Obama and Warren

It will be interesting to see how evangelicals react to this. Beyond it being a shrewed political move by President-elect Obama, I’m not sure what to make of it. Clearly the Left and a segment of the Gay community are not too happy with Obama’s decision.

Those “moderate” evangelicals who were not comfortable with the actions/statements and sensibilities of the Falwells, Robertsons, and Dobsons over the past several decades might find themselves, regardless of sensibility or nuance, making the same mistakes they believe their predecessors made, which is a too familiar and close alignment with a president, party, or political spectrum.

What would happen if American evangelicals were to realize that both the secular Left and Right are the opposite sides of the same modern Enlightenment coin? What would happen if both the secular Left and Right learned they could not co-opt and use evangelicals? What would happen if evangelicals began to shed the captive chains of modernity and came to themselves?

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6 Responses to Obama and Warren

  1. Eric Lee says:

    …then they’d actually have to change how they live, and we mustn’t have that!

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  2. Burk Braun says:

    You may be making the mistake of thinking that religion is not about power. It is. If you are in the business organizing people into flocks, telling what they should be guilty about and what they should do … on the basis that you supposedly know some truth or some deity that they don’t, then it should never come as a surprise that your fellow leaders seek just a little more power of the very same kind, in the political arena. What is rare in world history, including certainly the late, Byzantine Roman empire, is the separation of religion from other forms of power.

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  3. Darrell says:

    Eric, absolutely. For evangelicals to “come to themselves” would require an actual change in the way they lived–a way that told a better story than the one told by a shallow, consumer-driven, and self-centered market narrative.

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  4. Darrell says:

    Burk, I have a feeling that you are all for the separation of religion from other forms of political power as long as it is not your own religion of gnostic-scientism/philosophical naturalism that is also being separated from that same power.

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  5. Burk Braun says:

    I think we have to ask ourselves what political power should be based on. Should it be dismissive of reality, hewing only to the ideals and visions of religion like, say, in Iran? What the west has learned (painfully) is that power is bad enough and corrupts. But power in the service of otherworldly fixations and dreams that tend to pull people into radically unreconcileable groups (religions, communism, etc.) is far worse. The truce is that common concerns are best handled in the least transcendent, least abstract, and most grounded level available, where our humanity speaks, not our nebulous (or idealistic, or apocalyptic) theologies. If science serves to reveal reality, then it will be useful in that project as well. If it is false, then not. The key difference of course is that rationalism, naturalism, etc. have criteria that are totally open to inspection and of this real world, whereas theo-theories have recourse only to unseen, private, and faith-based criteria.

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  6. Darrell says:

    Burk, one hardly knows where to begin…I think we have exhausted this issue elsewhere, but the Christian vision or world-view is not “dismissive of reality” and deals with the same “real world” that gnostic scientism does. And your comparisons are quite interesting. Communism had nothing to do with “otherworldly fixations and dreams” but was rather (we were falsely told) the “least transcendent, least abstract, and most (supposedly) grounded” political philosophy in modern times. That same atheistic political philosophy based upon a so-called “scientific materialism” managed to exterminate about 50-60 million people. Nice. The other mistake you make is equating science with “rationalism” and “naturalism.” They are not the same thing.

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