Bravo to Joe Carter for this excellent post:
An Open Letter to the Religious Right
I don’t know if I qualify as a member of the “Religious Right”; for instance, I disagree with Joe about prayer in schools (a “Religious Right” shibboleth), and I disagree with most Americans on the wisdom of fighting the “Drug War” (I find little), and I agreed with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from Day One. Then again, some of the standard RR stuff (pro-life, pro-real marriage, etc.) are on my list. But regardless of my own position vis a vis the RR, most of what Joe says is dead-on. I was going to pick out one or two of his points to highlight particularly, but as I read the post, with the exception of the first sentence of Point One, I think I agree with every word, and there are so many things worthy of considering that it’s hard to pick one. I know…I’ll summarize!!!
One — (Relative to the appropriate place for such things as school prayer and 10 Commandments displays) Perhaps we should rethink our priorities and put the first things first.
Two — Being Right doesn’t mean we are always right. I know we claim we understand that but it would probably help if we acted like we believed it as well.
Three — We have ideological enemies (such as Islamo-fascists) and we ideological opponents (such as secular liberals). That’s a crucial distinction that we should always keep in mind.
Four — Christians have to take a firm stand against torture.
Five — We must keep in mind that term “religious right” encompasses two unique spectrums. Because of our commitment to the faith, we will often find ourselves in agreement with the religious left. And because our conservatism is informed by our religion, we will also find ourselves in disagreement with the secular right.
Six — It is not enough to simply baptize the conservative agenda; our political beliefs must be derived from our Biblical worldview.
Seven — Whenever you hear someone say that the religious right is attempting to install a theocracy, simply say “You’re an idiot” and move on. (This one is not only funny, but so correct!).
Eight — We religious conservatives need to purge the most odious hangers-on from our company. I propose that we start with the obnoxious, hate-spewing Ann Coulter.
Nine — Our beliefs are often informed by tradition and sacred texts. This does not, as our ideological opponents often claim, make them invalid. But it does make it necessary to translate them when we bring them into the public square.
Ten — America is not a “Christian nation”, though we should aspire to be a nation of Christians.