Just when I thought I had seen it all, I realized I haven?t. I hope you?ll pardon my deflated tone as the realization came just a few minutes ago.
As I was walking through the hall to check my mail (minding my own business, as usual) a flyer on one of my ?colleagues?? doors caught my eye. In big, bold letters it read: God is not a Republican or a Democrat.
At first, the flyer appeared to express an opinion with which I agreed. That was until I kept reading and discovered the real point of the flyer. After quoting Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (the usual whipping boys of the irreligious left), it went on to say that ?These leaders of the Religious Right mistakenly claim that God has taken a side in this election, and that Christians should only vote for George W. Bush.?
In other words, those radical members of the religious right think that God endorses Bush, when He doesn?t really endorse either candidate. That?s all the flyer was saying, right? Wrong.
Claiming not to be ?single issue voters? (read: simple-minded members of the religious right), the authors of the ?God is not a Republican or a Democrat? flyer went on to detail the ?complexity? of their political beliefs after warning readers that partisan politics and religion make for ?bad theology and dangerous religion.?
The authors of the flyer also stated that they ?believe that poverty-caring for the poor and vulnerable-is a religious issue.? So they urged readers to ask themselves whether ?the candidates' budget and tax policies reward the rich or show compassion for poor families? and whether ?their foreign policies include fair trade and debt cancellation for the poorest countries.? Just to make sure that people avoid ?the exploitation of religion or our congregations for partisan political purposes? they finished the paragraph with a couple of recommended Bible verses (Matthew 25:35-40, Isaiah 10:1-2).
They went on to say that ?We believe that the environment-caring for God's earth-is a religious issue? and asked voters to consider whether ?the candidates' policies protect the creation or serve corporate interests that damage it.? Just to make sure that people avoid ?the exploitation of religion or our congregations for partisan political purposes? they finished the paragraph with a couple of recommended Bible verses (Genesis 2:15, Psalm 24:1).