April 09, 2006

Dragging Down the Religious Right

Apostle Dale at my church alerted me to this fascinating article in "The Nation" magazine about Christian Coalition co-founder Ralph Reed. The article talks about the trouble he has encountered in his campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia.

Reed has been linked to the still mushrooming dirty-money scandal centered around provessional lobbyist Jack Abramoff. As you can read in the article, it is merely the latest question of impropriety and legality Reed has been faced with in his public life.

It is troubling that someone who help found and then lead an orgainzation with the name "Christian Coalition" has a documented history of deception, ruthlessness, and self-promotion. All of these characteristics go against the Christianity I know.

That leads me to touch on the bigger issue, the role of the church in American politics. Going back to the very founding of the United States, politics has been known as a dirty business. When religious organizations became prominent in the political arena in the 1980's, primarily as an operative for the Republican Party, something had to give. Either the Christian involvement would rase the standards of politics, or the principles of Christianity would be compromised as these groups wallowed in the mud with everyone else. It is with sadness and anger that I have watched the latter scenario play out.

When Christian leaders focus so much of their time, energy, and their follower's money on political issues, they are usually yielding the moral high ground they are claiming in their television ads and talk-show appearances. While people like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson are feeding on the wealth, celebrity, and influence their political activism has brought them, who is home feeding their sheep?

Jesus said in John 21:18, "Feed my sheep."

He didn't say to do so if you could work it in between political rallies or television appearances.


  1. I figured out a long time ago that most of the Reed/Dobson/Robertson/Kennedy clones were faux Christians, more interested in money and power than in caring for the least among us, but it's still sad to see I was right. I guess I'd held out a tiny hope that they might not be complete fakes. It's a shame they have to give real Christianity a black eye.

  2. I came from the blog called Peters Cross Station. I am impressed with your writings. I too, am a PFLAG member here in our little town and I have a wonderful daughter who is a lesbian. I promise to come back often and look in or comment.

  3. I don't think that Dobson's a complete fake (I won't say as much for the others). I'd suggest instead that he's been selling his soul piece by piece over the last couple of decades in pursuit of the political power that he thinks he can use to save the world (his particular version of it, at least).

    What the true state of his heart is at this point only God knows for sure, but if he's a fake now it should serve as a cautionary tale of what can become of any of us.

  4. mari,

    Thanks for visiting and participating. I'll look forward to your comments on future topice.


    You make an excellent point. Once we get into a "the end justifies the means" mentality, we have moved away from God's plan and are following our own, even if it is in His name.