From: robert rogland (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 06:46:44 EDT
Since you interjected my name into one of the most unedifying and asinine
threads to have appeared on this listserve, a thread I have tried to ignore
up till now, I feel obligated to respond.
Before we go further, you ought to look in your e-mail file and find
evidence that I have "yelled at" you for "conflationism." I don't remember
doing so-maybe I should have. I certainly criticized your unbiblical views
severely, but I don't recall having accused you of conflationism. But I'm
61 years old, and my memory isn't what it used to be.
Like Terry, I'm a conservative Presbyterian, a fundamentalist in the
Warfield tradition. Like Terry, I stoutly maintain that there is no causal
connection between conservative Christianity and conservative politics.
Evidence: (1) Polls consistently show that a significant proportion of
members of conservative churches vote Democratic. I regret that I can't
give references, but I'll look around if you insist .(2) While no one can
deny that some high-profile conservative preachers are God-and-country
types, in my own experience theologically conservative preachers do not mix
either politics or economics into their sermons (excepting encouragements to
tithe.) What does your personal experience of conservative preaching
suggest-not what you read about Falwell et al, but your own experience
sitting in the pew? I'm guessing you haven't had any personal experience
with conservative-fundamentalist preaching for years, but of course I could
be wrong. (3) I myself am not a "rock-ribbed" Republican, but an
independent. Indeed, I was a committed Democrat all the way through Michael
Dukakis. (4) You cannot expect Christians who oppose abortion to be happy
with the majority of Democrats or the minority of Republicans who call
themselves pro-choice. The thing that drove me from being a Democrat to
being an independent was the shift in the Democratic party's position on
abortion rights so-called. (Did you know that the 1948 Democratic party
platform had an anti-abortion plank?) Don't even bother to waste my time by
trying to convince me that pro-choice is a Christian option, Burgy. You may
have too much time on your hands in retirement, but life on earth is short,
I'm still working, and just don't have the time for pointless bantering.
You do admit that things are probably different at the grassroots level than
at the leadership level. But I will tell you from personal observation that
at all levels of leadership in my denomination (PCA) there is no mixing of
politics (right or left wing) with religion. Indeed, at General Assembly
last June an overture opposing women in military combat passed after several
years of wrangling. All sides were convinced of the unbiblical nature of
women in combat, but opposition came from those who thought we ought not to
get involved in telling the state what to do. In my tradition, at least,
the spiritual nature of the church is emphasized and ecclesiastical
involvement in politics is shunned. The overture passed only because the
issue was viewed as a biblical one, not a political one. The same can be
said for the denomination's statements about abortion. And these few
statements have never been accompanied by exhortations to seek out and
support political candidates with the same convictions. (What, by the way,
is the stance of your denomination re: speaking and lobbying for political
causes? That's a rhetorical question: I was a member of your denomination
for years, and know right well [pun] that it was and is forever telling
government what it ought to do.)
If the tone of my reply is negative, Burgy, it's because you have taken
cheap shots at a lot of people and-not to put too fine a point on it-shot
off your mouth without sufficient reflection or Christian charity. Perhaps
you will reply, like the British colonial governor being tried for misusing
his office for personal gain, that when you consider your opportunities you
can only admire your restraint. I see it differently.
I don't intend to respond to the inevitable rejoinder.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Burgeson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 12:46 PM
Subject: Re: Traditional Xtianity teaches
> >>I'm again disappointed in your conflation of
> politics with theology. I'd like to think that this was all
> tongue-in-cheek (we'll abbreviate that TICIH--"tongue in cheek, I
> Both you and Rogland have hollered at me for "conflationism." I plead
> guilty, as I see no pejorative connotation to the word in the dictionary.
> Like it or not, The RR and the Republican party are engaging in an
> and unholy embrace which furthers the goals of Robertson, Falwell, Dobson,
> et. al. and has eased persons such as me out of the Republican party into
> first, independence and lately, into the Democratic party.
> The pivotal event for me came in the campaign for the presidency two years
> ago. Friend wife and I were involved in the Civil Rights movement of the
> 60s, we had thinly veiled death threats at that time against our young
> children, we adopted three children from another culture and skin color,
> were the recipients through the years of "interesting" encounters with
> "good" church people. When I saw George Bush Jr. embracing what may be one
> of the last bastions of racism in this country -- Bob Jones "University,"
> sort of sealed my politics.
> In the past year I have read much on the conflation you have trouble
> believing in. The phenomenon is particularly evident when one reads what
> leaders of the RR are writing, and what they are saying in interviews. I
> sure that at the grass roots level, the phenomenon is not so pervasive.
> While I cannot think of a single religiously conservative friend I have
> is not also a rock ribbed Republican, I know my experience is limited; I
> sure there are some such. At the leadership level, though, it is a whole
> nother ballgame.
> I couple that, Terry, with my observation that the yahoos are winning, and
> genuinely fear for the country.
> There are conservatives I really like and respect. John McCain, even
> I think him dead wrong on the Roe v Wade issue. Stephen Carter, whose
> have had a positive influence on my own thinking and writing. And others.
> Then there is John Ashcroft. If ever fascism comes to America, ... .
> Conflation? Yes. Because there is a causal connection.
> Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
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