David Kirkpatrick

November 26, 2008

Theocrats and Obama

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:31 am

I’ve done some recent blogging on the damage theocrats on the religious right are doing to the Republican Party. This post from the WSJ Political Perceptions blog explains why this GOP faction doesn’t like, or trust for that matter, the president elect.

Looking at the numbers in the second graf below, it’s easy to see why christianist extremists are killing the GOP.

From the link:

But progressive Christians responded that it’s quite possible for Christians to believe that Jesus provides a way to salvation but not the only way. As one reader commented, “Why should the language of John 3:16 be interpreted exclusively? If anyone who believes in Jesus (who was the Word back in chapter 1) is saved, does that verse tell us anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus isn’t saved? Or if Jesus is the only way to salvation, does that mean everyone must be aware of this fact to enjoy the benefit of it?”

Putting aside whether the conservatives have a better theological case, Mr. Obama is actually more in line with most American Christians. In a recent Pew poll, 70% said “many religions can lead to eternal life.” Two-thirds of Protestants, 66%, and 79% of Catholics said they agreed with that idea.

What this debate exposed is that the political differences between Obama supporters and foes have at least some roots in the way they interpret the Bible. Beliefnet surveyed 4,500 of its own readers right after the election and, for me, the most fascinating finding was that the most religious voters for Sen. John McCain and Mr. Obama (those who attend church weekly or more) interpreted scripture in dramatically different ways: 57.7% of Sen. McCain’s religious voters said God was “the literal word of God” while only 17.3% of Mr. Obama’s religious voters did (most thought it was “divinely inspired”).

Put all these stray factoids together and one is drawn to conclude that part of why some people distrust Mr. Obama is not that he’s deeply atypical but that he’s quite typical of liberal Christianity in America. And if there’s anything that disturbs traditional conservatives more than the effect of political liberalism, it’s the effect of religious liberalism.

1 Comment »

  1. That’s an interesting phrase, religious liberalism. It so kind and innocuous sounding. Sadly, it’s misleading. What your describing is heresy. The faithful don’t respond well to heresy anywhere in the world and never have.

    Now, I’m Pagan and only care intellectually about schisms within Christianity – but let’s call a spade and spade.

    Comment by jonolan — November 26, 2008 @ 6:19 am


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