Right. Well the first post didn’t really go where I wanted it to, exactly, but it got the ball rolling. I’ll try to be more focused as I go.
I wanted to expand upon the taxonomy I stated in my first post. I said there are ‘three’ basic groups on the whole ‘religion’ issue that are distinct from my ‘traditional’ religious system. I realized two things as I wrote this…
1. I really do fall into the ‘evangelical’ camp. And you do to, if you’re a sincere believer of any stripe. If you really believe in the super-natural aspects of Jesus’ life; resurrection and miracles? If you believe you have an obligation to spread the good news? You’re an evangelical. But ‘evangelical’ is a term that has been co-opted by the media to conjur images of mega-churches, fundamentalism, insensitive proselytizing and intolerance of others. Quite the opposite of the original evangelicals back in… oh… 100 AD.
2. The ‘non-corporates’ are really a political aglomeration… ie. a right wing coalition based on hot button issues such as right to life, opposition to gay marriage and the promotion of faith-based schooling. But again, from the ‘outside’ (ie. the ‘vast left-wing conspiracy’ they look like one big amorphous blob. They ain’t.
OK, for most of you this is nothing new… at least on an intellectual level. Nobody likes to be pigeon-holed into some mega-group. But be honest… most of us do it all the time to one another.
For example, I resented being labelled an ‘evangelical’ until I read the definition given by various ‘evangelical’ groups… according to them, their basic beliefs are quite similar to mine. The hot button issues aren’t even central to the core. Really think about it: are any of the hot button issues: abortion, gay marriage, faith in the school, part of the essential definition of a christian evangelical? Of course not. And yet, at some point, someone decided that if I don’t have the ‘group’ position on these issues, I am decidedly not with them. Why? Why does some mega-group get to define this for -me-, even though these issues are not a part of the essential credo?
That’s the thing that is divisive. By wanting to win a political victory, various groups got together and re-defined the whole CONCEPT of ‘evangelical’ to be ‘with us or against us’. And that ain’t fair! Or very Christian.