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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Question, An Answer, and More Questions

I received an email about an hour ago from Micah Sifry, who is a bit of a mentor to me in this writing stuff. He asked me if I had any thoughts about the God Blog Convention that has just wrapped up at Biola University. Apparently there is some buzz going on that it was mostly a Conservative Christian love-fest and that the result may be of actual benefit to the Republican Party.

Considering that the Hugh Hewitt was one of the featured speakers - and not a whisper from Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Lauren Winner, or even Cornel West - I'd say the buzz is right on target. Considering it was at Biola - which is a good school, but still very conservative (think Bob Jones without the racism) - I'd say the buzz is right on target. Considering I didn't see a single liberal Christian listed on their speakers page - I'd say the buzz is right on target.

Which presents a problem for me. You see, I've stepped out and made a couple of statements that basically say, "If you want to see it happen, then you better be working on it - anything less is just whining." That means I either need to stop whining or start working (okay, maybe working a bit harder, or with more vision, or maybe just differently).

The crux of the matter is this: Christian Liberals are ignored. We become apologists at church and we become slinking, silent liberals at the polls. How many people are willing to actually change that? I simply can't come to my political decisions without the aid of my faith. I know that there are many more out there like me. So how long do we remain in the shadows?

Jesus said that no man lights a candle to hide it under a basket. We have the opportunity to become the bright and shining beacon of hope for American politics. It should be obvious to everyone by now that the continued dueling monologues between the religious right and the secular left are getting us nowhere. Christian Liberals are in a position to be a bridge between the two camps. If it proves impossible to be a bridge (and it is likely that it will be on some issues), then we can at least provide a counter-balance where the rhetoric of the Christian right gets filtered for the ears of the secular left and vice versa.

So, how about it Christian liberals and moderates? Are you willing to remain on the sidelines while our country is destroyed around us? Would you be willing to give up a weekend to make extended contacts with other Christian liberal and moderate bloggers? Would your church or university be interested in hosting such an event or offering scholarship money for those who want to attend but can't afford it? Would you pull a hundred dollars out of your own account to help? Do you have a better clue than I do about what is really needed to pull this off?

Or, do you need to spend a few more years in the belly of the whale?

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