Friday, November 10, 2006

Washington Post: Let's Stop Stereotyping Evangelicals

Washington Post: Let's Stop Stereotyping Evangelicals:
" ...Evangelicals led the grass-roots campaigns for religious liberty, the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage. Even the Moral Majority in its most belligerent form amounted to nothing more terrifying than churchgoers flocking peacefully to the polls on Election Day. The only people who want a biblical theocracy in America are completely outside the evangelical mainstream, their influence negligible. ..."
Here's a pretty good article about the stereotypes that have grown up around evangelicals over the years. This article acknowledges that much of it is fueled by the behavior of a small number of self-described evangelicals who say outrageous things, which are then reported widely.

A story that is not told very effectively by the press is that of inner city "megachurches" which are truly multicultural in their makeup and are heavily engaged in social ministries. Nor is the story widely told of evangelical mission workers who place themselves in danger in such places as the Sudan and Somalia as a response to God's call.

The past election involved what seems to be an unusual number of evangelical Democrats winning contests, and these are not the "evangelical left" we are talking about here; they tend toward the conservative end of the religious and political spectrum.
"...Yet it is dishonest to disparage the massive civic and democratic contribution of evangelicals by invoking the excesses of a tiny few. As we recall from the Gospels, even Jesus had a few disciples who, after encountering some critics, wanted to call down fire from heaven to dispose of them. Jesus disabused them of that impulse. The overwhelming majority of evangelicals have dispensed with it as well. Maybe it's time more of their critics did the same."

May it be so.

No comments: