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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Friday, July 28, 2017

Who Is Making Christianity A Private Religion

Rarely do I read an article that I recommend people to read and ignore my review of it. But a recent article written by A. James Rudin (click here for a bio) about the Evangelicals who supported Trump is such an article. The article is called Evangelical Trump Supporters Hark Back To The Good Old Days That Weren't (click here for the article).

In his article, Rudin challenges the Evangelicals who supported Trump because they thought that he would bring back the good old days of a Christian America.  Trump's perceived offer was good enough for many evangelicals who felt that they were losing a country that was once theirs.

Rudin shows from history why America was never a Christian country. To do this, Rudin points to public or corporate sins from how America treated Native Americans, to how it relied on exploited labor, to how it did not recognize women as equals, to how it displayed bigotry against Catholics, Jews, and Asians, and to how it treated Blacks. A nation that relies on or engages in abusing and exploiting even some of its people cannot be considered to be a Christian nation. And Rudin makes that point quite concisely. There is no way that any review of mine could add to this article. His article is a must read.

One point could be drawn from the article that was never considered by Rudin and understandably so. It addresses a common complaint made by many a religiously conservative Christian. That complaint revolves around societal and cultural resistance to making certain Christian sexual moral values in to law. Conservative Christian reaction to that resistance complains that such resistance wants Christians to keep their religious beliefs private. That does not sit well with many conservative Christians because they believe that religiously dictated moral beliefs carry implications for the public.

But, as we read in Rudin's article, there were many public sins in America's past. The presence of these sins challenges the notion that America was a Christian nation. And not only that, there were Christians who silent about these sins if they did not defend them. There were Christians who were either silent about or defended slavery, White supremacy, Jim Crow, taking land from Native Americans, and the exploitation of workers including child laborers as well as non-white laborers. All of that leads to the following question: Why were Christians either silent about or supportive of these sins? And following question is how can a religion's tolerance of public sins not support the notion that that religion is a private religion?

Many of us Christians are still silent about or supportive of public sins. Rudin hints at one such sin in merely mentioning climate change. He also mentions issues that contain the potential for other public sins such as changes in science and changes in in religious and ethnic demographics. We could add to the list of public sins American foreign policies that further injustice around the world. And for as long as we don't consider America's public sins deal breakers in calling America a Christian nation, then how can we not promote the idea that the Christian religion is not a private private?

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