I have grown weary of the misrepresentations of differing views in politics but even more so among fellow Christians. In an article posted over at the Gospel Coalition found here there are several statements made that unfortunately completely misrepresent the so called “religious right”. No the Christian Right did not transform evangelicalism from a religious to a political movement. It is these kind of misrepresentations that give Christianity a bad name. There is nothing true about this and there is no foundation on which to make such a claim.
What the religious right has done is to get into the public square a deal with issues that were being ignored as the radical left of the sixties were working to take over government, education, & public radio and television. They were getting their message out. The country was hearing from them their ideology and underhanded misrepresentations of what was really going on in the world so as to create a public perception that would make the political environment more suitable for their agenda. Men like Jerry Falwell came along and stood up to this. James Dobson also stayed in the public eye dealing with biblical principles that were held on to for many years in this country and were being eroded by “free love”, & Communism both of which are anti-God.
The premise of such accusations as we have become a political movement and are no longer a religious one is based on the idea that Christians should not engage or be outspoken about biblical principles or politicians who do and do not hold to them. These same people suggest that if you do one you corrupt the other. None of this is true.
So what is really behind all of this hubub? For starters it seems that in trying to tie everyone together under “Evangelicals” they work to show that the “religious right” was a small aberration with a big mouth that has never been representative of Evangelicals. The problem is the term “Evangelicals” is so broad a term that it encompasses some questionable teachers and therefore is not a true representation of the Christian community. Guys like Tony Campolo, Rob Bell, writers like William Young & Sara Young who are questionable at best. I could go on and on but to draw this down to a clear line of understanding it is the battle between the liberals and conservative. Yes, there are some in between who have sipped the liberal kool-aid on participating in our public square and political process. Never the less these are the ideologies that are at work here.
No, the Christian Right has not turned the religious into the political, ever. Saying so denies that the issues being raised by the Christian Right are biblical ones and it falsely accuses Conservative Christians of abandoning Christian principles. We need more honest representations of each other. The world is watching.