Thursday, August 03, 2006

Separating Politics and Pulpits


Rev Greg Boyd of Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood Minnesota has been getting a lot of press this week. It seems he lost 20% of his membership when he took a stand against church involvement in Politics. The story can be found here. I find it interesting that a number of the members who did not leave, were relieved.

His points regarding church and state are enlightening and refreshing. I have been frustrated the last few elections with the Republican party which seems to have been hijacked by the Religious Right. Maybe there is hope for them.

Give this guy points for being intellectually honest and having the courage of his convictions.

14 comments:

Maggi-nifica said...

refreshing indeed.
I wish ...
Being Catholic, I wish a lot, but I really wish politics would stay out of my church and my pastor out of my politics.

Freewheel said...

I think he has the right idea. Both Republicans and Democrats have become too comfortable exploiting people's religious beliefs for political gain.

Grant said...

That's one of the biggest complaints I have with George Jebus W. Bush is that he's using his position to push his personal agenda rather than trying to represent his constituents.

anchovy said...

A couple criticisms and then a concession:

The pastor is quoted as saying "...but the Bible we're to be preaching is not something you can identify just with one party or the other." No, but it does preach an Objective morality that sometimes finds greater support in one political ideology over another and so it's inevitable that you'll see religious conservative folks lean politically conservative. If "flagwaving" (quoting tha article) at church makes you uncomfortable, um, grow a thicker skin. Inevitably the church will take on some of the characteristics of its congregation and we should be sensitive and tolerant of that to the extent it doesn't cause division or otherwise works at cross purposes to God's will.

Also, this article, like so many that speak on the issue, misreads the Establishmen Clause to mean a "separation of church and state." Really folks, it's ok to hear God mentioned in the public square. It's even ok to let politics into the church. When was the last time you prayed for our civil leaders? Please take a moment to do so.

Ok, my concession. While God in the public square and prayer for our civil leadership are good, campaigning from the pulpit and evangelizing from the White House are not. I'm sure folks would disagree, but I certaintly haven't seen the latter and the former makes my skin crawl. Let me just say something about the former, though. There is some great stuff at the end of Romans and beginning of I Corinthians about how all us members of the body are individuals with all the quircks that entails and how we should be tolerant of those differences. At the same time there are admonitions against causing needless divisions by these differences. I think if believers meditate on those teachings they're likely to avoid some of problems we're talking about here. This pastor was probably on to something good.

Old Man Rich said...

But no points for the hair or eyebrows...

sage said...

Good for him! I like his style.

Leesa said...

Both Republicans and Democrats use religion for votes.

I was listening to something on NPR where they identify the niche where a party wants votes and taylors their campaign to that niche. The example given was "Russian Jews" in one city.

I always get uncomfortable when some politician comes to Church and speaks - it happens rarely, but I am Catholic. It should not happen at all! Never happened when I was a child. I sometimes wonder how much the Church charged for the political advertizing.

Chrissie said...

Good on em... I haven’t been to church since high school... but I know our school was very politically conservative... of course it was a private school too so everyone there had $$ lol which also helps skew the field towards republican.

Notsocranky Yankee said...

I'm happy to see a religious man keeping politics out of his church. I would rather see religion taken out of politics.

I also hated how much religion was injected in the military. And from what I read about the USAF Academy, it's getting even worse there.

Fred said...

Good for him. I agree 100%.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

yes, i think i heard about this guy..

i must say, i kinda like his ideas..

United We Lay said...

I understand that people feel that their politics need to reflect their beliefs, but I don't think people all need to believe the same thing. Unfortunately in our society there is always an "aftermath" for telling the truth. All that does is show how little of it we actually hear.

jj mollo said...

Even if a politician were to garner every single religiously motivated vote, the person and the party would still be constrained to follow the dictates of the Constituion. Elected office requires representation to reflect the entire constituency. The interests of heathens, infidels, pagans and heavy drinkers must all be taken into account. I'm not sure about bloggers. What the heck! Them too!

Liz said...

I believe in bible, Jesus says only republicans go to heaven ;)