I was raised in the Fundamentalist/Evangelical tradition within the Plymouth Brethren. They were, to the best of my memory, a-political. Many “Peebs” did not vote.
Nonetheless I have voted in very election since I was aged 21, and I have always voted left of centre, in the U.K. and in the U.S.A.
When I became an Anglican (1970) it was in a nicely Evangelical Church of England Parish, (Christ Church, Clifton, Bristol). I do not remember an ounce of political rhetoric in that Church.
And when I went to Seminary it was to St. John’s Theological College, Nottingham. St. John’s was in the Evangelical tradition. But its political stance was left leaning. There I was a clearly identifiable Christian Socialist. There was no conflict between my faith, my theology, and my beliefs.
And there were also “Tories” (political conservatives) who were part of the mélange at St. John’s.
These days I am pissed off beyond all belief with Evangelicals in the United States. To a large extent they have hitched their wagons to the Republican Party.
But they are unqualified supporters, nay leaders, of the extremist Right Wing of that Party.
And they are frigging hypocrites.
They were filled with condemnation of President Bill Clinton’s “zipper” problem. (I thought that he was skuzzy in the least in his affair with Monica, and I also thought that he should have resigned when the truth came out).
Evangelical rightists have also been strongly condemnatory of Senator John Edwards’ affair.
But they were strangely silent about Senator Larry Craig’s foot-tapping in an Airport toilet.
And they have been determinedly quiet about John McSame’s divorce and re-marriage.
Now they seem all but delighted that the daughter of presumptive GOP nominee Sarah Palin is pregnant at aged 17.
Here is the story:
Palin, the first-term Alaska governor, was in Minnesota preparing for her Wednesday night nomination acceptance speech when the campaign issued the statement from her and her husband; her family was home in Alaska.
"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family," the parents said.
The campaign said it was not disclosing the father's full name or age or how he and Bristol knew each other, citing privacy.
Sarah Palin's fifth child, a son named Trig, was born in April with Down syndrome.
Internet bloggers have been suggesting that the child was actually born to Bristol Palin but that her mother, the 44-year-old Alaska governor, claimed to be the mother.
Palin spokesman Bill McAllister emphatically denied those rumors, and McCain adviser Mark Salter said the campaign announced the daughter's pregnancy to rebut them.
"Senator McCain's view is this is a private family matter. As parents, (the Palins) love their daughter unconditionally and are going to support their daughter," said McCain spokesman Steve Schmidt.
HERE IS HOW EVANGELICALS RESPONDED
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson issued a statement commending the Palins "for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances." He added: "Being a Christian does not mean you're perfect. Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord."
Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America called the pregnancy private. "It's a matter that should stay in the family and they have to work through it together. My prayers go out to them."
Added Combs: "We're excited about the governor and think she's going to do well."
Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: "We're all sinners."
"We all make mistakes. Certainly, the ideal is not to get pregnant out of wedlock. But she made the right decision after her mistake," he said.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But I have questions which arises from my being pissed off with the Evangelical Right.
Why are you conservative Evangelicals not as forgiving to Wm. Clinton and to John Edwards, as you are to the Palins?
Is it because they are Liberals?
And why are you conservative Evangelicals so concerned to regulate what gay men do in bed?