Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Red-Letter Christians and Red-Meat Fundamentalists

You can read about the formation of the "Red-Letter Christians," a group of New Testament believers uncomfortable with American Christianity's becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Karl Rove's Republican Party, here. And here.

We had barely finished catching up with this new wave of Christianity when an e-mail from the Rev. Lou Shelton, of the Traditional Values Coalition, landed with a leaden thud in our in-box. Since there's no way to paraphrase the Rev. Shelton, we'll quote him at generous length:
September 26, 2006 -- Democrats have an anti-religion problem. In fact, they have such a serious anti-religion problem that in 2004 they had to bring a leftist pastor named Jim Wallis to try to teach Democrat congressmen how to use "God talk" in their campaign speeches. This pathetic effort failed as will a new disinformation campaign called "Red Letter Christians."

Wallis, founder of the left-wing Sojourners group, and self-described "progressive evangelical" Tony Campolo, have just founded a liberal front organization called the "Red Letter Christians." Wallis, Campolo, Father Richard Rohr, "Emergent Church" pioneer Brian McLaren, Dr. Cheryl J. Sanders, Rev. Noel Castellanos, and others met recently to form this new pseudo-evangelical group.

These "Red Letter Christians" are supposedly trying to alert American Evangelicals to the importance of living the words of Jesus as highlighted in red in many Bibles. Their idea of living the words of Jesus, however, is somehow reinterpreted to mean support for every liberal political agenda on the horizon.

These pseudo-evangelicals would have you believe that the Bible only contains the Word of God. True Evangelicals believe that the Bible -- each word, each sentence -- is the Word of God. This is how you can tell the difference between these pseudo-evangelicals and true Evangelicals.

Wallis and Campolo both have lifelong careers as left-of-center social activists. Wallis was a radical anti-Vietnam War activist in the 1960s and an apologist for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and other leftist guerrilla forces in Latin America in the 1980s. I wonder if Jesus would have supported Marxist terrorism. Frankly, I doubt it.

Campolo's political views are as a skewed as Wallis's. In a speech at Wheaton College not long after 9/11, Campolo claimed that then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden! (Campolo was also a "spiritual" counselor to finger-wagging President Clinton after the "blue dress" incident at the White House that eventually resulted in Clinton's impeachment in the House.)

These pastors are the leaders of the "Red Letter Christian" movement.

In every election cycle, we see the same tired old left-wing "religious" activists trotted out by the Democrats as proof that the Democrat Party has a spiritual base.

Take a breath, Lou! He's working himself up for this (our favorite!) paragraph:
Yet, these "religious" leftists and Democrats routinely support policies that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Bible. The Bible condemns the taking of innocent life -- yet liberals support abortion on demand. The Bible condemns the behavior of homosexuality -- yet liberals support homosexual marriage and adoption. The Bible calls for the punishment of evildoers and justifies war when there are threats to national sovereignty -- yet liberals are routinely weak on punishment of criminals and weak on national security.

Is the good Reverend not the very model of a modern Major Christian? Without any visible contortion of his trunk, he gets from the Bible condemning the taking of innocent life to a justification for preemptive war "when there are threats to national sovereignty." We'd LOVE to see that passage of scripture!

The Reverend runs on:
Americans need to understand that these pseudo-evangelicals are nothing more than shills for the Democrat Party and trying to use whatever credibility they think they have to draw Christians away from the Republican Party and a truly Biblical worldview.

One might suggest, based on the evidence here presented, that it takes a shill to recognize a shill. We just adore the conflation of "the Republican Party" with "a truly Biblical worldview."

We suggest the Reverend Shelton avoid the "red letters" of what Jesus said altogether, since that message is obviously lost on him. Re-read the book of Amos, why don't you, Mr. Shelton. Amos is our favorite prophet (if only a minor one), since he was an actual shepherd who condemned his nation for relying on military might and for the grave injustice of social inequalities and for the shallow, meaningless piety of loud-voiced Pharisees.

As you say ... every word, every sentence is the Word of God.

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