The Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, FL, has been removed as the incoming president of the Christian Coalition, after the Board of Directors disagreed with his plan to broaden the organization’s agenda. “In addition to opposing abortion and same-sex marriage, Hunter, 58, wanted to take on such issues as poverty, global warming and HIV/AIDS.”
Hunter, author of Right Wing, Wrong Bird: Why the Tactics of the Religious Right Won’t Fly With Most Conservative Christians, said
My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we’re not carrying out the full message of Jesus. They [CC leadership] began to think this might threaten their base or evaporate some of their support, and they said they just couldn’t go there.
There are many Christians, especially in their twenties and thirties, who don’t care about liberal and conservative. They just see that if you’re going to love your neighbor, you have to address things like the environment.
Hunter is apparently the second leader to almost become president of the CC in about a year (although I’m having trouble finding who the previous one was).
via Washington Post.
“What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.”
Hillel the Elder
Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 31a
and “the monologue of the Religious Right is over”.
According to this poll from the NY Times, evangelicals are evenly split between Republican and Democrat candidates for the House of Representatives.
I wonder if this is the first time (since the 80s, or whenever the Religious Right really got started with the “Moral Majority” and all that).
The following is a brief compilation of interesting things that have come my way recently.
- The Better Bibles Blog, which deals with language issues and translations. Some recent gems include:
- Junia the Apostle (parts 1, 2, and 3). Great quote from St. John Chrysostom:
“Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7): To be an apostle is something great. But to be outstanding among the apostles – just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.
- What’s the Joke? This is a wonderful illustration of the importance of “dynamic equivalence”, demonstrated by the difficulty of translating a joke from German to English.
- From those crazy Dutch…finally, a Bible that takes itself seriously. The Western Bible Foundation in the Netherlands has published a Bible that removes all of the challenging and controversial parts, “to make the gospel easier and more attractive. Their method: literally cutting out all outdated and much too difficult texts about money, possessions and justice.” According to Chairman De Rijke, “Jesus was very inspiring for our inner health, but we don’t need to take his naïve remarks about money seriously. He didn’t study economy, obviously.” So, they removed the confusing bits: “We don’t use them anyway! There’s no single Christian selling his possessions and giving it to the poor.”
Link. You can buy it here, if you can read Dutch. (Please, no jokes about the “Holey Bible”)
I’ve been haunted by this poem by Charles Wesley for the last week or so.
And am I born to die?
To lay this body down!
And must my trembling spirit fly
Into a world unknown?
A land of deepest shade,
Unpierced by human thought;
The dreary regions of the dead,
Where all things are forgot!
Soon as from earth I go,
What will become of me?
Eternal happiness or woe
Must then my portion be!
Waked by the trumpet sound,
I from my grave shall rise;
And see the Judge with glory crowned,
And see the flaming skies!
To hear this done right, you have to catch one of the eight (!) versions covered by Current 93, in the album Black Ships Ate the Sky. Christian apocalyptic folk is only outdone by Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans.