I guess I could have been more politically correct and written "Why I Don't Appreciate the Christian Coalition", but where's the fun in that?. This post was kicked off in my head by the following clips from a news story on Yahoo news...
The coalition is finishing interviews of lawmakers for its voter guides, which national field coordinator Bill Thomson called the "B-2 bomber" in its arsenal. Combs wasn't ready to say exactly how many coalition voter guides will be printed. The group handed out 70 million in 2000.
Thomson, a former Marine, used military imagery to fire up the Christian Coalition activists to get out the vote.
"Never allow the enemy to block you," Thomson urged them. "Get around them, run over the top of them, destroy them — whatever you need to do so that God's word is the word that is being practiced in Congress, town halls and state legislatures."
So problem number one is that they exhibit a bunch of tendencies in action and words that are distinctly unChristian. The second, and my main beef, is that they purport to represent all US Christians (I'm sure in their minds there is something fundamentally wrong with foreign so-called Christians. After all, God is an American, right? But maybe that's just me being a paranoid foreigner.)
This hijacking of the Christian political voice can be traced back to Jerry Falwell and the infamous Tim LaHaye when they founded the Moral Majority around 1980. The really unfortunate part of that hijacking is that the mainstream church wasn't organized enough (and still isn't) to counter the very focused, unChristian message of the Moral Majority and later Christian Coalition. While the Newt Gingrich debacle of the mid-90s slowed down the fundamentalist (or in Jimmy Swaggart's case should that be fundamentalust?) juggernaut, they have snuck back to prominence under Dubya (whose family was Episcopalian, but he's drifted toward a fundamentalist Methodist perspective apparently.)
If it wasn't so frustrating it would be hilarious to listen to the Religious Right blather on about being persecuted when they are the perpetrators of plenty themselves (just ask the gay community, abortionists or just Godless Democrats described above by Thomson.)
One last frustration I have is that this kind of political rhetoric and activism obscures the really great work being done by other fundamentalist evangelicals as part of God’s church. Isn’t there something wrong when the “person on the street” associates the term Christian Coalition with political campaigns rather than taking care of the poor, the orphaned and the widowed?