October 23, 2004

Faith in Public

Jared over at Exultate Justi has an outstanding piece on this topic. There's more at National Review Online. I've said my piece on it a time or two.

I do not see how faith and action can ever be separated, if you are following your faith in a consistant manner. Faith requires you to believe a certain way about things, and those beliefs require you to act in certain ways. This is hard for people without faith to understand. They cannot see what it is about faith that makes it so vital to people who have it. Part of the problem is us.

People of faith often are not living consistently. We say that we believe one thing, but in other areas of our lives, we act a different way. God is supposed to be a vital part of our lives, but we act as if He's jsut an old relative that we go to visit on Sundays. We nod at the message, we sing the songs, and nothing that happens within the walls of the church has any impact at all on our lives. We'd be better off staying home and sleeping in. The Barna group has a survey dealing with this issue. I was going to address it here, but after looking at it, I think it needs its own post. I may save that one until next week, while I'm writing papers.

If faith matters (and I say this to people of all faiths, not just Christianity), then it always matters. It matters when you go to school. It matters when you get to the office. It matters when you decide what you are going to read, or what you will watch. And it matters when you are elected to public office.

Unless you are John Kerry. Then, faith is a personal thing, not a public thing. It has no impact on anything he does outside of church. In many ways, he would fit in quite well with the average American evangelical.

And that's a shame.

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October 13, 2004

Church/State Separation UPDATE

I have to say, Americans United works fast. I sent the form in this morning, and got a reply at about 10:10. Robert Boston told me that they have received numerous complaints -- I wonder how many conservatives complained, as I did, just to see if they would do anything to their own side.

They have filed a complaint with the IRS, which was delivered this morning. Have to admit it -- I don't like most of what they're against, but at least they are consistant. And I really didn't expect them to do it. They told me that the New York Times would have more information, but I'm having trouble accessing their site from the computer lab here at school. I'll stay on it, and update when I find out something.

{UPDATE} You have to register (but the piewview thing works here), but check out this link.

I especially love the Kerry campaign's statement: "Speaking to a church is well within the limits of the tax code and it is quite different from the way the Bush campaign has aggressively pushed to use churches to distribute their campaign material and treated them as an arm of its re-election effort." Bush doesn't have a Baptist minister working for him -- Kerry does (Rev. Jackson).

A church endorsing a candidate explicitly is a clear violation of the law. It's also an abuse of the pulpit. I have no problem with a preacher admonishing the congregation to vote their conscience, or even to vote for a candidate that holds to a specific position on something like abortion or same-sex marriage. I have a problem when "Vote For {candidate}!" is proclaimed from a pulpit -- and that is exactly what happened in Florida. As far as I know, churches that support Bush haven't done anything this blatent (or this stupid) -- but that may be simply because the attention is focused on them, rather than the liberal churches.

I'm glad to see that Americans United (I've given the link enough -- I don't want them getting TOO much traffic from me!) is consistant in their objective of keeping churches true to the letter (AND the spirit) of campaign law.

{UPDATE AGAIN} I forgot about this. They've done it before, and are doing it again.

The amazing thing is how little press coverage this is getting. The Times is the only paper so far to cover the newest story, though beliefnet has also mentioned it. Very little has been said about the Kerry campaign's targeting of churches -- only Bush's. Of course, Bush has done more, but that shouldn't matter. If it's being done at all, it should be news, no matter who is doing it.

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Church/State Separation Update

Still haven't heard from the folks at Americans United. I DID find out that they have an online form to report violations (like Kerry speaking at a church in Florida, for example).

The form is here. If you look at their web page, you'll notice that they're really only concerned with conservative religious separation -- I have yet to read anything they've said about a Baptist minister being active in politics -- I'm talking about Rev. Jesse Jackson. Nothing about Rev. Al Sharpton, either. Pat Robertson, however, is featured on the main page. (Personally, I think that any minister of the Gospel should consider it a demotion and a failure in his calling to leave the pastorate to run for any political office, but that's just me.)

Maybe if we ALL let them know about the Florida 'violation', they'll be forced to actually do something about it. I still haven't seen anything about it on their site -- and I really don't expect to. They're as inconsistent as any other liberal organization.

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October 11, 2004

Church and State Separation

WHERE are the folks from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State? I'm blowin' the whistle on this one:

Meanwhile, Kerry hit the trail in Florida on Sunday, attending a Catholic mass before speaking at Friendship Mission Baptist Church in Miami alongside Rev. Al Sharpton and newly-hired campaign adviser Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Kerry received a standing ovation at the church, where he told parishioners that God was present there. After the church speech, Kerry has some down time before heading to New Mexico, where he will do his final debate preparations before Wednesday's debate.
(from FoxNews)So a church is backing Kerry -- rather obviously backing him, from other reports I've read. And not a word out of anyone but some conservative bloggers.

Maybe someone should call Project Fair Play. I've sent them an email; we'll see what happens.

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October 03, 2004

Another Christian Political Party

Thanks on this one to Antioch Road, which is a new addition to the blogroll, even though I've been reading it for a little while now with my RSS newsreader.

The Lighthouse Party's mission is simply to be heard.

Our mission is to be heard. Our mission is for everybody to know who we are and what we stand for. Though our belief in Christianity is slowly declining here in America, and in the world, our popularity would not get us elected. Even though we understand this, it does not give us the right to sit back. We need to continue to fight for what is right regardless of its popular standing.


They at least recognize that it's tough for a third party to be elected. And they're brand new - just founded in September this year. IT will be interesting to see how this new party grows and changes, and especially what their platform will shape up into. I'm hoping that they won't simply be another Constitution Pary, but that they will have a platform that all Christians can support.

And I hope that they remember that, as Christians, we have a power greater than politics -- a power that can bring change to the world, one life at a time.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 02:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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