Saturday, January 29, 2005

"EVANGELICAL" AND "RIGHT-WING" are not synonymous. "Evangelical" and "progressive" are not contradictions in terms. Apparently there ARE progressive evangelicals out there; and they are becoming more and more impatient with religious conservatives for whom "moral values" means abortion, gay marriage, and prayer in public schools. These Bible-believing Christians say that poverty is a moral value, too -- and since conservative Christians now have the power of the White House behind them, progressive Christians are using that platform to get their message out as well.

"The good news about the bad news was that the spin doctors, whether they got it right or wrong, have said that values are so important to our political system," said Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, an association of liberal denominations that represents more than 100,000 congregations. "They've given an opportunity for us to say, 'We're people of faith, too, and we're going to talk about what the Bible says about poverty.' When nine million children are living in poverty, that's a moral value."
As a matter of fact, while we're talking about it, poverty is a much bigger moral value for Christians than abortion or gay marriage:

"We've let not evangelicals, but the right wing determine what moral values are," said David J. Frenchak, president of the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education, a nondenominational group that helps develop urban ministry programs at 12 seminaries or divinity schools around the country.

In Chicago last weekend, Dr. Frenchak joined a gathering of 20 Christians, mostly evangelicals, to produce a book defining moral values to include a focus on poverty. At the meeting, one man held up a Bible from which he had cut every verse that addressed poverty. "There was hardly anything left," Dr. Frenchak said. "He said, 'I challenge anyone in the room to take their Bible and cut out every verse about abortion or gay marriage, and we'll compare Bibles.' "
I'll testify to that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I just browsed your web site and am very impressed with its content. I'm particularly happy and feel strengthened to read about what the Bible really has to say about moral values. Indeed, "poverty" *is* a moral value in Christianity.

I will be looking forward to the book on Christian moral values as expressed in the Bible, not as expressed by rich politicians of no conscience in power and their equally rich and without conscience backers sending our sons and daughters in harm's way while shamelessly calling themselves "Christians."

Didn't Jesus Christ deplore the riches of self-serving priests in the Jewish temples? And did He not live in poverty? But He practiced *healing*, giving comfort and food.

Our politicians, instead, build bombs that kill children and their families many thousands of miles away. Within our country, the very same politicians are taking food, clothing, and shelter from our own children (be they returned war veterans, or jobless men and women, their children without homes or health care).

There is a huge moral difference between *driving* people into poverty and *practicing* poverty as a moral value. What our politicians and their backers exhibit is an aberration of "moral values." They suffer an impoverished spirit that grasps at anything to justify their self-serving, immoral actions to line their pockets with ill-gotten gains.

Thank you.