Why aren’t church leaders raining hellfire and damnation—or at least withholding communion, since that is the preferred remedy of some—from those who take the name of the Lord in vain?
I’d like to know if Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of Minnesota, for example, who denied communion to those who wore a rainbow ribbon to Mass to show solidarity with the LGBT community, would do the same to political candidates who claim they are running because God told them to. You would think that dragging God into their political rants and claiming He/She spoke to them and endorses their “righteousness” is a blatant taking of the name of the Lord in vain, no?
Where two or three Tea Party activists gather, are we to believe the Prince of Peace is among them? Think about it. Christ told Peter to put away his sword but we are told that His professed 21st century disciples are ready to reach for their guns if they fail at the ballot box. Are church leaders really OK that such church-going pillars of moral certainty as Sharon Angle, Rand Paul, Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino run on platforms that parade bigotry, ignorance and tolerance of violence in the civic sphere? This is how Christians should live their faith in the political sphere?
Do church leaders not feel a need to speak out against the threat of Second Amendment remedies and blatantly racist speech by those who say they are following the call of God? Is the need to keep the LGBT community and those who acknowledge their equality from full communion with the church a more urgent social justice and morality issue than ensuring that faith does not become another weapon in the arsenal of those who wear religion on their sleeve to wage political battle? With the exception of that conspicuous sleeve, the battle dress of these conspicuously Christian political “warriors” is so skimpy on education, history or truth as to make one blush and cringe for them. Like the proverbial emperor in new clothes, these Christian political “warriors” who broadcast their special interest in God from every podium even as they shrink from every legitimate media microphone, seem blissfully unaware of their nakedness or ignorance.
As Election Day approaches, church leaders could help restore God and faith to the inner sanctum of our souls where they belong. By speaking out, as Bishop John Shelby Spong has done recently with courage and eloquence, they could bring a little more intelligence and integrity to what can and should be proclaimed as Christianity.
See Bishop Spong’s letter calling on Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson to step down from the public stage. http://politicalfutures.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978625638
Christianity should have no place in the gutter of political expediency. Perhaps on November 2 voters will do with their vote what church leaders have largely failed to do with their voice.