Thursday, February 28, 2008

On Christianity and Politics

NPR interviewed Richard Land, public policy chief for the Southern Baptist Convention, asking him about how Evangelicals view the upcoming election.

Land is working hard to keep Evangelicals focused on the two issues of the Sanctity of Life and the Sanctity of Marriage. He believes that these two ought to remain the primary issues Evangelicals consider when deciding who to vote for.

A couple things jumped out at me:
- Land makes it clear that while social justice and poverty issues may be important, they cannot overshadow the Abortion and Gay marriage issues.
- Right at the point where I thought Land might give some props to Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo for opening up Evangelicals' eyes to broader issues they should consider, he instead attempted to refocus all attention back to the Two Main Issues, even implying that the Church was moving in the wrong direction if it paid too much attention to any other issues.
- Land explains the shift in Evangelicals from Republican to Independent or Democrat by focusing on the scandals within the Republican Party. In other words, people are upset with the dirty laundry at home more than they are attracted by the sweet words of another.
- Finally, Land dismisses the voice of the younger people, as quoted in a Relevant Magazine article, in which a majority of people interviewed said they would vote for Obama, by stating "The SB Convention is a lot bigger, and we're not voting for a Democrat" (that's not an exact quote; it's my paraphrase).

So, what do you think? Should the church still put all its time and energy focusing on those two issues? Has the day come when issues of social justice, poverty, race relations are just as important? Can Christians any more say that one party is truly "more Christian" than the other?
And the zinger: if you had to list the top 5 issues you're concerned about going into this election, what would they be?

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