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Are conservative Christian theology and liberal politics compatible?
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Why the President chose Rick Warren

After I watched the festivities today, I understood WHY the President picked Rick Warren for the invocation, and just how intelligent the choice was. The President was announcing, just as clearly as he possibly could, that he wants unity in this country so much that he is willing to work with ANYONE who will work with him, regardless of their ideological purity. This even includes (GASP!) conservative Christians.

Pastor Warren lacks liberal ideological purity on the homosexuality and abortion issues, of course. The media and the President's supporters from the gay community have been making a fuss over that ever since the choice was announced.  But the President was attacking an even deeper division. The principle that all gods are equal is a basic tenet of traditional liberalism. To traditional religious liberals, all gods are equally relevant; to traditional non-religious liberals, all gods are equally irrelevant; but all of the gods of the world religions are equal. Traditional liberals, for the last 50 years, at least, have uniformly insisted that their leaders respect this principle in all of their public pronouncements.

However, Pastor Warren did not respect this principle. He prayed in the name of Jesus (a big no-no all by itself) without mentioning any other gods.  The President worked with Pastor Warren on a televised forum during the campaign, and knew him even before that.  The President   must have anticipated that Warren's prayer, though very positive and proper in every other respect, would be politically incorrect in its failure to recognize other gods. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the President intended to announce that he was not going to insist on dividing the country over this issue by excluding people whose faith allows them to acknowledge only one God.  (I note that this is true not only of Christians, but also of religious Jews and of followers of Islam).   It's about time!

I am a conservative Christian myself, at least in my theology.  Yet I am very willing to work with this President, to accomplish most of the the things that form a part of his vision for this country.  The few matters on which I disagree with him do not diminish my support for him personally, as our leader, or for most of what he is trying to accomplish. All I can say is, let's get started!

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 11:08 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 January 2009 11:11 PM EST

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