How left is “The Religious Left”?

Someone recently sent me Charles M. Blow’s recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Rise of the Religious Left.” The gist? A recent report from the Pew Research Center shows that a growing number of traditionally Democratic ethnic groups, such as African Americans and Hispanics, attend church as often as many white Republicans, if not more so. The report on the study goes on to cite the beliefs associated with these “Religious Left”–the Second Coming in our lifetime and, presumably, a last judgment based on 20th-century moral interpretations of biblical hot-buttons such as marriage and homosexuality.

I find this annoying. Once again, words like “religious” are treated as synonymous with a particular set of beliefs which I’m here to say not all professing Christians share.

I’m a follower of Jesus, I vote, and I don’t think Jesus is coming back in 2050. I believe God raised Jesus from the dead and turned the world’s understanding of power and love upside down so that people like me could imagine the impossible become possible: everyone having enough to eat, strangers and enemies loving one another as God loves them, distribution of wealth based on God’s economy rather than ours. I’m a follower of Jesus, I vote, and I think that God so loved the world that he sent his only son to teach us how to care for the world and all its creatures.

Where are the pollsters to count Christians who care less about left and right, Republican or Democrat, than about hunger, homelessness, stewardship of all creation, and nonviolence. I’m not losing any sleep waiting for the statistics, but it would be nice, once in a great while, to read an article in the mainstream press about all the people–black, white, hispanic, liberal, conservative, evangelical, pentecostal, Roman Catholic, and more–who are working in the name of Jesus for the transformation of the world into something that approximates the kingdom he came to proclaim.

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