Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Will Willimon on Church and Politics

I came across Will Willimon's blog. Go figure, a bishop who blogs. I think more Bishop's should blog -- the world would be a better place.

Anyway, I found a post of his that I resonated with deeply:

Mixing Religion And Politics I

... Of course, mixing religion with politics is as old as our republic, and it remains one of the most distinctive aspects of American democracy. And I am sure that when the story is told about the politics of late 20th Century America, the most interesting story will be the resurgence of evangelical political activism. I say “resurgence” because evangelicals mixing their religion with politics is nothing new. Evangelical, Protestant Christians in America were extremely active in 19th Century America, forming some of this country’s most important colleges (we Methodists formed over 300 of them), universities, hospitals and orphanages. The Women’s Christian Temperance Movement was the largest women’s organization in the world, dedicating itself to personal transformation and political activism. It may still have the record of being the largest women’s organization the world has ever known. American Jews were instrumental in the creation of and the continuing support for the State of Israel. Those of us in Alabama know that the Civil Rights Movement was, in great part a religious movement. When racist terrorists wanted to do damage to the movement for Civil Rights, they didn’t bomb a Birmingham Courthouse or Post Office, they bombed Birmingham churches. My own church, the United Methodist, has a three story building on Capitol Hill, a block away from Congress, so that we can offer important advice to Congress and lobby them on important Methodist issues. Americans have always mixed religion with politics.

...Again, another prejudiced Christian statement, but I must say, after returning from working in Mississippi last week with 300 United Methodist preachers, if you have a hurricane blow through your town, totally destroy your life and make you want to kill yourself because you’ve lost everything, you will be a lot better served by Christian people than you will be served by FEMA or the Red Cross! The government has a way of killing so many things that it touches. There are things that we’ve allowed the government to do that people of faith can do better.

read it all

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