Underpants Voters
John Sheirer printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:46:04 AM EST
Reducing Christianity and American civic engagement to the things that happen in our underpants is terrible Christianity and even worse citizenship.

-----------------------------------------
Popular pastor Rick Warren recently said that American Christians should vote "for a Christian worldview which stands up for the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sex, and the sanctity of marriage." No offense to Pastor Warren, but reducing Christianity and American civic engagement to the things that happen in our underpants is terrible Christianity and even worse citizenship.

Warren's reductive marching orders to American Christians hit three hot social issues from this year's presidential campaign: abortion, birth control, and marriage equality. I've been told that I'm belittling Christianity with the term "underpants voters," but isn't presenting these sex-based issues as if they are the only things that should be important about Christianity in America simply an insult that belittles American Christians?

Conservatives too often equate "the sanctity of life" with making sure that government imposes a narrow set of religious beliefs on a woman's pregnancy, regardless of her own thoughts, feelings, or needs. People in America (including Christians) honestly disagree about the exact point at which the mass of living cells inside a pregnant woman becomes a human being. But there is no disagreement that an actual child is a human being. Shouldn't the "sanctity of life" continue once a baby is born? Welfare, social-service programs, and public education are designed primarily to benefit children, to keep them fed, clothed, protected, healthy, and smart. But Republicans rail against these programs. Where is the "sanctity of life" in claiming to protect fetuses while ignoring the needs of children?

The debate about access to birth control burst into the American political scene in ... well, sometime in the 19th Century. The issue was pretty much settled among most Americans about four decades ago. But the Republican Party, spurred on by the Christian right, brought the issue back this year. Why? Apparently because they consider birth control, in the words of far-right presidential candidate Rick Santorum, "a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They're supposed to be within marriage." Santorum doesn't seem to understand that contraception is often used to treat medical conditions, and that most married women use birth control at one time or another, including most Christian women. Is sex really only "sanctified" when it results in a child? Do conservative Christians know that birth control is the main tool we have to prevent unwanted pregnancies and, consequently, abortions? Where is the "sanctity" in making laws that invade our bedrooms and increase the number of abortions?

On the subject of marriage equality, American public opinion has reversed in recent years. More people now endorse marriage equity than oppose it, and an increasing number of states have overturned legal restrictions on who we love, this most personal of human freedoms. President Obama himself has come out in favor of marriage equality, much to the scorn of conservatives Christians. They love to quote the Old Testament verses calling male-to-male homosexuality an abomination. At the same time, they conveniently ignore similar verses that condemn eating shellfish and pork, wearing poly-blend fabric, and planting different crops in the same field. Even worse, many also tend to ignore the countless biblical references to loving one another. Where is the "sanctity" in ignoring many Bible verses while obsessing about a few that support a desire to discriminate against people who love each other and want to express their love publicly and legally?

The Constitution of the United States doesn't mention God and only brings up religion to prevent the government from establishing theology into law. Of course, Jesus himself never said a word about abortion, birth control, or marriage equality. His teachings went far beyond what happens inside our underpants and focused on our minds, hearts, and souls. Maybe all Americans, Christian or not, should follow that example when we step into the voting booth.





Display:
Abortion, birth control, and marriage equality. Firstly thank you for stating your opinion on this topic, people often arent as honest as you. I agree people should not be using above 3 to make a voting decision but looking at whole picture. The question about Jesus' teaching and the old testeament, is really a matter for interpretation and people tend use the interpretation for their own bias. contact lenses

by JJ on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 08:35:12 AM EST

You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most individuals will go along with with your website.madeira plastica | plastic lumber | Ssangyong | concessionaria hyundaiDiUYN

by dennishobson on Tue May 14, 2013 at 09:51:00 AM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Thoughts on the Finale of the Finn Debacle
Now that Bishop Robert Finn has finally resigned his leadership of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri -- here are some final thoughts......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
DeVos and School Privatization Funders Backing Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Candidate
The Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children (AFC) and its core funders have spent more than fifteen million dollars in Pennsylvania over the last......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Religious Right Rabbi: Christian Coalition Favorite Daniel Lapin Resurfaces
Back in the 1990s when I was regularly covering the antics of TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, one part of the job was......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right leaders escalate anti-LGBTQ threats
As marriage equality has advanced around the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue in June, threatening language......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Could Support for LGBTQ Rights Disrupt the Coalition of Jews and Evangelical Christian Zionists?
Some might say that the relationship between the conservative US Jewish community and Evangelicals is inviolable, with support for Israel being the cement that......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Whine Festival: Second-Tier Religious Right Leaders Still Don't Like Marriage Equality
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.In preparation for this, a sad collection of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)

Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.