Check the buzz words in the publication or sermon or workshop titles. Terms like “food insecurity,” “health disparities,” "income gaps," “intervention research,” “community-based,” “upstream,” or “racial bias” ought to be red flags. If sin is an old fashioned word in your church, except where it appears in criticizing the Republican party, yes, you are in a liberal church, and I hope you find it safe and comfortable with your beliefs never challenged by Scripture. When you find out you can't even reform yourself, let alone a whole town or country, we will welcome you home with open arms.


Anonymous said...

Where in the world??? I have seen/read it all!

Norma said...

Buttons or librarians? What's the question.

Anonymous said...

Basically false information at its best.

Conservatives tend to not give that much to charitable causes at all, not through their church at least, because what is given to the church on a regular basis is not generally used for charity, it is used for the church itself. On the whole American religious conservatives rate as some of the most uncharitable people on earth. One of the the most highly taxes people on the planet, the Norwegians, give 17 times more per person in personal charitable causes as well as through their government.

The conservatives love to make the excuse that charity should not be something given through government, but an individual choice, but that is another cop out. Government is, and according to scripture, must be a reflection of the people who create it. Government is not something separate from the people, but something that springs from the people, no matter what form of government. Which is why both the Old Testament and St Paul state that one must pay their taxes without complaint if one enjoys the protections and things that government brings to those who live under it.

The news article that suggested that conservatives were more charitable than liberals of course was an op ed piece and of course it provided no proof of what it was asserting. It turns out that the assertion was made by making assertions about from tax returns. But there is no way of telling which tax returns are being filed by conservatives or liberals.

Norma said...

Study after study shows you are wrong. Now if you're only reading liberal think tanks, time to climb out.