Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Furious evangelical leader accuses religious right of idolatry & other tales of religious progressives

By Diane Silver

The Rev. Tony Campolo has an interesting take on the religious right. While many progressives and secular folk attack theocrats for their political policies, Campolo skewers them where it has to really hurt -- in their theology. CBS News quotes Campolo about how he and and other evangelicals feel about the religious right.
"We are furious that the religious right has made Jesus into a Republican. That's idolatry," Campolo said. "To recreate Jesus in your own image rather than allowing yourself to be created in Jesus' image is what's wrong with politics."
Campolo's comment is part of a CBS story on the emerging political voice of the religious left. As a fiercely spiritual person, I'm excited about the emergence of a politically progressive religious movement. I agree with much of what I hear.

Take a look at what Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches tells CBS News.
"Jesus called us to love our neighbor, love our enemy, care for the poor, care for the outcast, and that's really the moral core of where we think the nation ought to go." Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches

..."Jesus never said one word about homosexuality, never said one word about civil marriage or abortion," Edgar said.
He calls this movement the "center" -- and it's seeking the same political muscle as the conservative Christians, a group with a strong power base in the huge Evangelical churches of the South.
As I said I am excited about the new leftist movement among religious folk, but I am also a tad concerned. As a lesbian and a feminist, I keep getting the uneasy feeling that a few of the good people I want to make into my allies don't always have my best interests at heart.

Today Talk To Action takes Sojourners editor and author Jim Wallis to task for his stand on abortion. I'll have to do a little more digging to see where folks like Campolo and Wallis stand on the issue of fair laws for lesbian and gay Americans. I worry that many would gladly fight alongside me if we were marching for the environment or against poverty, but turn their back on me when I want their help in working for equality for my family.

However, as uneasy as I may feel, I still think an energized religious left, particularly an energized Christian left, can only help this country. We may not stand together on all issues, but we can at least work together on some.

For more on Tony Campolo, go here.

Information about Jim Wallis, can be found here.

One of the best ways to get involved and to learn about the movement is to check out the Network of Spiritual Progressives here.

No comments: