Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jesus in time for Easter

It looks like fundamentalist Christians are beginning to realize that legislating their particular blend of morality is a lost cause. Here's what Kathleen Parker has to say in a recent column: "For Christians such as [E.Ray] Moore — and others better known, such as columnist Cal Thomas, a former vice president for the Moral Majority — the heart of Christianity is in the home, not the halls of Congress or even the courts. And the route to a more-moral America is through good works — service, prayer and education — not political lobbying."

In Texas, where Christianity is famously our state's first religion the fallout from Dobson and others abdicating political power could have major ramifications for an already beleaguered Texas GOP, not to mention our Christian-courting Governor.


Patrick Rodgers said...

But what does this mean for the numerous ongoing battles over 10 Commandments statues in courthouses, and other lingering, religiously driven legal battles?

If the faithful take their beliefs back into their homes, and start trying to do more good acts, where will the new battle lines be drawn?

Obviously, the recent surge of evangelical interest in politics saw it's heyday in the first few aught years, and has been ebbing since the '06 mid-term elections.

But does this laissez-faire attitude stop when stem cell research gets to be more of a front line topic (after the Executive Order, but before the cures start rolling in...when some religious zealots get pictures of some sort of embryo farm)? What about abortion?

Or have the evangelical right and the GOP been so overwhelmingly damaged by the Bush years that now they both have to go sulk for a decade and then rediscover one another like near-divorcees who take time off and actually remember why they liked each other before things went sour?

Jacob Cottingham said...

A fair enough point. Texas is certainly still embroiled in the stem cell debate and perhaps will throw up some state obstacles in front of public universities who want to engage in such un-Christian work. And Rick Perry clearly still thinks that a moral majority will sweep him to victory again.

However, I do think there's a chance that the organized grassroots apparatus will slow down again. Abortion's still legal, everyone understands gay marriage will be a reality, and there are more online porn users in Utah than any other state. Politics is a fickle, morally corrupt hole anyway, and you don't have to look much further than Christ to see that advocating a political revolution has no bearing on one's salvation.

Churches and organized religions do offer a lot of unambiguous good - they feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and a lot of times fill in critical gaps in social services. Churches led the Civil Rights movement and have brought health care to impoverished countries around the globe.

Perhaps what we're going to see is a concentration on individual salvation (i.e., are you so assured of your place in heaven that you can start telling me how to live?) and maybe a renewed focus on the basics of selfless service, especially in these harder times.