Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Conservative evangelicals may feel challenged by this text on a number of levels. Martin helps us see that the efforts of the Religious Right in the political arena have often been short sighted, entangled by partisan wrangling and generally have lacked an authentic commitment to justice, compassion and charity – even under the guise of “compassionate conservatism.” This inevitably raises the question of evangelicalism’s saliency within the contemporary political scene and the Right's consistency with Christian ideals. Many evangelicals would, for these reasons, hesitate to blindly follow the standard raised by James Dobson, the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. And if my conversations with students on the (Christian) campus where I teach is any indication, the emerging generation is looking for a better way to engage the public arena. In discussing With God on our Side with my students this semester, it is clear that they are looking for a Christian witness that goes beyond the prevailing paradigm of the Christian Right’s political agenda. They seek to be authentically engaging, intellectually sophisticated, committed to justice and equality, and to the powerful witness of the Prophet Micah’s words -- "do justly ... love mercy ... walk humbly."