By Alexander CarpenterJames Dobson has gradually become more and more
involved in Republican party politics. And now it's official.
According to their communication folks
and today's Washington Post, Focus on the Family is the new Christian
"Conservative Christian radio host James C. Dobson's national
organization, Focus on the Family, said yesterday that it will work
with affiliated groups in eight battleground states to mobilize
evangelical voters in the November elections.
In targeting individual churches the way political organizers
traditionally pinpointed certain wards, Focus on the Family is filling
a void left by the near-collapse of the Christian Coalition and
stepping into an area where recent Republican Party efforts have
created resentment among evangelicals."
Now standing in for the GOP, "Focus on the Swing-state Family" will mobilize voters in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, New
Jersey, Minnesota, Montana and Tennessee.
In light of this, I suggest that
Adventists retreat into just the metaphysical saving of souls and reminding people that Daniel predicts the past. De facto, while this might only support the Religious Right's status quo, de jure, we wouldn't seem political. And saying nothing
might just solve problems; because eventually someone will speak up
for the separation of church and state (did you catch the sign in the picture?); because the example of Jesus is not about God standing up for hard working men and peacemakers and mothers and children and calling out occupation-accommodating
religious leaders, but someone who just died and rose to rally the
disciples to oppose homos having monogamous sex.
I guess that there is always the Jehovah's Witnesses who also support the right-wing by not taking a stand for their beliefs. As folks learned in 1930s Germany (I was just at the Holocaust Museum last week), there is no such thing as non-political. To remain silent is to support the other side.
If anyone has any questions about the political position of the
Adventist church, see these official statements and papers on such
non-political issues such as Climate Change, Peace, AIDS, Assault
Weapons, and Gene Therapy. Or as the General Conference says:
As the church continues to grow and make an influence, its role in the society will require that its views and what it holds true becomes known. Such will continue be the demands of the society, and such will be the need to define Adventism's relevance, or present truth, to those who are asking questions and seeking answers to their dilemmas and problems.
If a pastor were to read one of these from the pulpit or integrate a paragraph into a sermon, he'd increase the public voice of the church and encourage his congregants to think about their faithful role in their communities.
And while folks appreciate
being reminded that Jesus died (my sins, too), they also appreciate reflecting on his
life. Because saving souls just might mean more than just dunking them,
and the kingdom of God just might include caring about the common good for
each members' family, community, and country as well.