Christian -anity -ism -ist?

Are you a Christian who doesn’t feel represented by the religious right? I know the feeling. When the discourse about faith is dominated by political fundamentalists and social conservatives, many others begin to feel as if their religion has been taken away from them.

The number of Christians misrepresented by the Christian right is many. There are evangelical Protestants who believe strongly that Christianity should not get too close to the corrupting allure of government power. There are lay Catholics who, while personally devout, are socially liberal on issues like contraception, gay rights, women’s equality and a multi-faith society. There are very orthodox believers who nonetheless respect the freedom and conscience of others as part of their core understanding of what being a Christian is. They have no problem living next to an atheist or a gay couple or a single mother or people whose views on the meaning of life are utterly alien to them-and respecting their neighbors’ choices. That doesn’t threaten their faith. Sometimes the contrast helps them understand their own faith better.

Andrew Sullivan has showed why he gets paid to write and I do not. Read the article, I found it fascinating.

4 thoughts on “Christian -anity -ism -ist?”

  1. I doubt I disagree with either of you too much on the best choice for various issues, I just disagree with this sort of analysis as being useful.

    ‘best for all possible people’ is subjective. So is ‘narrow view of morals.’

    I certainly advocate tolerance, questioning and keeping the brain engaged but not out of a notion that I shouldn’t try and force my values on anyone, but rather that these are values, and they are superior values in and of themselves.

    That is a very different arguement than saying, in essence, that a persons values are not legitmate if they are informed by religious faith.

  2. I agree with Dave…Um…The other dave… Yeah… Obidave :)

    I think that he talks to rejecting ‘fundamentalism’ in all it’s guises, in all faiths and/or lack thereof.

    Social Policy should be made with the best for all possible people in mind. When you allow fundamentalism to steer policy, or any non-inclusive ideology, you are causing great harm.

    I would say that folks who try and enforce their narrow view of morals are the problem, be they Christian, Muslim or Hare Krishna. I also feel that certain philosophies are more prone to this kind of abuse then others. So, I advocate tolerance, questioning and keeping the brain engaged.

  3. I liked the article. To not break it down too far, I got his point as; ‘Keep your faith. Don’t tie it to a political agenda. Don’t be offended when others do.’

  4. I don’t find his arguments very convincing at all. Basically, he is asserting that his values are true ‘Christian values’ and others are not. Yet he doesn’t do this by arguing on the merits, he simply argues that religious values cannot inform social policy. Breaking this down further, one would have to assume that no values, religious or otherwise, should inform social policy and that a pure libertarist philosophy is the only valid one.

    While I myself have many libertarian instincts, they are a result of certain values that I hold, not the concept that values themselves are irrellevant.

    While Sen. Santorum has been criticised for his man-on-dog statements, I don’t think his logic is faulty there. If we take the position that no personal values can inform social policy, then we are, automatically, in a place where we can’t say anything is ‘wrong’ or should be disallowed.

    Rather than try and make blanket statements that values shouldn’t inform social policy, we should grapple with each issue on the merits and explore the competing values that conflict on these issues.

    The anti-slavery efforts prior to the civil war were driven largely by Christian groups. Were they also ‘Christianist’?

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