Here is an excerpt from Randall Balmer's new book, Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical's Lament,
America has been kind to religion, but not because the government has imposed religious faith or practice on its citizens. Quite the opposite. Religion has flourished because religious belief and expression have been voluntary, not compulsory. We are a religious people precisely because we have recognized the rights of our citizens to be religious in a different way from us, or even not to be religious at all. We are simultaneously a people of faith and citizens of a pluralistic society, one in which Americans believe that it is inappropriate, even oppressive, to impose the religious views of a minority — or even of a majority — on all of society. That is the genius of America, and it is also the reason that religion thrives here as nowhere else.
The entire article is a laundry list of why the Religious Right is so corrupt and anyone who reads it will agree with at least a few of its points. It's a good read though although Balmer is a bit engaged, so much so one wonders if his broad brush strokes of criticism will do more alienating than eye opening.
Balmer sometimes taught NT classes at Union Seminary and he is one heck of a nice guy; Presently he teached at Barnard College in Manhattan. I am actually a bit surprised in his lament here. But that said, the article is worth reading nonetheless.
Have a looksee and tell me what you think.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Posted by Bo at 7:12 PM