23 February 2012

Progressive Faith

I was watching the interview of Mr Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) where he discusses the Christian Credentials of the presidential candidates. He says that any of the Republican candidates who profess to be Christian are (though he waffles a bit on Mitt Romney as a Mormon). However, he questions that Obama is sincere in his faith, apparently because he doesn't agree with Obama's polices.

By Mr Graham's standards I wouldn't be a Christian, as I only go to church about 3 times a year. However, I pledge financial support, pray for those who wish it, and make decisions based on my faith and my understanding of the scripture, reason, and tradition of the Episcopal Church. Showing up on Sunday is not the only mark of a faithful person.

It drives me crazy when people like Mr Graham equate conservative values with the Christianity and progressive values with godless heathenism.

I believe that Jesus called us to radical hospitality and inclusion of all people. He brought the outcasts of his society to him and treated them as deserving of love and respect. He boiled all of the law and prophets down two 2 rules that can cover pretty much any situation.

Conservatives conveniently forget that one of the big parts of Jesus's message was that he was making a new covenant with his followers that does not require faith and adherence to the Old Testament. It also makes me wonder if they have ever actually read the bible, or only just been told what it says.

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