Re: MD God and the Republicans

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Tue Oct 26 2004 - 05:48:56 BST

  • Next message: Charles Roghair: "Re: MD On Faith"

    Hi Marsha V,

    > Now, there might be a higher Christian understanding of God, and you might
    > hold that perspective. But a very large majority of the religious
    > perspective presented by the public is naive, literal and silly. It seems
    > to me, if there is a modern understanding of Christianity, the public has
    > no clue.
    > While I appreciate that your points are presented in terms of a
    > philosophical argument, is your perspective in any way rooted in the
    > beliefs of the Christian faithful.

    To cut a very long story short, (i) the most common understanding of Christian belief in the US
    derives from the Puritan and Reformed traditions - these are very much on the 'edge' of the historic
    Christian tradition and, in several respects, can be clearly distinguished from the older strands
    (eg Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, even Lutheranism); (ii) the most common public
    manifestation of Christian belief in the US, so far as I can tell, serves the media's interest in
    polarisation, and is therefore the more extreme side.

    I would say, however, that it is wrong to judge a faith system by the worst examples of those who
    claim to uphold it. I think it only fair to consider good examples as well (like MLK) albeit that it
    may prove to be not worth following even in that event.

    More widely, I think there are grave grounds for concern at trends in the US relating to the link up
    between the Republican party and the fundamentalists, not least in how it ties in with the
    ultra-orthodox wing in Israel, whereby the evangelicals want to support Israel's occupation of the
    East (sic) bank 'to the River Euphrates' as a means of hastening the second coming of Jesus. I think
    that's barking mad (and very unChristian) and I hope it remains on the fringes of the US polity. But
    it may not, and I think that's something to be concerned about.


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