Saturday, August 12, 2017

Notable Quotes for Weekend Reading: "We're at a Hinge Moment in the Public Witness of American Christianity"

William J. Barber II and Liz Theoharis, "Trumpvangelicals are using faith to bring us to the brink of nuclear war": 

There is a battle for public theology taking place today. Its battle lines are seen clearly when you map out the states and regions that have the highest poverty and child poverty rates, the lowest wages, the most people without access to health care, the worst environmental protections, the worst immigrant and LGBTQ protections, and the highest rates of voter suppression. Almost to the county, these places also have the highest numbers of people who profess to be Protestant Evangelicals. 
America's spiritual sickness goes much deeper than our clearly troubled president. For decades, the backlash against this nation's civil rights movement has been de-racialized and woven into the fabric of some white (and some non-white) evangelicals' value system. Trusting pastors who have been carefully cultivated by political operatives, millions of everyday Christians have "voted their values" on abortion, marriage, and prayer in schools, only to elect people who promote policies that serve the rich and harm those Jesus called "the least of these."

Peter Wehner, "Evangelicals, Trump and the politics of redemption":

We're at a hinge moment in the public witness of American Christianity. 
The evangelical Christian movement in America is being compromised and discredited by the way prominent leaders have associated themselves with, first, the Donald J. Trump campaign and now, the Trump presidency. If this is allowed to define evangelical attitudes toward political power, the public witness of Christianity will be undermined in durable ways.

John Stoehr, "Are Democrats Doomed With Evangelicals Over Abortion?":

The popular belief is that the anti-abortion movement started with that Supreme Court decision. It didn't, according to Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth professor and Jimmy Carter biographer. In writing about the religious right in which segregation, not abortion, was its real catalyst, he said
"Both before and for several years after Roe, evangelicals were overwhelmingly indifferent to the subject, which they considered a 'Catholic issue.' In 1968, for instance, a symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism, refused to characterize abortion as sinful, citing 'individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility' as justifications for ending a pregnancy. In 1971, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, passed a resolution encouraging 'Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.' The convention, hardly a redoubt of liberal values, reaffirmed that position in 1974, one year after Roe, and again in 1976."

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