Eight Geeks

Monday, September 28, 2009

Extended Arm of the Republican Party

Why does it seem to me that the white evangelicals have become the extended arm of the Republican party? I mean I know that they vote Republican for the obvious reasons of gay marriage and abortion. They don't stop there though. They're vehemently against the Democrats new Health Care proposal, and not just because of abortion funding and alleged death panels, but also because of fears of rationing. They also support the Republican low-tax and strict immigration policies. Let's not forget their denial that humans are responsible for global warming. What do taxes and global warming have to do with being a good Christian? Absolutely nothing! It looks like in order to be a good white evangelical you need to support the Republican party. It's a package deal. I guess that leaves out the black evangelicals which overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party. Yes, they are against abortion and gay marriage. But other than this, they are generally liberal. And the few black evangelicals who are Republican are the exception, not the rule. This leads me to another issue. The great racial divide in the Christian church. The most segregated time of the week is Sunday morning where whites meet in their churches and blacks in theirs. I never realized until recently how divided Christians are divided on both political and racial lines. What happened to "Love thy neighbor"?


  • Welcome back! :)

    By Blogger Coralius, at 5:54 PM  

  • I logged into my dashboard, and saw a post on here more recent than on my own blog! I was confused.

    Glad to see you back in the fray, Ph1lom4n.

    I think the divide is greater than simple political disagreements. I think it's a division along starting premises. The Christian church has thousands of denominations, most with utterly contradictory views on scripture, divine law, and other basic premises of the religion. There have been repeated studies on political divisions in the church. Many of the divisions are explained by the interpretation of doctrine.

    Groups that emphasize "works over faith" to use a wildly un-nuanced shorthand, tend to be more liberal. These are the "feed the hungry, help your neighbor, don't be a douche" congregations. Doctrine is less important to these groups.

    "Faith over works", on the other hand, focus on salvation though declaration of faith. These churches are more hard-line, and tend to devote more time to decrying the unfaithful, i.e. anyone who disagrees with them doctrinally. These aren't people who want to get to heaven; they're afraid of hell. From that perspective, everything outside the faith is a threat. Change is threatening. Other religions are threatening. "Those people" are threatening. It's all about fear.

    The racial divisions are often due to similar terms. Let's face it; the history of Christianity in the face of racial oppression has been two-edged. Many prominent abolitionists hailed from liberal Christianity (as well as more orthodox main line sects and smaller groups like the Quakers). On the other hand, the Southern Baptist Convention was created specifically to oppose the idea of equality for blacks in the USA. These people aren't preaching the same gospel. Given that, they did what any good Christians would do; they splintered in a thousand directions, and it's no surprise that one of the major divisions was down racial lines. At the time many of these churches were formed, your racial identity was your community identity in every important way; hell, the churches themselves were often segregated. As the doctrines drifted apart, like they always do, there was little reason to integrate.

    Ah, always good to get some thinking in. Good work, my friend!

    By Blogger Ranson, at 5:23 PM  

  • Ranson, in reading your response, I was getting ready to jump on something you seemed to be missing, but you snuck it in at the last minute.

    Humans just very naturally "clique" up. Actually, all apes do, to one degree or another. Humans seem to need an "in-group" and at least one "out-group" to help us define who we go to for help, who we trust, etc. etc. etc. Combine that with evolving doctrinal differences, and "black" churches versus "white" churches make quite a bit of sense.

    I would be interested to see if the racial lines break down in areas that don't experience as much racial self-profiling.

    For example (and it's just an example, and could be way off the mark), are there a lot of "white" and "black" churches in San Francisco or Seattle?

    And then there's the national issue. Are there any churches in, say, England that we would recognize as traditional "black" churches? Or does different historical pressure give rise to different phenomena?

    Now, all that said, Ph1lom4n makes a good point. If you're not practicing what you're preaching, then something's wrong.

    By Blogger Coralius, at 12:15 PM  

  • I was getting ready to jump on something you seemed to be missing, but you snuck it in at the last minute.

    That's what she said.

    By Blogger Ranson, at 11:07 AM  

  • You should be ashamed of yourself. I know you're not, but still ...

    :) :) :)

    By Blogger Coralius, at 9:11 PM  

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