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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Why must moderate and liberal Christians speak up?

Two illuminating paragraphs from a great letter to the editor in today's Boston Globe, by Kevin J. Morris of St. Albans, Vermont:

When Senator Kerry said during one of the debates that he didn't like to "wear his religion on [his] sleeve," he wasn't alone. Millions of Americans feel the same way. However, it has become a self-fulfulling prophecy — the more that believers from mainline churches shrink from talking about their faith in public and confine their "God talk" to their own churches on a Sunday morning, the more the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of the world come to dominate the public face of religious discourse in the U.S. The more this happens, the more their numbers grow. And the more that happens, the easier it is for the media and a large segment of the public to think of them — and the Republicans they support — as the only ones concerned with faith and morals.

To say that Democrats have to learn to speak the language of faith is not to say that they need to become Republicans, any more than mainline churches need to become fundamentalist. Nor should they use the language of faith if they don't believe it. What it does mean is that if they do believe it, they shouldn't be afraid to talk about it.

Read that last paragraph again. If you're a religious person, gather a few people in your congregation to talk about expressing what's so important about your faith. Even if your faith — your fundamental commitments — aren't conventionally religious, practice talking about it. Write a letter to a friend or relative about it. Ask religious professionals for help. Join a community group or social justice organization where you can work with people who aren't from your religious community — and be willing to represent your values not only in your actions but also in your words. Subscribe to magazines and read books that give you new ways to think about and talk about your faith. But do not remain content to stand quietly by. Speak up for your beliefs; let people know why you live the way you do. If you believe it, don't be afraid to talk about it.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 13 November 2004 at 6:35 PM

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Joe G.:

November 13, 2004 09:09 PM | Permalink for this comment

Just think if MLK had not used religious language in his work for racial justice.

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