Are Evangelicals Obama-Curious?

Over the past month we have witnessed the emergence of a veritable sub-genre of political reportage: the don’t-count-Hillary-out-just-yet story. With … Continued

Over the past month we have witnessed the emergence of a veritable sub-genre of political reportage: the don’t-count-Hillary-out-just-yet story. With its Yes She Can! effusions this type of journalism does not lack in counter-intuitive charms. But I think prudence (and a glance at the polls) dictates that we start thinking concretely about Barack Obama’s prospects in a general election.

Any discussion of these prospects must take into consideration the good Senator’s ability to reverse trends that doomed the Democrats in the last election. In 2004 Kerry/Edwards lost nearly four out of every five votes cast by White Evangelicals. Compounding the problem was the strange fact that the majority of Catholics voted against their co-religionist from Massachusetts.

Jim Wallis’ autopsy of that godforsaken campaign effectively summarizes this colossal failure of religious politicking: “There are millions and millions of moderate evangelicals and moderate Catholics who are simply not in the pocket of the religious right. And yet Democrats haven’t got a clue as to how to speak to them. They have no idea! And Kerry gave them nothing to vote for.”

Well, the good news for the Party is that Barack Obama will most definitely give them something to vote for! Permit me to rehearse some of the Senator’s strengths among Evangelical voters:

When it comes to religion in the public square Barack Obama is no John Kerry (no Michael Dukakis either): Many secular liberals tend to underestimate how significantly Obama’s views on this issue depart from those of his predecessors. The Democratic Party, he noted in The Audacity of Hope, “has become the party of reaction . . . In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning.” Later, he comments: “Not every mention of God in public is a breach in the wall of separation.” And again: “secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square.” All of this will be church music to Evangelical ears.

More than a few Evangelicals are Obama-Curious: If the progressive evangelicals represented by leaders such as Jim Wallis are to become an electoral force, then the junior Senator from Illinois with his emotive religiosity and easy tributes to Christ provides them with a near perfect candidate to rally around. If ever there was an opportunity to demonstrate the power of the liberal Evangelical vision–and its organizational credibility–this is it. Bear in mind Obama doesn’t have to reverse the results from four years ago. He simply has to improve modestly. For example, had John Kerry won just five percent more Evangelical votes in Ohio he would have carried the Buckeye State. Could Obama do that? Yes, yes he could.

Conservative Evangelicals do not necessarily equate Obama with the anti-Christ: This is of great importance. For, I don’t expect the majority of Evangelicals to actually vote for Obama. Most will find his pro-Choice and other liberal positions far too much to bear. But this does not mean that they would subject him to the Hillary Treatment. I have always been struck by the remark of a pastor who although chagrined by Obama’s positions on abortion conceded: “I wouldn’t vote for him . . . But if we had to have a Democrat, I’d like to have a Democrat like him.” Which leads me to observe that. . .

Evangelicals have issues with McCain: The Maverick’s turbulent history with Conservative Christians is well known. True, he has performed respectably among them in the primaries. To this point, however, little indicates that they are excited by his candidacy. Even less indicates that they find Obama so objectionable that they will come out in droves to support his adversary in November.

Of course, vaguely non-hostile feelings towards a candidate are precisely what Opposition Research teams are paid to convert into a white-hot, simmering rage. In my next post, I will look at Obama’s Faith and Values liabilities—liabilities which he will struggle mightily to neutralize.

Watch The God Vote This Week

(For more information about religion and the candidates check out Faith 2008 by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs).

By Jacques Berlinerblau | 
February 25, 2008; 4:01 PM ET

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The God Vote

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  • Angela

    The only comment I would make is I’m an evangelical African American Christian and would not and could not vote for Obama nor Hillary. As an evangelical Christian, the fact that they are pro-choice is totally against my moral conscience and even though I don’t agree with some of McCain’s stances, I will vote for him. Also, no authentic evangelical Christian (not those who talk the tak and don’t walk the walk) would ever vote for either one of them. BTW: rhetoric and feel good messages without any stance on clear positions and views (i.e., being forthright and not vague)sounds quite scary to me but I guess I’m the exception to what other people feel is the “rock star” norm.

  • Rich

    Evangelicalism is primarily an expression of rural resentment against urban values, rural resentment of deprivation of opportunity to partake of those values, and rural people grasping for some element within their local culture that they can practice. As such, evangelicalism is not a universal religious impulse throughout the nation, it is a localized phenomenon in places where the conditions that gave rise to it are melting away. To keep on talking about evangelicalism and right-wing Christanity as some kind of accelerating movement is to completely misunderstand its roots and its limits. Right-wing Christianity had its high water mark five years ago and its chief public figures have all made the movement so odious that young people drawn to the idea are going to search for a more literal, gospel-based form rather than a ratification of their settled social beliefs, which is the version their parents practice. The only direction fundamentalist Christianity can move is left, and down…

  • Please Note

    Angela and her like-minded fellow evangelicals apparently haven’t gotten the Obama message. They still prefer someone they totally disagree with politically – and that, if elected, will do everything in their power to continue the killing in Iraq and beyond. This, rather than support the right to choose in procreative matters.Such like minded hypocrisy will probably fetch McCain a fair number of votes. The democrats should never expect to win fundamentalists over (whether white, black or hispanic) and as their likely nominee after Texas and Ohio, neither should Obama.Evangelicals and Catholics leaning more toward the liberal left will inevitably have a more complex orientation and understanding of social and religious issues & potential public policies -that alone separates them from the biblical literalists aka fundamentalists that Angela seems to represent – two very different groups indeed.

  • Tonio

    While I agree with most of Obama’s views, he makes the same error as Romney when he states that “secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square.” Secularists only ask this in regard to the government square, which is not in the public square. And they don’t ask believers not to let their beliefs influence their political opinions. They only ask believers to refrain from Huckabee-type attempts to use doctrine as a basis for government policy. Stripping “Under GI agree with Obama that “not every mention of God in public is a breach in the wall of separation.” However, the issue is mentioning God in an official capacity, such as on our money and in the Pledge of Allegiance. Those amount to endorsements of some religions over others, which does breach the wall of separation. Government must take no position on whether any religion’s gods exist. Again, it’s a distinction between the government sphere and the public sphere. In Obama’s defense, he is not taking the Romney approach of bashing secularists as treasonous. His mistakes seem to be honest ones. Everything else I’ve heard seems to indicate that Obama values the concept of religious freedom, that he respects the patriotism of all Americans regardless of religious belief or the lack of it. Something that Romney doesn’t seem to understand and that Huckabee will probably fight with his dying breath.

  • TK

    I am an evangelical Christian. I have repented for voting for Bush in 2004. I know Christ forgives, but I still feel unclean. I don’t support abortion, but evangelicals have to realize there are SO MANY other issues going on in the world. Narrowing it down to 1 or 2 issues is absolutely absurd. Bush has been in office for a full two terms and abortion isn’t going anywhere, no matter where he stands. He actually had the rare opportunity to bring in two justices, but it still hasn’t changed anything. Christ did not command us to take over government. He did not even command us to stop the sinning going on in the world. He commanded us to love.

  • Told ya

    The GOP found out the Bible is a proved hoax and dumped the evangelicals, kinda gentle like. They also realize that religion is the great enemy of democracy and in turn civil order. A lack of order in the public square eliminates the possibility of democracy.What’s left to find out is if the GOP plan will work, trade the idiot fringe for the safe and sane middle of the road types. They’ve picked a time when their fortunes are unfortunate to do the test. By being covert about it they can always get the evangelicals back with another ‘abortion’ like that great communicator Regan and a few well spent tax dollars for the ministry.Godless communism as a political commodity has gone the way of buggy whips.Will McCain win against Obama? Right now he won’t carry a single state. Huckabee would fare worse. So the laboratory is open, beakers boiling, steam rising and the test tube about to be dumped into the stew.Evangelicals have become so irrelevant they are relevant. Heard from God recetly -to make the point only of course?Will McCain play the ‘burning bush’ card? He has nothing to lose and the office of president to gain?The ‘burning bush’ card:

  • Todd

    I am white, southern, evangelical, conservative, pro-life, and since 1984, a Republican and I find myself quite impressed with Obama. I do not know if I can vote for him (I apologize to my fellow countrymen who disagree but I cannot get away from my feeling that Abortion is the 21st century equivalent of the 19th century slavery debate. A great stain on our national character for which we will one day have to atone.) but I cannot find it within myself to either dislike him or his message.I look at the great leaders of the past and they look more like him than like Hillary or McCain. Does he have the answers to all of our woes? No, but which of the truly great presidents did? The best of them were selected because of who they were. How they made the people feel about themselves and about their country. That intangible is what caused people to take notice and to follow. The people that voted for them did so because they knew such men would know how to respond to a crisis and how to follow through. Face it – none of us were in any way unhappy with our current president when the sun came up on September 12, 2001. It took a few weeks for the politics to take over and a few months for the policies to become too unfocused.Mr. Obama lacks experience. So what? So did many of our “great” presidents. Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, TR, Kennedy – none of them had any preparation for the role they were to play. Mr. Obama can however do what a president must do (and what Mr. Bush has consistently failed to do). He is capable of communicating and connecting with the American mind and the American heart. I may not like his policy choices – those decisions which must be the fruit of his own conscience – but I think I can trust him. I can stress that my feelings – and those of many other conservative citizens – towards the other Democratic choice are equally strong in the opposite direction.May God bless us all and guide us in the right path and may God bless the President of the United States who he is and whomever he/she may be.

  • mommadona

    Evangelicals really, really need to get over themselves.Delusions of grandeur.”Secular Bible”, indeed.

  • Angela

    What is an evangelical Christian: it’s someone who shares the good news (THE ENTIRE GOSPEL NOT PIECES OF TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD), believe and lives their life according to the teachings of Christ (found in Holy Scriptures) which of course is to love the Lord with all your mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. It amazes me when people feel like it’s something wrong with us when we don’t compromise our moral standards. compromising moral standards = SIN. SIN = SPIRITUAL AND ETERNAL DEATH. We all have to right to choose. Each day we have a choice and how I chose is my God-given right and as an American.

  • TK

    My God is not afraid of SIN. He’s already conquered it. It gives us a chance to focus on love.

  • Paganplace

    I really think that those who consider a pro-choice position in a candidate to be a deal-killer (Like the Catholic Church did to nullify Catholic support for Kerry …in the process supporting a pro-torture, aggressively pro-death-penalty, pro-war, and pro-screwing-the poor candidate,) …ought to remember that their *definition* of ‘abortion’ (even things which are not actually abortion) as ‘murder’ is a particular religious belief of *theirs* which they are free to exercise in their own lives and even teach in their churches: but that this belief does *not* give them the right to force women to bring another life into the world and their own lives.What I think we can all get together on is *supporting* mothers rather than penalizing them in ways that may force abortions they’d rather not have. Frankly, the ‘pro-life’ position tends to come hand-in-hand with positions that tend to exacerbate the problems of and surrounding unwanted pregnancy: opposition to reality-based sex education, (If you want to teach abstinence alone, that’s what your churches are for: if kids don’t believe it in church, enforcing ignorance about safer sex won’t help) …punitive views of unmarried mothers, …opposition to the likes of maternity leave, …ruthlessly-corporate views of health care, even giving pharmacists the ‘right’ to refuse to dole out emergency contraception if they feel like. ….All things which make abortion, which is never exactly a happy option, to say the least, more frequent, not less. If the issue is important to you, consider the benefits of *valuing motherhood* as opposed to ‘punishing sinners.’ Look at the big picture. Stripping away the rights and freedoms of other Americans doesn’t make people more ‘moral,’ …all it seems to do is put the power in the hands of those who don’t seem terribly interested in the *future* our children will live in.

  • Spiritual Mongrel

    If abortion is a deal breaker than how about any government that takes us into war. Or a government that does little to fight poverty; a.k.a. the republican party. These two issues kill far more people than abortion in America. According to some people the only person worth voting for is Christ… but he’s not running! The Buddha , Gandhi, Mohammed and Ralph Nader are not running for president. Wait sorry Nader is running, but the others are not. Whoever you vote for is breaking, will break or has broken some commandment. If we are making things black and white EVERY Christian, if they are a “true Christians “, should never authorize or fight in a war. Unfortunately the world is shades of grey so applying any religion to life is difficult. It is also difficult on non believers, sorry no free pass for them either.You’d get more people listening if you would apply some logic with your sermon.Look to TK and Todd for reference. While I don’t believe everything in their religion I could sit down and have a discussion with them. Todd still doesn’t know if he can vote for Obama because he is pro-choice, but Todd’s at least got HIS own argument. He backs his religious stance (pro-life) with an explanation of why he may not versus I can’t because someone one in a book or at church told me it is that way. I can always respect someone who has put some thought into their belief versus blindly believing. I apply that to any stance, not just religion. I go pro-choice much like Obama; I agree we need to eliminate the need for abortions, not outlaw abortions. You can outlaw abortion and people will still get them. That is a fact of life. They need to live with whatever earthly, physiological or eternal consequences there are, but that is their choice. If we outlaw abortion we need to outlaw war, poverty and not honoring your mother and father. This all seems to fly in the face of free will.

  • BGone

    Poor TK. Voted for abortion and won, got an abortion for an administration.Try again TK. Gay marriages will cause you to lose your job, health insurance and your house to be foreclosed so you better hurry.You feel unclean? Remember, calling Devil God does not make Devil God but surely makes Him happy. Once Devil gets ya you been got.About that unclean feeling. Getting set on fire to burn forever will clean you right up. Beware of Gods that are on fire with the variety of fire only found in hell. Worshiping them is a bad idea no matter how much they like it.

  • Tom Birchfield

    Well he certainly has came to life, never heard him speak, never met him, but I like him, he writes me and I write him back.I think he has a chance at Winning the White House if he can beat Hillary, which I doubt, but if he does “I’ll vote for him and work for him, and do all I can to get him, elected to the Presidency as the first African American President.In conclusion, yes to Christains who believe who have “HOPE” and who have “PEACE” know that the Living God directs all our lives, he directs the words we read and the air we breath, and America knows we cannot survive without him…..”Call Unto Me, And I Will Answer Thee, “And Show Thee Great and Mighty Things.”(Jeremiah 33:3)By taking a Leap of “faith” you find him, and your free will/choice is yours alone to make, its that simple its that easy and its that real……..”Take a LEAP OF FAITH AND FIND OUT.”…I promise you…Your find the Living God, waiting there to catch you when you come down, and perhaps one day you will thank me for these words, that saved you, and your family, and I hope not only but a nation that has taken him out of the class room and out of a nation that once followed and obeyed and now disowns.

  • blert

    Evangelicals don’t hate Obama because Obama doesn’t spout venom at them, because he reaches out to states heavy in evangelical voters, which recent Democrats have utterly failed to do, and because he has a positive message aimed at everyone.I would also argue that Evangelicals are shifting ever so slightly toward the left in recent years, not perhaps on gay marriage or abortion, but certainly in the sense that fewer are concerned with small-government conservatism. Huckabee is an example of one of these socially conservative progressives. This, too, makes Evangelicals less frightened of an Obama presidency.Add to this that a McCain presidency is really distasteful to many conservative Evangelicals, especially those who remember McCain railing against them in 2000, and it’s clear why Evangelicals are adrift right now.Give them time, however, and Evangelicals will begin to see more clearly Obama’s policy positions. Fewer and fewer will want to vote for him by the end of summer. Obama fever can’t last forever, even within the Democratic party, and Evangelicals are bound to begin questioning Obama before election time.The question is how many Evangelicals who may have voted for Obama in primaries will defect to vote against him in November.

  • drawlings

    His position on abortion can not be reconciled with the beliefs of many Christians.They will be unable to vote for him.

  • Jim M

    Can someone send message to ‘On Faith’ that someone should delete those obnoxious long posts. Really a frustrated person that longs to be heard. I hope he/she can find a friend in their life.

  • Jim M

    Can someone send message to ‘On Faith’ that someone should delete those obnoxious long posts. Really a frustrated person that longs to be heard. I hope he/she can find a friend in their life.

  • Thomas Baum

    TO ANGELA AND THE REST OF HUMANITY: You wrote, “(THE ENTIRE GOSPEL NOT PIECES OF TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD)”, I agree, but where do you find where Jesus taught us to condemn others, where do you find where Jesus taught us to judge others??? Also, Jesus extended an invitation to all to, “Come follow Me”, did He not? He died for sinners, are you willing to “follow” or just to judge and condemn which happens to not be what Jesus did or taught, is it??? Jesus taught us to Love others as in ALL OTHERS, Jesus also taught us to forgive our enemies, if we are to Love all and forgive all, who is left for us to hate or judge or condemn??? By the way, the word GOSPEL means “good news” not ‘good enough news’. Jesus either took ALL OF THE SINS OF MANKIND UPON HIMSELF or He didn’t, do you think He did the right thing completely or don’t you??? If He did, then He won the keys to hell and death for ALL OF HUMANITY. Jesus said that night was coming but that there was still work to be done, do you honestly think that work is to judge, condemn and to belittle others or to accept His invitation to, “Come follow Me”??? I know hell is real and I also know spiritual death is real but guess what Jesus won the keys to both hell and death and He will use them in due time, THAT IS THE GOOD NEWS!!! As it says, God will declare Victory in favor of the Holy Ones and there will be a total and unconditional pardon for all, do you think God asked us to be more forgiving and merciful than God??? Take care, be ready, as I mentioned the night of the sixth day is coming but as I have also mentioned the dawning of the seventh day will also arrive in God’s Time. See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Thomas Baum

    TO TK: You wrote, “My God is not afraid of SIN. He’s already conquered it. It gives us a chance to focus on love.”, not only has God conquered sin but He has done it for ALL OF HUMANITY. Not only is our focus to be on love but one day we will find out that, that made our focus on God Himself. God is not a loving God, as in love being an attribute of God, but God is Love, Pure Love, a Trinity of Love. I find it rather sad that some of the people that know God’s Name seem to know nothing else about God. Take care, be ready, see you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • epthorn

    Todd,I would disagree completely in the analogy of slavery and abortion, but either way, if we have more presidents who like to start wars the country might not be around long enough to atone for anything in a couple of decades.

  • DaTourist

    Well, slap my fanny and call me ‘Bammy!This piece is so hoity-toity balanced you couldn’t take issue with any one of its 101 facets!When Christian evangelicals embrace candidates who push abortion-on-demand and hold the door open for gay marriage, we’ll have “evolved” (to use a curious and peculiar liberal and secular term) to become Unitarians!While it’s true, Frere Jacques, that Obama doesn’t excite the same visceral loathing as Hillary, that’s mainly because he hasn’t had time to accumulate all of Hillary’s baggage. Obama remains just what he’s always been, a creature of Chicago politics, in the mode of the Chicago City Council.

  • Ellen

    If Angela were to go on Obama’s website, she’d see his positions in depth on the issues. I’m struck by how many people complain about not knowing what he stands for and then will not take the time to go check it out. It only takes a little effort on your part (and Angela, I don’t mean to pick on you). No whining…it’s there.By browsing around (and McCain and Clinton’s sites also have their positions), Angela could find the transcript of his “Call To Renewal” speech on his website, and probably watch it on YouTube (though I haven’t checked the latter).I would actually recommend this speech to most of the people who have written comments here…..Obama discusses the need for secularists to acknowledge the importance of the role that God and religion and faith play in the lives of religious followers, but he also discusses the need for those who are religious to acknowledge that secularists can be just as spiritual and moral and good as they are. And that he started this discussion…..that he started to speak the truth to both the religious and non-religious, in an attempt to bring us together rather than to continue the divisiveness that has taken over our public arena, is KEY. And it separates him from other politicians and public figures. It also provides us w/ a new paradigm of how to speak with one another, instead of preaching, which some of the people here are doing.

  • M. Check

    Oh come on, the only reason Senator Obama has been more outspoken that Senator Kerry was is that he learned from Mr. Kerry’s mistake of not wearing his religion on his sleave. I would suggest that Senator Obama is no more religious than Senator Kerry when you come down to the truth. Senator Kerry was a church alter boy and considered becoming a priest for a while.

  • BGone

    Thomas Baum:I’m sure the God that forgives sins, the one you have in mind is the creature in the burning bush, the one Moses made the deal with. There is but one deadly sin, blasphemy, saying something is God that ain’t. The thing in the burning bush wasn’t God. It was the biggest Devil of them all, the angel that tried to throw God out, goes by the name Lucifer.Devils forgive sins, says things like “go thy way ans sin no more.” It’s God ya gotta worry about. So be sure it’s God before you say your sins are forgiven -else hell. You don’t need to go through all that worshiping, honoring, adoring, glorifying and sacrificing your hard earned money giving it to ministers that represent the crispy critter in the burning bush only to end up in hell.Thought you needed to know. Glad I could be of help.

  • Cutter Knox

    I have zero problem with people bringing religion into politics as they’re both important realities in our lives. I do, however, have a problem with people trying to use their religious beliefs to dictate how others should live, think, behave, and believe. And when they attempt to do so through politics, we then start to nullify the the spirit of democracy and freedom, and begin the large painful death-march of freedom toward theocracy.A very large part of democracy and freedom means tolerating things that you don’t like or agree with. As Captain Jean Luc Picard once said in the epidsode ‘The Drumhead’ from Star Trek: The Next generation….’There are some words which I have known since I was a schoolboy. “With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” These words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie — as a wisdom, and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.’Believe what you wish, but don’t forcibly foist your beliefs and values on those of us who don’t agree with them, and in turn, we’ll do the same.

  • jonny

    The magical thinkers have not yet realized that they are a NON-factor in this election.The USA is fed up with magical thinkers. We want REAL solutions to REAL problems — NOT prescriptions from imaginary friends. We’ve had that.The magical thinkers can go ahead and flock to the Ayatollah Huckabee — see what it gets’em.

  • Rev.Herman F. Cole

    As a retired United Church of Christ clergyman, environmentalist, and community organizer, I would urge everyone read Ellen’s blog. It puts Barack’s religious overview very well. I had the good fortune to hear Barack in Hartford at our national church’s 50th Anniversary celebration. He is certainly shows himself capable of leading our country and of faithfully representing our loyalties to this nation’s religious(or non-religuous) pluralism and our Constitutional institutions. We are indeed fortunate to have this thoughtful leader willing to take on the difficult job of leading America. Let’s all pray for his effort, or as my Buddhist daughter might say, meditate to enhance his strength and grace.

  • Anonymous

    Cutter Knox:Did Captain Jean Luc Picard really say that or was he just reading words written on idiot cards by Hollywood script writers? You know, like Regan did for 8 years while playing the role of president.

  • Malcolm

    Those are some interesting comments.

  • Markus Ward

    I have always been anti-abortion (I was almost one myself) but cannot allow this stance to shadow the other more important issues of our time. Beyond that, if abortion is legal or not, it is still ultimately the decision of the individual mother that matters in the “moral” sense. And no government has ever succeeded in legislating morality. Obama seems to be the guy most capable of getting us all speaking to each other and hopefully on the right track again. Only then do we have the luxury of bickering about such details.

  • Vicar General Paul Manyok

    The best thing i could do right now is to pray for all the 2008 Presidential candidate. hoping that God will help the individuals diecide on the best candidate.

  • Vicar General Paul Manyok

    The best thing i could do right now is to pray for all the 2008 Presidential candidates. hoping that God will help the individuals in this nation to dicide on the best candidate. The future of USA is very important to many.

  • hquain

    “I wouldn’t vote for him . . . But if we had to have a Democrat, I’d like to have a Democrat like him.” Elections, alas, are decided by votes.And as for god and Caesar — let’s worry about this one:“secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square.”Back in the day, advocates for various religions held this view as well. Catholics did not want the Protestants protestantizing their kids and their spaces, and vice versa; Jews didn’t want Jesus in their faces (though Christians gave little thought to the dangers of Judaization). “Evangelicals” were understood to be particularly obnoxious to the balance, since by their own reckoning they are out to convert and extirpate.What happened to this sensible position?

  • Mike in Dallas

    I don’t know as much about the Catholic vote, but having grown up in Texas, I am VERY aware of who “Evangelicals” are, and I am also aware of how easily herded these people are. They are the dimmest and dumbest, the intellectual equivalents of the David Koresh followers who all burned up in Waco! I don’t expect most of them would really even BE Republicans if you really talked to them, they don’t have the money to be! But they have been used and manipulated by the Republican party, I just hope someday some of them will be smart enough to wake up and smell the coffee! I used to pity them, but since we’ve been forced to put up with their president, George Dumbya Bush, who is about their speed intellectually, I’ve come to really hate them passionately!

  • gary

    people will be voting in droves against anyone who is going to shut this country down over global warming,which is what obama wants to do. its all about control for the progressives. no fat people, no smoking ,no free use of the thermostat in your house, no morals begot of faith to enter into any decisions, it all smacks of 1929 facism. thats the other thing,whenever you disagree with these people you get labled a facist so nobody has to take you seriously. they are the facists.

  • irae

    I’m so glad your adult imaginary friend doesn’t disapprove!

  • check

    Sorry gary, fascism is corporate control of government, remember Mussolini? Fascism is what we have now. What you really want to complain about is socialism or even worse, communism.If you wish to insult anybody by making claims about their political motivations, you have to use the correct political ideology.It is the progressives who are doing what you’re whining about, and I tend to agree with you. I see them in California where they are at their worst. Soon they will be hanging smokers from telephone poles.But the progressive are just like the evangelicals. Their moral indignation that other people would behave incorrectly is the same, their desire to control it through legislation is the same.Ubermoralism, the progressives and the evangelicals are really just left and right versions of the same disease.

  • Tonio

    I agree with Paganplace and Spiritual Mongrel about the need to eliminate the need for abortions. The debate goes nowhere as long as we continue to treat the abortion issue as about the simple legality of the procedure, and from my reading Obama seems to agree.Paganplace, there are some pro-lifers who do not hold the punitive positions that you listed, but the ones who do seem to dominate the debate. Any ideas on why those positions go hand-in-hand so frequently with the pro-life position? Is it a conscious belief about the “proper” role for women in society, or is that simply the effect? Is it a conscious opposition to all non-procreative sex, or is that simply the effect?

  • Angela

    TK: your God does not exist: he’s a figment of your imagination: imagery. God is concerned about sin and of course about love. Also, I have been on Obama’s website and I’ll pass on the vote for him. Also, when it comes to my vote, I have to right to have an opinion just like everyone else. Also, Thomas Baum: I do not condemn people but the Bible does state: By their fruit you shall know them”. And yes, the gospel does mean good news for those who repent of their sins. In the spirit of love, what does the bible state about those who do not repent? Again, it clearly states: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.A Tree and Its Fruit — “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

  • Thomas Baum

    TO ANGELA: As far as condemnation goes, didn’t Jesus say something to the effect, “I have not come into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved”? By the way, did you read the whole post that I posted on 2-26-2008 at 7:23 PM. Having what the bible says, in your head, is not necessarily the same as, in your heart,. Jesus never condemned anyone but warned us. On the cross Jesus said, “Father forgive them”, He did not say, ‘Father forgive those that repent’ did He? Have you ever thought that those who repented may go thru their judgement while breathers and those that don’t repent go thru their’s after? I believe that Jesus took ALL OF HUMANITY’S SINS upon Himself, do you believe that? Something in the bible to think about that is attributed to God, “My Ways are not your ways and My Thoughts are not your thoughts”, have you ever thought that God just might be more forgiving and compassionate then some people want Him to be? Take care, be ready, see you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Arminius

    Thomas Baum,You said, among other good things, “By the way, the word GOSPEL means “good news” not ‘good enough news’.” I love it! I don’t agree completely with you, but, as I think I have said to you before, you understand perfectly the message of Jesus. You emphasize love; Angela, I fear, seems a bit hung up on sin. Not that we should, as Christians, ignore sin, far from it. But the way to live Christianity, IMHO, is to start with the Two Great Commandments.Thanks, and God bless,Arminius

  • Angela

    Hi Thomas,What’s more loving: to tell someone just keep what you’re doing and we’ll all spend eternity in heaven which means they stay in their sins. That’s not what Jesus said. John 8:24-27; But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be,[a] you will indeed die in your sins.” “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied. I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. I believe your misinterpreting God’s word. What was the first thing that Jesus said when He came on the scene “Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. Also, let me ask you a question, in love, Do you believe that Jesus took our filthy, wicked sins on the cross and died for the entire world, i.e., for those who don’t believe in Him, honor Him as Lord, etc. Didn’t Jesus state in Matthew: But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell; how about the rich young ruler: “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell,[a] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to hm, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ Thomas, of course we should love everyone; even unloving people but we should speak the truth not tickle ears: How about 2 Corinithians: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. and of course persectution and hardships: All or some Thomas: For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing….2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a]made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

  • Paganplace

    “Paganplace, there are some pro-lifers who do not hold the punitive positions that you listed, but the ones who do seem to dominate the debate. Any ideas on why those positions go hand-in-hand so frequently with the pro-life position? Is it a conscious belief about the “proper” role for women in society, or is that simply the effect? Is it a conscious opposition to all non-procreative sex, or is that simply the effect?”Well, Tonio, I think it has to do with both of these things: what I really think the anti-choice crowd sees in the abortion issue, (and, in fact, how they treat STDs and even cervical cancer) …is what’s for them a *vindication* of an entire attitude about sexuality as immorality, ‘temptation,’ and ‘sin.’ The Christian divine figures are essentially-limited to the Ultimate Unquestionable Alpha Male (and in primate instinct, the alpha male *can be* generally concerned with matters of aggression and control, particularly control over who breeds, and all the sexuality around… for a band of primates to have some balance there must be other dynamics) …and a suffering son who vindicates the Ultimate Alpha male essentially through submission and sacrifice, a compliant ly-desexualized ‘Virgin Mother’ …and a Devil, who represents evil, for many, the natural world, sexuality and anything else that’s to-be-denied. (The Holy Spirit seems to have become just a spirit of overwhelming religiosity about the rest for Fundamentalists, but I think that’s harder to characterize simply.) I think, Tonio, that to some people’s view of Christianity, the simple fact is their book starts out with everything wrong in the universe being a result of sexuality and free will… I suppose in the Fundamentalist worldview, it’s just *not* a matter of practicality, or even necessarily making life better for people, it’s about battling ‘evil’ and control… and the control’s the important part. They’ve also added on dogmas about ‘Human life’ (and they mean eternal souls with one chance to escape Hell,) not only beginning at the moment of conception, but retroactively so at the sex act that supposedly their God alone determines *will* result in conception… (the argument against contraception has its roots in a notion that it’s ‘thwarting God’s will’ use a condom, even if you’re ‘sinning.’) I think a lot of Christians don’t realize *just how much* they bind up every sexual feeling, never mind action, with some kind of Divine conflict… I mean, I was raised to that sort of mental landscape, and it’s become quite foreign to me, but I can see it affects people who don’t even think they believe it… But particularly for certain devout Christians, they don’t even believe it’s *possible* for sexuality-not-under-authoritarian-control to be anything but ‘evil’ and leading to depravity of all kinds… They can’t even seem to *believe* that a Pagan without certain guilts and repressions, for instance, could possibly do anything but go wild with sexual incontinence… Cause that’s what they’re taught *they’d* do if control slipped. (And they often do, when drunk enough or otherwise feel these external controls don’t apply… witness your local frat house:)I actually see that as sort of a moral *atrophy* from using religious law as a *crutch,* …but it surely leads to a belief that without punitive sexual controls and fears of punishment, that some ‘fallen human nature’ will lead to horrible, horrible things. The worldview certainly exists. In a lot of ways, it seems, for many, the only way to possibly put the world in order, …often issues like this are outlets for their own repressed sexual aggressions, rather than actually any sort of considered or practical desire to reduce abortion in our society: heck, they even see the difficulties *of* unwanted pregnancy (Or even the labor pains of a desired one, …Or cervical cancer) *as* punishment for sexuality, …something also in the first chapters of the Bible…In a lot of ways, reducing abortion isn’t actually what they *want,* …for them it’s a *means to try and put the universe in order, …and to them that order is too often more about saying, ‘Evil exists but you’ll be punished for it,” …as opposed to supporting measures that *actually* reduce the need for abortion, like proper sex education, paid maternity leave, and community support for mothers. Personally, I’m definitely behind the notion abortion should be ‘safe, legal, and rare,’ …which is achievable, if not, for some, comfortably absolutist enough.

  • Thomas Baum

    TO ARMINIUS: Thank You for your post and God Bless you. We are all in this together. God’s Plan will come to Fruition in God’s Time. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Thomas Baum

    TO ANGELA: You wrote, “What’s more loving:…”, I have been chosen by God to do what He chose me for, do you think I should do what other people think I should do or should I do what God chose me for? The “Will of God” for my life, so to speak, is to do what I am suppose to do, what God’s Will for your life is, I don’t know and it is none of my business, that is God’s Business. Just like it says, different people have different things to do, does it not? I am not here to live anyone else’s life, sometimes it is tough enough living my own. I am here to declare God’s ultimate Victory in advance, so to speak, God, Himself, in His Time will declare Victory in favor of the Holy Ones just like it says, but as you should know God Chooses Who He Chooses, like it says, “Remember I have chosen you, you have not chosen Me”, I take that very seriously. If you have read my postings, I stated very clearly that I know hell and spiritual death are real, did I not? I did not say that I believed they are real but that I know that they are real. You know the story that you brought up about Abraham and Lazarus and the great chasm, if you remember that story was told before Jesus went to the cross, something to think about. God has a Plan and has had His Plan since before creation and His Plan will come to Fruition, and His Plan is All-Inclusive, His Plan is unfolding as we speak. Something to think about, Jesus said, “Night is coming when no man can work”, He also said, “My Father has been busy even until now”, it says in Genesis, “On the seventh day, God Blest, RESTED and made Holy”, interesting, don’t you think? God knows what He is doing and besides being a Being of Pure Love, He cares about us, All of us, and His Creation, and don’t forget about the new heavens and the new earth. Take care, be ready, see you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom [new heavens and new earth]. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Angela

    Hi Thomas,I’m not here to belabor the point but eternity is very important and Jesus stated that we are commanded by the Great Commission to spread the entire gospel. Also, yes, The rich young ruler/Lazarus story did come before the cross but we need to stop telling half the story; souls are at stake; I’ve met so many people during bible studies or just witnessing as they didn’t know what His requirements were. Here’s 2 prayers (one will be in the test of this post; this one is for those who repent and what the Bible states: they’ll be born again)… Dear Lord, I have sinned against you breaking your commandments. Despite the consicence you gave me, I have looked with lust and therefore commited adultery in my heart. I have lied, stolen, failed to love you, failed to love my neighbor as myself, and failed to keep the Sabath holy. I have been covetous, harbored hatred in my heart and therefore have been guilty of murder in your sight. I have used your holy name in vain, have made a god to suit myself and because of the nature of my sin, I have dishonored my parents. If I stood before You in Your burning holiness on Judgment Day, if every secret sin I have committed and every idle word I have spoken came out as evidence of my crimes against You, I would be utterly guilty and justly deserve hell. I am unspeakably thankful that Jesus took my place by suffering and dying on the cross. He was bruised for my iniquities. He paid my fine so that I could leave the courtoom. He revealed how You love me. I beleive that He then rose from the dead (according to the Scriptures). I now confess and forsake my sin and yield myself to Him to be my Lord and Savior. I will no longer live for myself. I present my body, soul, and spirit to You as a living sacrifice, to serve You in the furtherance of Your Kingdom. I will read Your Word daily and obey what I read. It is solely because of Calvary’s cross that I will live forever. I am eternally Yous. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

  • Angela

    Thomas: Here’s the other prayer. Satan, the Bible tells me that you are the god of this world. You are the father of lies. You deceive the nations and blind the minds ofthose who do not believe. God warns that I cannot enter His Kingdom because I have looked with lust and therefore commited adultery in my heart. I have lied, stolen, failed to love you, failed to love my neighbor as myself, and failed to keep the Sabath holy. I have been covetous, harbored hatred in my heart which the Bible says is the same as murder. I have blaspemed, refused to put God first, violated the Sabbath, coveted other people’s goods, dishonored my parents and have been guilty of the sin of idolatry. I even made a god to suit myself. I did all this despite the presence of my conscience. I know that it was God who gave me ife. I have seen the splendor of a sunrise. I have heard the sounds of nature. I have enjoyed pleasures of an incredible array of food, all of which came from His generous hand. I realize that if I die in my sins I will never know pleasure again. I know that Jesus Christ shed His life’s blood for my sins and rose again to destroy the power of death but today I refuse to confess and forsake my sins. On the Day of Judgment, if I am cast into the Lake of Fire I will have no one to blame but myself. It is not God’s will that I perish. He commended His love toward me through the death of His Son, who came to give me life. It was you who came to kill, steal and destroy. Your are my spiritual father. I choose to continue to serve you and do your will. This is because I love the dearkness and hate the light. If I do not come to my senses, I will be eternally yours. Amen. Thomas, my brother, is this what we want or should we fall on our face and pray for those who don’t know better.

  • Thomas Baum

    TO ANGELA: God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Angela

    Thomas: Yep, He defeated the sting of death and so do we who believe.Sincerely, A firefighter and Soldier for Christ..

  • Thomas Baum

    TO ANGELA: What I wrote was, “God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable.” I try to write simple and to the point, what “God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable” means is that God’s win is total victory for the entire human race as in the ‘captives shall be released’ [those that built their own hell and are in it] and the ‘dead shall rise’ [those that are in spiritual death after their physical death]. I am not sure if you could see what I wrote, so I wished to clarify it if you couldn’t see. Jesus won the keys to hell and spiritual death by His Life, Death and Resurrection and God, the Trinity of Pure Love, will declare a total and complete pardon when He declares VICTORY in favor of the Holy Ones, just like it says. Like I have said before, God has a Plan and has had His Plan since before creation and His Plan will come to Fruition. Take care, be ready, night is coming but the dawning of the seventh day will arrive in due time, God’s Time. See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom, [the new heavens and the new earth]. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Spiritual Mennonite

    Spiritual Mongrel said, “If we are making things black and white EVERY Christian, if they are a ‘true Christians’, should never authorize or fight in a war.” Spiritual Mongrel, true Christians don’t authorize or fight wars. See