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An Evangelical on the Left

An American flag blows in the wind as the moon rises over Joint Charleston Air Force Base, SC, Photo by Sr. Airman Dennis Sloan/Public Affairs Office, Source DVIDSHUB (PD)

An Evangelical on the Left examines the politics of religion and the place of faith in public life, focusing on the alliance between former President George W. Bush and the political movement known as the Christian Right.  The book is sharply critical of Bush Administration policies and ethics, making the case that Christian religious beliefs and Neo-Conservative political policy are fundamentally at odds.

Biblical in outlook, Evangelical does not call for a “liberalized” interpretation of Scripture.  Rather, it advocates on behalf of the underprivileged, relaying the Gospel message of love and forgiveness against a backdrop of controversial topics including abortion, racism, and the use of fear as a political tactic.

Review

“Waldherr eloquently and persuasively argues that the Christian = Republican mindset is not only errant but unbiblical…Waldherr is very articulate and speaks wisely – indeed ‘As Christians, it is our privilege to follow in the footsteps of our Lord. Those lead us to Calvary, not the White House.’  I highly recommend Waldherr’s provocative but earnest An Evangelical on the Left…[e]ven… [to those who] do not subscribe to Ms. Waldherr’s viewpoint…” Kelly Davis, bookideas.com

Read an Excerpt

PART III: THE VALUE OF LIFE
Poverty

[F]or I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and You gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25: 35)

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more abundance to those who have much; it is whether we provide enough to those who have too little.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

We would like to believe that we are a classless society – a society in which even the poorest of the poor may attain fame, fortune, and the highest office in the land. We would prefer to believe that those who are poor are somehow poor by choice, less motivated than we, less deserving.

That would relieve us of guilt, as well as eliminate any obligation on our part to remedy the situation. Hopefully, Hurricane Katrina changed some of those misconceptions. It is difficult to look into the face of a hungry child and turn away. Yet, that is what we as a society have done…

It is easy to make excuses.  We have no time.  Surely, someone else will take up the cause.  On and on…

Whatever our religion or politics, we as Americans face a growing crisis…

More than government assistance, community safety nets must be re-established by all of us.  Families and communities must be reconstructed as the primary building blocks and support systems of society.  Though this cannot be mandated, neither can it be accomplished without individual and business commitment…

With so many uneducated, unskilled, and unemployed; with the inner cities in disrepair, held hostage by crime and drugs, we need a viable public works program that would restore human dignity and create a livable environment.

I do not propose to convert Americans from capitalists to socialists.  The meritocracy that capitalism under ideal circumstances fosters has served this country well.

Unfortunately, the circumstances of many are far from ideal.  For them, it has not been a level playing field. Large segments of society have consequently been ignored – to their detriment and the country’s as a whole.  A few brilliant minds have always persevered.  The talents of many others are simply lost…

NOTE:  A quotation about “religionists” used in An Evangelical on the Left was mistakenly attributed to Patrick Henry.  The statement was never made by that Founding Father, though his will does read, in part:  “I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian Religion. If they had that and I had not given them one shilling they would have been rich; and if they had not that and I had given them all the world, they would be poor.”

An Evangelical on the Left, Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Anna Waldherr.  All rights reserved.

11 Comments
  1. Wow, what an excellent article! Thank you for sharing it! I think it is right on target!

    • Thank you so much! You surprise me. I was concerned the article might sound judgmental. I thought twice about posting it.

  2. No it’s very good. We need more articles like this – although it may not be popular for those on the right. I am constantly disappointed when the right is seemingly uncaring or lacking compassion. This is something the left picks up on and takes advantage of. WE MUST CARE ABOUT PEOPLE. Jesus did.

    • The public face of Christianity — at least the political face — is all too often superior and critical. That does very little for people in pain. Think of Ann Coulter. I do not by any means suggest that we should abandon doctrine or compromise our values. I just think love and forgiveness should be among those values. In striving for political power, Christians have missed the point. Neither party, neither end of the political spectrum, is superior to the other. (Frankly, I often think both parties are hopeless.) The right wing = Christian attitude shuts down dialog. Christ cannot be limited to a single political party.

      • Amen! I have never seen anyone put it like that – but yes the right wing attitude does shut down dialog. I can’t stand the right because of that and I can’t vote for the left because of things they stand for. Christians have missed the point. Thank you Anna for your insight.

      • I wish that left us more options. It is certainly not wrong to elect representatives in line with our beliefs. The trouble is that politicians will tell us anything we want to hear.

  3. This is also why many, including myself, like Pope Francis. He seems to have comapssion.

  4. You have such a gift, Anna. Such a gift! God bless all that you are doing to give others a voice.

  5. “As Christians, it is our privilege to follow in the footsteps of our Lord. Those lead us to Calvary, not the White House.”

    Quite true whether there’s a Republican or a Democrat on the civil throne.

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