Friday, March 16, 2007
National Assoc. of Evangelicals condemns U.S. torture.
On Sunday, the board of the National Association of Evangelicals endorsed "An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture: Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Terror." (Here's the NAE's statement; here's the declaration on the Evangelicals for Human Rights site.) The NAE, which claims the affiliation of 45,000 Evangelical churches in the U.S., is also in the news because the bulldogs of the Christian Right are trying to rein in its emerging interest in "creation care" — known to the rest of us as environmental stewardship. What promising signs from our Evangelical friends!
According to the New York Times, the vote to endorse the anti-torture declaration by the NAE board was almost unanimous. The lone dissenter in the 38-1 vote was the representative of the Institute for Religion and Democracy. But of course! The national chauvinists at the IRD (who have spent twenty years encouraging denominational fights over politics in the mainline Protestant churches) are now getting antsy about the Evangelical leadership's growing awareness of issues of the common good. The IRD is now pushing hard to keep the National Association of Evangelicals out of "political" issues like poverty, torture, and environmental stewardship — issues that presumably make the Institute's wealthy sponsors unhappy. After all, it's not like the Bible has anything to say about our obligations to the poor, the imprisoned, or the world God entrusted to our care. (Noteworthy, too, is the way the IRD's critical essay about the NAE's developing public theology gives such prominence to Ted Haggard.) Apparently IRD's agenda isn't just to the right of the National Council of Churches; it's also to the right of most orthodox Evangelicals.
(Resources: "Evangelicals condemn torture," Rachel Zoll [AP], washingtonpost.com 3.12.07, reg req'd; "An Evangelical declaration against torture: Protecting human rights in an age of terror," Evangelicals for Human Rights; "NAE leaders advance broad agenda with landmark document on human rights and torture," press release, NAE 3.11.07; "Evangelical group rebuffs critics on right," Laurie Goodstein, New York Times 3.14.07, reg req'd; "Uncertain future: The National Association of Evangelicals after Ted Haggard," Alan Wisdom, Institute for Religion and Democracy 3.8.07.)
Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 16 March 2007 at 11:14 AM