Sunday, July 17, 2005

Petition the Lord with prayer?

My co-blogger at the Detroit News, Kevin McKague blogs a response to this post at his own News from Davison. This is how I replied.

You skipped the quote that made my point Kevin. From the main site's statement of faith:
We believe in the mission of the Church to go to all the world and make disciples of all nations.
This doesn't sound like an endorsement of Bush's foreign policy to you? It does it to me and it sure doesn't ring of "love they neighbor as thyself." And show me in the Bible where it says thou shall pray for judges who understand the constitution? You immediately made the leap to equate that with Roe v. Wade. It's not that subtle.

As I recall my childhood Bible classes, God taught us to pray not for specifics, but for his will to be done, so shouldn't the prayer read something like, Please God, guide Bush into making a decision that reflects your will?

This has nothing with to do with persecution complexes, it has to do with blurring the line between church and state for political gain. And is it really appropriate for a prayer group to be teaching politics on its web site? You couch it as teaching civic responsibility but you fail to mention the "bios" on Porter Goss and John Negroponte. Probably lifted from the White House site. If they want to mix politics and religion they should be asking God to forgive Negroponte for all the innocents who died under the death squads he commanded in Central America.

The adult site is no better. They reprint Bush's remarks. I wonder if that qualifies as an in kind contribution? They're discussing G-8 and I see White House talking points there, not debate. All well and good for religious people to have political discourse but not on the taxpayer's dime.

They are a non-prof who pays no taxes under the claim, "It holds no affiliation with any political or religious organizations, nor will it ever be used for political purposes." Further they're incorporated as non-profit, non-partisan organization. Do you see them giving equal time to praying for any Democrats on that site? See any Democrats on the boards? I didn't but I did see two sitting Republican lawmakers, one of which is a US Senator. They're a political front group and as such should be registered as a PAC.

As far as the constitutional issue, I didn't raise it. According to the site, that's the reason the President didn't specifically endorse them but they certainly imply his consent and blessing.

And by the way Kevin, you say you left the Catholic church "because American Catholics were excommunicated for supporting Democratic candidates, since they were pro-choice. I have always been a Christian."

Christian churches that expel their members for supporting Kerry don't offend you? The judge in Florida who was kicked out of his congregation for not ruling on the side of the Schiavo mob and forced to hire body guards to protect himself from the "faithful" doesn't give you pause? They say they're Christians too.

As the Bible says, "Beware of false prophets," or in this case, beware of false non-profits.

Update: The debate expands to include BlueStateRed.
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5 Comments:

Anonymous Jim M. said...

Libby please, don't quote Scripture. You're dealing with people who actually think they know the mind of God. You can't talk the Bible with people like this.
These are people who are teaching their young that they are being persecuted, that liberals hate them and America and that the courts are thwarting God's Will.
These are people that say they are going to heaven when they die and what happens here doesn't matter.
The Christian Bible is full of martyrs and they worship them to this day.

1:55:00 PM  
Blogger Steven M. Couch said...

Jim,

I respectfully suggest that your comment above is grounded in little more than your own prejudices.

I first responded to Libby's concerns over at BlueStateRed. While I can safely be described as "conservative," I have my own points of disagreement with many threads of conservative Christian thought. The people you describe certainly exist (Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell come to mind), and I disagree with them on many things, including "teaching their young that they are being persecuted, that liberals hate them and America and that the courts are thwarting God's Will." I think Libby will vouch for the evenhanded approach I take to my articulated beliefs, even when we ultimately reach differing conclusions.

Keeping in mind the (conservative) perspective I brought to the conversation, I decided to get the opinion of a blogger who I know to be a liberal Christian, Kevin McKague. I chose him because I have disagreed with him on virtually every political issue since I happened upon his blog, and I wanted to get his reaction to the PPT's materials. I was surprised myself when we reached vitually identical conclusions.

I am not a member of the PPT, and I would be the last person to claim to know the mind of God. While I can't speak for Kevin, I presume he would echo those sentiments.

And, yet, we are worthy of a character attack from someone who knows nothing of us as individuals; who I am fairly certain has never read our blogs; who I am indisputably certain has never commented at our blogs; and who has chosen instead to clothe us in a stereotype that fits neither of us at all.

Despite your assertions, anyone can discuss the Bible (or other holy scriptures) with me (if I am, in fact, one of the "people like this"). I always learn something new from the exchange.

I do, however, find it remarkable that you won't do so because your misplaced dismissal of us and our beliefs denies you the opportunity.

4:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim M. said...

Your character has been attacked? By whom? I will defend you myself even though I don't know you.
You take offense where none was implied and seem to make your presence and self much too all encompassing.
I was speaking to and of PPT and the politically manipulative Christian social warriors.
They do indeed scream of persecution and prejudice. They have indeed villified and demonized liberals.
Can you recall how many times you have heard the term "judicial activist" in the last six months?
Does this term mean anything but "liberal"?
Would you note the mote in my eye and ignore the beam in yours?
Exchange this, pal.

5:28:00 PM  
Blogger Steven M. Couch said...

Jim,

Given that the bulk of this post is a direct response to the comments of Kevin McKague, how is it that your admonition about "people who actually think they know the mind of God" is directed at the PPT? The most reasonable reading of your own words is that Kevin and I, the two writers linked in this post, are just such people. In this post, Libby is clearly not "dealing with" anyone else. So, yes, I take offense.

I was speaking to and of PPT and the politically manipulative Christian social warriors.
They do indeed scream of persecution and prejudice. They have indeed villified and demonized liberals.


In case you missed it above, I have already acknowledged the point as to those who are politically manipulative, and have distanced myself from them. As for the PPT, kindly link me to the pages where the organization does just that. I can't seem to find these charges sticking to the organization, unless you find it guilty by association.

Can you recall how many times you have heard the term "judicial activist" in the last six months?
Does this term mean anything but "liberal"?


Actually, during Priscilla Owen's nomination, Democrats accused her of being a judicial activist, albeit a conservative one. Other conservative nominees had been given the same label by Democrats in the Senate. So I guess the answer to your question is "no". Nevertheless, I fail to see how the judicial confirmation controversy is at all material to the PPT, unless of course "great judgment and . . . really understand[ing] the Constitution" foreclose liberal nominees altogether. I don't think those traits and worldview are mutually exclusive; do you? Kindly link me to pages where you see the organization suggesting that they are.

Would you note the mote in my eye and ignore the beam in yours?
Exchange this, pal.


Breaking your own rule about quoting Scripture, I see. I am not sure how it is relevant here, though.

After all, I might have called you out, but I never resorted to ad hominem attacks.

7:12:00 PM  
Anonymous JIm M. said...

Wow, you are surely a sensitive conservative. You seem over-wrought. The entire thrust of Libby's two posts were about the PPT. Read her earlier posts and mine.
I can't help but believe that you are protesting too much.
Again, as you have stated I don't know you.
Look up "ad hominem" and see where I have attacked your character in any way.
But it's probably going to happen sooner or later.
If my statements don't apply to you, why are you so upset.
Take a breather.

7:22:00 PM  

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