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2.02.2006    |    "the Christian middle"
There's a longish piece on John Danforth in the Sytle section of today's Washington Post (where else but Style?). The title, and the fact that it appears in the far-left corner of the WaPo called "Style", is more than a little snarky: "'St. Jack' and the Bullies in the Pulpit; John Danforth Says It's Time the GOP Center Took On The Christian Right." From the story, the essence:
Jack Danforth wishes the Republican right would step down from its pulpit. Instead, he sees a constant flow of religion into national politics. And not just any religion, either, but the us-versus-them, my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God, velvet-fist variety of Christian evangelism.

As a mainline Episcopal priest, retired U.S. senator and diplomat, Danforth worships a humbler God and considers the right's certainty a sin.
The article is, basically, about what a nice fellow John Danforth is, and what knuckle-dragging troglodytes those beastly evangelicals are.

Now, to me, the term "mainline Episcopal priest" could just as easily have been "priest of Satan." Speaking of Satan, the article touts one of Danforth's new best friends, Jimmah Carter, worst ex-president, ever (and a really lousy president when he was in office). Carter compares us evangelical Republicans (yeah, I'm one...) to the left's second-best bogeyman:
In an interview, Carter praises Danforth as "one of my heroes" and says modern-day fundamentalism is identifiable by superiority, exclusivity and narrow-mindedness. The current alignment reminds him of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's red-baiting frenzy of 50 years ago. He says the country licked McCarthy and will beat the Christian conservatives, "once the American people realize accurately what is happening."
Yes, McCarthy is only second best. Hitler is number one on the left's cheap shot roster.

John Danforth may be a fine, upstanding man, and I used to respect him. But it appears that he's fallen into the trap of politicizing Christianity, which is the crime he accuses us of. How so? Because he urges that we all become "moderate", and should occupy "the Christian middle."

Sounds like someone who is embarrassed by the Gospel, in that it might offend some. This story merely reinforces what has become apparent: "mainline" churches are no longer Christian. They are high-toned, self-righteous social clubs.

Of course, I'm a Baptist, so I just don't see that political triumphalism that the left complains of. What I see a lot of is old-fashioned humility, and the serene knowledge that while we must be humble and attempt to walk in God's ways, our God is anything but humble.

Mr. Danforth, we're ever so sorry that your God is "humbler." Perhaps you've been at too many country club luncheons, and have confused your social class with the Almighty.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.