Jeff has already blogged about Bob’s bashing of black churches, due to the fact that they vote Democratic and don’t buy into Bob’s brand of “only Republicans can be Christians” Christianity.
Today Bob went after two groups: Moderate Christians and Soulforce.
Bob mentioned an article written by Deb Price of the Detroit News, in which she mentioned Soulforce’s 2007 Equality Ride, in which 50 gay Christians are going to 38 different Christian colleges in the hopes of showing people that it is possible to be gay and a believer at the same time. They’re hoping that they can open the minds of people who have had anti-gay bigotry shoved down their throats most of their lives.
This had Bob riled up. He went into a 10 minute rant about homosexuality being a sin and that everyone who is gay is “practicing evil.” Then he said we shouldn’t condemn them and instead invite them to church. Sure, spend 10 minutes insulting someone and then invite them to be in your company for 3 hours. Using that logic, maybe we should call Bob on free-for-all-Friday and tell him how his support of the GOP is sinful and he’s going to hell for it. Do it until he threatens to hang up on you. Then invite him to one of the many black churches that don’t kiss Bush’s butt so that he can repent. See how he reacts.
Bob also didn’t explain Soulforce’s biblical interpretation of homosexuality. Bob wouldn’t agree with it because it involves putting the Bible in the context of authors who lived in the ancient Middle East. That’s too complex for Bob.
After that, he talked about a USA Today article that advocated on behalf of moderate Christianity. Bob accused moderates of being weak in their faith, only half-believing the Bible and “lacking conviction."
The ironic thing is that the article said define what a religious moderate isn’t. According to the article:
The imperative for respect and bridging differences indeed does lead to a soft-pedaling of some hot-button issues, but that hardly equates with lukewarm faith. In truth, moderation is biblical to the core. The moderates' emphasis on unity and inclusion is not politically correct softness, but a conviction they draw straight from the words and deeds of Jesus.
"People sometimes confuse moderation with not taking a strong stance of belief," says Jan Elfers, director of congregational relations and peace programs for the Oregon group, as she lays out the New Testament case for moderation. "We hold our beliefs very deeply, and that means loving our neighbors like ourselves."Nowhere in there does it say that moderates are people who only half-believe or have wishy-washy faith. Of course Bob can’t handle that, because it presents a threat to his ability to exploit the Bible and the Christian faith for conservative ends. So of course he feels the need to lie about it.
While Bob doesn’t care about Christianity past the point where he can exploit it, he does create the problem for Christianity in that he reinforces the stereotype that being a Christian means that you have to be intolerant of others. A few years ago, when the only type of Christianity I was hearing about was Bob’s false “conservative=Christ” option, I was walking away from my faith. People like Bob put George Bush on the cross and called it the Christian faith.
Luckily, I found people and groups like Sojourners, Cornel West, Talk2Action, and Street Prophets, all of whom teach that it is possible to be a liberal and a Christian at the same time. And you don't even have to hate gay people!
I know that there are others out there as well, who might have converted if they knew that all of us don't think or act like Bob. (Or, frankly, like him as a person). Bob and others like him do more damage to Christianity in this country than any moderate I’ve come across.
The faith of moderate and liberal Christians is real. We believe in Jesus and it’s that faith that gives us the ability to look out for the poor, fight for the oppressed, and to stand up to those forces that seek to harm others. We also oppose the exploitation of religion for power, which is something that Bob does everyday.