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Evangelical Manifesto Could Rescue Faith From Propaganda

May 3, 2008

An ‘Evangelical Manifesto’ criticizes politics of faith (AP) — Conservative Christian leaders who believe the word “evangelical” has lost its religious meaning plan to release a starkly self-critical document saying the movement has become too political and has diminished the Gospel through its approach to the culture wars.

The statement, called “An Evangelical Manifesto,” condemns Christians on the right and left for using faith to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

“That way faith loses its independence, Christians become ‘useful idiots’ for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology,” according to the draft.

… the drafters hope they can start a movement among evangelicals to reflect and act on the document. “We must find a new understanding of our place in public life,” the drafters wrote.

There must be a God after all. The pain and suffering caused by using religion as political tool is demonstrated throughout the world. It makes no sense that a country founded on religious freedom would succumb to the philosophy of despotic theocracies.

U.S. ignores religious oppression, federal panel says

  • Commission names 11 countries it says State Department should identify
  • China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan named with Iran, North Korea
  • Others are Eritrea, Myanmar, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
  • Panel says it’s also concerned about religious freedom in Iraq

(CNN) — China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are among 11 countries that practice religious oppression, a federal commission says.

Nevertheless, the U.S. State Department hasn’t designated or re-designated those nations as “countries of particular concern,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedoms (IRFA) said Friday. The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act requires the United States to identify “countries whose governments have engaged in or tolerated systematic and egregious violations of the universal right to freedom of religion or belief.”

The other eight countries cited are Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

“In the past year, violent government repression of religious communities in China, Burma (known as Myanmar), and Sudan, among other countries, confirms that religious freedom is [a] vulnerable human right that must be protected by the international community,” Commission Chairman Michael Cromartie said in a press release. The group said the inaction “may send the unfortunate signal that the U.S. government is not sufficiently committed to the IRFA process, including by seeking improvements from the most severe religious freedom violators”.

The United States can turn a blind eye to other countries suppressing religious freedom while allowing political marketers in America to cheapen and hijack its own religious freedom. US policies contradict our own Declaration of Independence. US hypocracy and elitism has created a global environment of mistrust. As America looses its freedom, it following the path of dictatorships. Americans have become the victims of its own propaganda.

All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction.

Volume One – A ReckoningChapter VI: War PropagandaAdolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

  1. ravenscawl permalink
    May 14, 2008 6:24 pm

    “You too must know each other”

    Unfortunately not.
    Nor do I mean to incite. I simply believe that as our
    existence is finite, and though we may perceive, We
    cannot have the time to fully comprehend that which
    is INFINITE.

  2. May 13, 2008 9:09 am

    Mike and Raven, is there a translation dictionary that goes along with this conversation? LOL.
    I enjoy this very much. You too must know each other.

  3. ravenscawl permalink
    May 12, 2008 11:35 am

    mikerucker Says:
    May 12, 2008 at 8:34 am

    ravenscrawl –

    i don’t believe my cognitive abilities are infinitesimal.


    perhaps, all leading to severe bouts with incontinence, but clearly (to me, anyways and, in the end isn’t it all only solitaire?) not infinitesimal.


    An true INTERPRETATION- perhaps?

  4. mikerucker permalink
    May 12, 2008 8:34 am

    ravenscrawl –

    i don’t believe my cognitive abilities are infinitesimal.


    perhaps, all leading to severe bouts with incontinence, but clearly (to me, anyways and, in the end isn’t it all only solitaire?) not infinitesimal.


  5. May 11, 2008 6:47 am

    Ravenscawl, I enjoyed your post. You are a deep thinker who sees beyond the social fog. Thank you for your beautiful words. You are indeed a poet.

  6. ravenscawl permalink
    May 10, 2008 11:41 pm

    “As many a CHOSEN MESSENGER has sought to TRANSLATE and
    PEN the MESSAGE!!! WHAT RIGHT do you have to RE-INTERPRET
    that with which they STRUGGLED and LABORED to simplify for your

    What RIGHT do ANY of you have to REDUCE his MESSENGERS,
    to the personal SPOKESMAN and REPRESENTATIVES of

    Just My 2 Cents

  7. May 10, 2008 4:40 pm

    Mr. Rucker, We agree. Strings of manipulation should no longer be the carrot for people hungry for spiritual comfort. The great religions of the world must learn to live together as neighbors and recognize their common points. How to worship is not cause for conflict. As soon as Evangelists realize that their concern should be their own behavior before they begrudge anyone else’s.
    Thank you for your insight. Please visit often. I have added you to my blogroll.

  8. mikerucker permalink
    May 10, 2008 10:43 am

    i’m enjoying reading the various opinions here and there around the web. i had some hesitations and misgivings before reading the document, but i’m actually quite impressed and invigorated after taking in the whole of what it addresses.

    one of the things i like is that the authors have chosen not to list creationism and inerrancy as non-negotiables. for the first, there’s very little biblical justification anymore behind whatever the latest flavor of anti-natural-selection dessert is being served up; for the latter, somehow we can admit that we can’t prove the existence of God, but goshdarnit we have a golden egg this unprovable God laid right here. still, some people hold to these positions; so be it. there’s simply too much of a tendency to add items to the ever-increasing laundry list of ideas and doctrines to which we have to pledge allegiance before we’re allowed into the room marked “Christian.”

    nothing’s going to please everybody, and there are a few things i object to. for instance, i don’t agree with this statement: We Evangelicals should be defined theologically, and not politically, socially, or culturally. Jesus’ message uses “action” verbs: teach them to DO as I have commanded you, LOVE God and LOVE your neighbor, by this will all men know … if you LOVE one another. any theology that defines us must have feet.

    i did, however, like these words: We are also troubled by the fact that the advance of globalization and the emergence of a global public square finds no matching vision of how we are to live freely, justly, and peacefully with our deepest differences on the global stage. somehow, we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to peacefully share the same bathroom over the next few decades in our ever-shrinking world.

    one interesting thing: maybe i missed it, but there doesn’t seem to be a great emphasis on evangelism in this Evangelical Manifesto. do you think that was intentional? i didn’t see a single chick tract referenced in the bibliography…

    more than anything, i find myself motivated and energized by the very positive nature of the piece – that it isn’t yet another “here’s everything we’re against” rant but an effort to make the gospel again a message of good news. imagine that – the gospel being good news. American Christianity has lost this defining characteristic that once served it well.

    perhaps one unintended benefit of the proposal is a clear opportunity to take this EM (Evangelical Manifesto) and align it with the other EM (Emergent Manifesto) and finally have all our EM & EMs in a row without demonizing the other side.

    one can only hope…

    mike rucker
    fairburn, georgia, usa

  9. May 6, 2008 9:01 pm

    Loves God_Hates Evangelicals,
    You are part of a growing number of faithful who have recognized the disconnect between actions and deeds. I agree with you, rescuing your own soul from a ‘crowd controlling’ religious marketing scam is required to remain true to your faith. Nowhere in the bible does Jesus advocate hatred for anyone. If you are secure in your faith, you do not need the protection of a crowd. Mob mentality has taken over Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Islam is loosing some of its best and brightest. Mullahs have hijacked the foundation of their faith. The Islamic radicals have torn their religion apart, just like Christian radicals have done. Research shows there is tension inside the different Judaic sects, young Jews are weary of the warrior mentality.
    Respect for others faiths is a first step for healing the world’s spiritual wounds.

  10. May 6, 2008 8:47 pm

    Totoro, a good old fashioned ‘street dance’ can be arranged – I’ll bring the chips & dips.

    Joe, religions have turned into political corporations, and we all know what the corporate mission is … money. Corporations pander to the most base level of humanity. Religion has moved from the heart into the wallet. True religious people do not need corporations to dictate their spirituality. You cannot take ethics out of religion and still have a religion. You cannot promote hate and still have a religion. Bibles, Torahs, Korans are not corporations. People make or break a religion with their behavior. Anyone who must keep reminding me that they are Christian and Jesus has saved them, don’t walk the talk. People that intrude upon others beliefs are insecure in their own.

  11. Loves God_Hates Evangelicals permalink
    May 3, 2008 7:57 am

    The Bible says that if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and ask forgiveness of their sins, I will hear from Heaven and heal their land.

    We stopped going to Church during the Clinton years when the Church, hijacked by the Republican Congress, relentlessly persecuted the sinner – while ignoring their own sins. I could not be a part of such blatant and arrogant hypocrisy! Over the years we have steered away from Conservative Christians as if they were the plague, lest we ourselves became contaminated with their hate and self righteousness. We stopped identifying ourselves as Evangelical Christians because other Evangelicals immediately assumed that we were like them, and non Christians were so turned off that we were ineffective witnesses of Jesus Christ in their lives.

    The Church allowed Caesar to use it as a tool, and has much to answer for before God. It’s hands are dripping with blood because they supported this war. Yet we prayed faithfully that God would open the eyes of His people so that they could humble themselves and ask forgiveness for their sins. It seems that our prayers have been heard!

  12. Joe permalink
    May 3, 2008 6:52 am

    Religion is a joke. Keep your bible and sleep in the bed you have made for yourself.

  13. Totoro permalink
    May 3, 2008 5:37 am

    OK, this is the second time in two days that I have felt like dancing in the street throwing rose petals! I can’t wait for the release on Wednesday!!

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