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And What About the Religious Left?

By Editorial Staff
Published May 1, 2008

By Robert V. Pambianco

What’s most striking about the Federal Election Commission’s legal attack against the Christian Coalition is the rank hypocrisy of liberals who complain about the political activities of the religious right. What about the religious left?

No one seems to mind when liberal religious groups engage in political activities. It’s OK when left-wing church activists lobby for socialized medicine, affirmative action or welfare. The self-styled guardians of good government are not bothered when churches denounce Republican policies as cruel and un-Christian or when liberation theologians lead crusades for nuclear disarmament. Yet as soon as the conservative faithful get involved in politics, we hear all this nonsense about violating election laws and exceeding the bounds of nonprofit status – not to mention threats to the separation of church and state.

Indeed, there are liberal religious organizations that perform the same sorts of activities – albeit on a smaller scale – that got the Christian Coalition in hot water. The Interfaith Alliance is one such group. Created as an alternative to the “divisiveness and intolerance of the extreme religious right,” TIA is made up mostly of representatives of the so-called mainline Protestant churches.

The alliance’s agenda is far removed from that of conservative Christian groups, yet its methods are quite similar. In July it announced a “Road to Renewal” aimed at bringing “TIA’s national religious leaders all across America to local TIA chapters and the national party conventions to help empower mainstream people of faith. TIA’s 109 chapters will distribute millions of voter guides.” Distributing voter guides is exactly what the Christian Coalition does – and what has the CC’s liberal critics so excited.

Earlier this year, the Oregon Interfaith Alliance distributed its “mainstream” voter guides to Oregonians prior to a special U.S. Senate election. Like the Christian Coalition’s guides, they were supposed to provide Oregon voters with the candidates’ “positions on important issues” – including, in the alliance’s case, the minimum wage, Medicare, Medicaid, the environment and housing discrimination.

Which candidate do you think ranked better? Hint: It wasn’t the Republican. Democratic Rep. Ron Wyden narrowly edged out his GOP opponent. Did the Interfaith Alliance’s guides play some role in Mr. Wyden’s victory? Probably. But where is the outcry from those who groan about religious extremism?

Two reasons explain the liberals’ hypocritical attack on the Christian Coalition. First, these self-proclaimed defenders of tolerance are incapable of tolerating views at odds with their own orthodoxy. The same folks who condemn the “extremism” of the “radical religious right” seek to use the police powers of the state to silence those with whom they disagree.

Second, contemporary liberalism has accepted the counterculture’s hostility toward religion. Liberal elites tolerate religion only so long as it’s used as a vehicle to advance a “progressive” secular agenda. Start talking about God and morality, and they get nervous.

The FEC should either drop its suit against the Christian Coalition or be prepared to take action against the left-leaning religious groups that have been politicking for years. Unless, of course, the FEC’s members are comfortable with this hypocrisy.

Mr. Pambianco is a research associate at the Capital Research Center and editor of Organization Trends, a newsletter that monitors nonprofit advocacy groups.


Forerunner - Home » Pass The Word » Pass The Word - September/October 1996

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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