Year End Review of American Christianity

January 1, 2009 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Culture, Faith, Headlines

2008 is over.

The most important event on the religious landscape of America was the presidential election. The Democratic party reinvented itself as “religious” and the Republicans lassoed former Baptist minister and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Mormon governor Mitt Romney stepped up the plate, as well. John McCain suffered a slight setback for snuggling too close to John Hagee, a card-carrying anti-Catholic. McCain then chose Sarah Palin, an Pentecostalesque evangelical who was denounced as a “creationist” and “fundamentalist”. Who can forget the Saturday Night Live skits mocking Palin.

Then there were the Pastor Rick Warren interviews, which were very civilized and enlightening–perhaps the highlight of the entire campaign. Barack Obama shocked everyone by saying that decisions over abortion and the moment with life begins were “above his pay grade.”

We elected Barack Obama, a professed Christian whom a majority of practicing Christians voted against. Barack Obama’s greatest moment of unpopularity centered around his pastor Jeremiah Wright’s racist comments about Whites, Jews, and the infamous “God damn America” sermon. Obama promised America that he had not heard the Reverend Wright say anything prejudicial in his twenty years of attending Wright’s Trinity United Church in Chicago. Obama withdrew his membership at Trinity United and the rest is history. Obama won the election but Proposition 8 passed in California with the support of Catholics, Evangelicals and Mormons.

Pope Benedict XVI made his first visit to the United States and celebrated Holy Mass in Washington, D.C. and New York City where he visited Ground Zero. Most notably, the Holy Father met with victims of priestly sexual abuse and offered apologies.

As a former Anglican clergyman, I followed with great interest the crisis in the Anglican Communion and the related fallout in America’s branch-the Episcopal Church USA. After a meeting in Jerusalem, conservatives around the globe rallied together in their affirmation that homosexuality is a grave sin and contrary to the Sacred Scriptures. In the meantime the American Episcopal denomination continues to fracture and splinter. Perhaps 2009 will see the formation of a new denomination.

Did I miss anything? If so leave a comment.

               

Election 2008 – Either way we dodged a bullet

November 11, 2008 by David Stotts  
Filed under Culture, Headlines, Politics

The disappointment many of us felt on Election Night 2008 really began ten months prior – when John McCain made his unlikely comeback in New Hampshire on January 8th. He was never the best candidate to defeat Barack Obama, nor was he the best standard bearer for the conservative voice in America. Not by a long shot. He may be an American hero and an honorable man, but his inability to fully grasp (let alone articulate) the fundamentals of true conservatism weakened him with his base, and with the general electorate. Just ask yourself how many times, during the three Presidential debates, you found yourself screaming at the television incredulous at McCain’s refusal to stand up to Obama’s sophistry. Anyone who lets his wealth-spreading opponent get away with co-opting Republican “tax cutting” rhetoric doesn’t deserve to win. Now the President-Elect is “ready to rule on day one” and many of us (especially those of us who care about the Life issue) are deeply troubled. But I like silver linings. I need them. WIth McCain no longer in the position of being the de facto representative for conservatism, we now have a tremendous opportunity. It’s time for us to purge our ranks, relearn what it means to be a consistent social and economic conservative and look for new and persuasive ways to not just articulate, but implement conservative principles on the ground. When those ideals are actually applied, not just touted, you get real results. But enough about Bobby Jindal.

The point is this: we dodged a bullet either way. To be sure, the bullet of Barack hurts far more than would have that of McCain and we’ll suffer longer because of it. But let’s not forget, from the ashes of Jimmy Carter rose Ronald Reagan. We mustn’t squander this opportunity to refine.

               

We Christians must honor and pray for Barack Obama

November 6, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith, Headlines, Politics

It’s no secret that I do not agree with Barack Obama’s policies on abortion and homosexual unions (he didn’t get my vote, if you’re wondering). However, I have been alarmed by some Christians who have resorted to an attitude of disrespect to our President-Elect. Racist remarks and off color comments are completely unacceptable in the mouth of a Christian.

We must honor and pray for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They are our elected leaders. We may disagree their policies, but we must remember that Sacred Scripture commands us to show honor to them:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1).

Despite our disagreements, we must “be subject to the governing authorities”. This is not a suggestion, it a command from the Word of God. It may be hard for us, but “there is no authority except from God”. God granted Barack Obama the presidency. This does not mean that God approves of everything espoused by the President-Elect, but He allowed it to happen for some greater purpose. The purposes of God are unknown to us. Some great good must come out of this. We mustn’t despair.

Saint Peter also taught that Christians should be subject to the governing institutions, even to the emperor as supreme.

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right” (1 Pet 1:13-14).

Keep in mind that Saint Peter spoke of Nero, the most vile Roman emperor and fierce persectutor of Christians.

We should also pray for our leaders. They need extra grace and virtue to fulfill their public offices. Maybe God will bring them to see the light about the injustice of abortion. Whether the conversion of Constantine helped or hindered the Church, it certainly extended the cause of Christ in Europe for subsequent centuries. God had a greater plan. And this is why would should continually pray for our leaders.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way” (1 Tim 2:1-2)

Saint Paul, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit states that we should pray “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.” We must pray for our leaders. If you count them as enemies in the culture war, then that’s all the more reason to pray for them. Our divine Lord taught us to love and pray for our enemies. Personally, I need a lot of work in this area.

Let’s pray for Barack Obama and ask God to bless him.

Godspeed,

Taylor Marshall

PS: I still haven’t decompressed after the election and this post was not easy for me to write. However, I know in my heart that this is the right thing to say at this moment.

               

Eric Wilson reflects on Obama’s win last night

November 5, 2008 by Eric James Wilson  
Filed under Uncategorized

Last night, as the networks began announcing Obama’s win, I started to sense the uphill battle we will face as Catholics, Christians, and Americans in promoting a culture of life for the next four years.  The Church, in many quarters, has failed to provide the clarion call for that which we must hold dear.  During the campaign, Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) into law upon reaching the White House.  Should he make good on this promise, the consciences of millions of Americans will be violated – an overreach for which nobody will ever have a mandate.  Lastly, I found it tragically ironic that while we were reflecting, as a nation, on the racial progress represented by the historic election, that roughly one third of our country’s African Americans are not alive to witness it because they have been killed through legal abortion.

               

Alexandra Windsor Considers Obama’s Victory

November 5, 2008 by Alexandra Windsor  
Filed under Culture, Headlines, Politics

There is much to be said about Barack Obama’s win last night. The
breadth of his ambition and the enormity of his political talents have
been underestimated from the start of his campaign. And I believe
what happen last night represents a real and long-lasting change in
America. But for now I will not dwell or expound on that. I wish
instead to return to the topic of abortion – the same, old, tired
topic that most people would be happy to never hear about again. That
topic that seems to have been written about over and over by Christian
conservatives this election. These are not new insights but here is a
short summary of where we stand:

- Every year between 1.2 and 1.3 million humans are killed in our
country by an act that is not only tolerated but protected as a
constitutional right – a right so important to protect, says the high
court, that states have no interest in interfering with it in almost
all instances.

- This is the case because of the Supreme Court cases Roe v. Wade and
Doe v. Bolton.

- Last night’s election put a man into office who will almost
certainly effect the composition of the Supreme Court in such a way
that Roe and Doe will remain in force for the foreseeable future.

- And in that time, more than 1 million humans a year will be legally
killed on an annual basis.

- That this happens is not the fault of the small minority who boldly
proclaim their support for abortion rights. It is the fault of the
hundreds of millions of Americans who regularly say, “I’m personally
against it but . . .” Those hundreds of millions of Americans who
would just prefer not to bring it up – to not have to think about it.
They are moral cowards and because of their cowardice a million humans
will die this year.

I have been pondering all this now for the last 24 hours and I find it
very, very sobering.

               

Election Weather Map (Photo)

November 3, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Headlines, Politics


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They say that rain in a district typically hurts Democratic voters who rely on walking and public transportation. That could have an effect on tomorrow’s voting patterns. Here’s the national forecast for November 4th as of November 3rd. The most notable locations for expected rain are in Virginia and North Carolina–two swing states that are both very close.

               

Barack Obama losing a little ground

November 2, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Headlines, Politics

Obama needs to be up at least 8-10% if he’s wants to sleep for the next couple nights. Zogby put McCain as within the error of margin on November 1st. McCain is gaining tick marks in swing states. Will he win be able to pull this off?

Everyone I know is praying and fasting!

               

Obama, Racism, and Evangelicals

October 31, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Faith, Headlines, Politics

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article entitled “The Obama Dilemma” by WILFRED M. MCCLAY

McClay notes that Obama supporters are already asserting that an Obama loss on Tuesday will be accounted for by American racism, particularly Evangelical Christian racism.

Excerpt:

Slate columnist Jacob Weisberg has already published the indictment pre-emptively, in an Aug. 23 article subtly titled “If Obama Loses, Racism is the Only Reason McCain Might Beat Him.” Nowhere will this charge be made more angrily than against the evangelical Protestant community.

Read full story here.

               

Is it okay to be a one issue voter when it comes to abortion?

October 31, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Headlines, Politics


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This post is back by popular demand:

A reader of this blog has recently left a comment appealing to the other readers with the following words about single issue voting:

Please, please…don’t let one single issue [abortion] be your deciding factor. I don’t believe in abortion either, but this election is truly about much, much more than that.

I’ve been hearing this a lot from the left. For some reason “single issue” voting is seen as being shallow. Well, let me put it this way: Would it be okay for Germans to vote for Hitler because his “election was truly about much, much more than that” when his platform included the state-supported murder of Jews? Would it be okay to vote against Hitler simply because one objected to killing people based on creed or race? What if you agree with Hitler on national pride, unity, health care, tax structures, schooling, etc. Should one ignore the one important issue and vote for Hitler because “we agree on everything else?”

Barack Obama says it’s okay to kill infants and wants to use my tax money to assist in that diabolical practice. This one issue – the right for a human being to have life – is the one issue that supports all other rights. If a child does not have the right to life, then he or she doesn’t have the right to education, healthcare, etc.

How can any issue in this election be “much more” important than that?

Think about all the babies that have been killed. Can a war in a Iraq, gas prices, health care, or mortgages be more important than a single issue when that issue is the fundamental issue for all human beings?

We’re looking into the eyes of manifest evil. You have a vote. Vote to end the evil.

               

Practicing Wealth Redistribution (Humor)

October 30, 2008 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Culture, Headlines, Politics

We need to start practicing for the future of our country…

Here is a creative approach to redistribution of wealth as offered in a local newspaper…

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read ‘Vote Obama, I need the money.’ I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a ‘Obama 08′ tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference–just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed to be more in need–the homeless guy outside.

The server angrily stormed out from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was very grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

               

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