Author Topic: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration  (Read 1863 times)

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13051
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Daniel Lee Gard

  • ALPB Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2021, 03:04:26 PM »
While I cannot read the NY Times article (I will not pay for a subscription), the headline is interesting.

True, he goes to Church. But it is also true that his public policy is in opposition to the faith he professes. The sanctity of life and the the family are strong Roman Catholic positions. His political positions serve to undermine his Church. Maybe he might start listening to his ecclesial leaders?

Robert Johnson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 705
    • View Profile

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5021
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2021, 03:18:39 PM »
Both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are Cafeteria Catholics.  They have picked what is
distasteful to the conservative Roman Catholic beliefs.....They believe in abortion
and homosexual marriage.  Biden and Pelosi like to boast of their membership in
the Roman Catholic Church.  Yet they pick and choose what they want to believe.

D. Engebretson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4394
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2021, 04:19:33 PM »
Dr. Gard - I don't pay for a subscription to NY Time either, yet I was able to open the online article.

I read through the brief OP-ED piece, but noticed it really wasn't as much about the religiosity of Joe Biden, as it was a celebration of religious diversity, with hits on the religious right. The author appears quite supportive of "progressive Christianity," as he puts it, noting that "it began with Jesus." The premise is supported by observing that Jesus chastised those who were rich, yet apparently forgetting that a lot of people on the left are quite rich. 

He quotes the Rev. William Barber, a leader of the Poor People’s Campaign, saying: "Some folks hijacked Christianity and decided that they were going to put up a lot of money to promote the idea that to be a person of faith was to be anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-gun, pro-tax cut.” Barber calls that “theological malpractice.”

That last quote seems to sum up a stereotypical and simplistic view of the Christian right.  The quote by Billy Graham's granddaughter also echoes it: "“We have seen homophobia, hostility toward women’s rights, xenophobia and lack of concern for the poor.” She compares the damage right-wing Christian extremists have done to Christianity to the harm Muslim extremists have brought to Islam.

These are the labels placed upon conservative Christians today.  If we oppose abortion for the sake of unborn life we are "hostile toward women's rights." If we state that the Bible opposes same-sex marriage we are immediately labeled as "anti-gay" and thus deliberately and purposefully hateful.  The entire right side of the spectrum seems lumped into "right-wing Christian extremists."  One could argue that is not their intent, but it sure comes off that way. 

I understand that the US is a place of religious diversity.  I have no problem working side-by-side with people of other religious convictions.  I believe that we should treat all people respectfully.  But that does not arise simply out of embracing and celebrating the greater virtue of "progressive Christianity," which seems to be the thrust of this author's OP-ED.

Biden does reflect this new "progressive Christianity" in that he embraces the identity of being part of a church body while choosing to publicly disagree with significant moral beliefs of that body. Some Christians would wonder if that lacks integrity, in that if he does not agree with his church, then why does he work so hard to show his support of it?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

RDPreus

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1187
    • View Profile
    • Christ For Us
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2021, 04:34:58 PM »
I am amazed at how many Roman Catholic politicians there are that reject basic teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.  Biden used to show at least a little bit of respect for the consciences of fellow Catholics and others who did not want their tax dollars to fund abortion.  Now he is fully in support of the left wing agenda on abortion.  Well, that's the price you pay to get the Democratic Party to nominate you for president.  I wonder what Biden's pastor thinks about this.

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10374
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2021, 04:35:09 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

John_Hannah

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5249
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2021, 04:48:42 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.   ;D

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 16973
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2021, 04:59:25 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.   ;D

Peace, JOHN
I think there is a big difference between disagreeing with this or that teaching and deliberately, flagrantly, and publicly contradicting it. One can have reservations about some teaching that just seems off or that one simply struggles to understand.

In our statement concerning what we teach in the school concerning sexuality we list many things that we realize are controversial and difficult for some to accept. I'm under no illusion that every member of our community understands and believes our teaching. But if they publicly undermine our teaching or actively dissuade others from accepting it, they can be removed from our community. 

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12240
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2021, 05:26:28 PM »
Which is more important, to find a religious viewpoint and community that agrees with and supports my political philosophy, or the find a political philosophy that agrees with my religious viewpoint? It is a temptation of the right and the left to let their politics inform and determine their religion. We can certainly see that in some of the ways that Evangelicals assume that Jesus supports their fixation on Trump and right wing positions. But we can also see a form of that on the left when they pick and choose from the religion what supports their progressive ideology and leave behind what becomes embarrassing in their progressive secular circles. Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi flaunt their Catholic religiosity but are deaf to the Roman Catholic emphasis on life issues that progressives have eschewed.


Many politicians and public figures on the left who claim religion are often accused of practicing cafeteria religion. But with even a cursory look it become apparent that for many on the right also in their rush to wrap themselves in the flag and the cross are just as selective in what they are willing to learn from Jesus.


Somehow the spectacle of our those of our ruling class who vary daringly embrace their religion, or those portions of their religion that have been carefully vetted as acceptably progressive, does not bring me much encouragement. It's OK to be a progressive Christian! as they craft laws to enact progressive policies and specifically remove any consideration for those whose religion is not progressive enough.


I guess that Nicholas Kristof shows us that despite the attempts of those nasty conservatives to obscure things, Jesus was a good and faithful progressive Democrat after all.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 05:31:14 PM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12207
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2021, 05:44:46 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke


peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 16973
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2021, 05:48:18 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12207
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2021, 05:59:23 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke

RDPreus

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1187
    • View Profile
    • Christ For Us
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2021, 06:08:08 PM »
I can't access the NY Times article, but I searched the internet for things about Ron Johnson and it seems the left can't stand him for the usual reasons the left can't stand conservatives.

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 16973
    • View Profile
Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2021, 06:09:53 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Really? He has “sown doubts” about the election, said the capitol rioters were not as frightening as antifa rioters (obvious), downplayed climate change, etc. There isn’t a thing there contrary to Christian teaching. On matters touching things Christianity actually has a position on, he is solid.