Thursday, May 24, 2012

We speak for people of faith

The GOP House approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that said military chaplains could not officiate at gay weddings and military property could not be used for such ceremonies. That would bar chaplains who actually want to perform such ceremonies, which makes it a Freedom of Religion issue.

Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin sees it as more than the GOP dumping all over gays yet again. It is really part of a war over which groups speak for People of Faith.
It is no small prize. Tremendous influence is wielded by those who are considered the arbiters of morality and the defenders of faith and godly society. And while the United States has no official sanctioned or supported church, public perceptions about what The Church believes holds tremendous sway not only over the faithful but over voters in general.
The battle is conservative denominations, those who prize correctness of belief, trying to gain the upper hand over the mainline Protestant denominations.

From the mainline Protestant perspective:
While individual morality is important, and social pressure is used to encourage moral behavior, it is generally considered to be in bad taste to publicly shame those who do not live according to a list of rules and coercive morality-based laws are not a primary focus.
And from those who prize conformity and doctrinal purity:
Caring for the physical needs of your neighbor falls a far far distant second to caring for your neighbor’s spiritual needs, and there is an underlying presumption that The Church – not the neighbor – can best determine what such needs may be.
Yes, the goal is for the winners in the battle to be able to say, "We speak for all Christians." And since America is still nominally a Christian nation the next goal is to be able to say, "We speak for America." A big prize indeed.

Never mind that Christian opinions actually vary quite widely on every issue. According to those who believe in doctrinal purity that doesn't matter because opinion isn't suppose to vary.

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