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faith & spirituality | government oregon elections 2006

An open letter to Christians who vote

Millions of American Christians have had enough of watching our faith being hijacked and warped for partisan political gain, and watching as "Christian" leaders annihilate Christ's message of love, compassion and peacemaking to replace it with a message of fear, arrogance, greed and warmongering. On November 7th, we'll reject the tactics of fear, hatred and deceit, and we'll vote Christ's values: love, compassion, gentleness, caring (including caring for gays and for women's medical privacy!), humility and peacemaking.
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Dear Christians,

Even in the midst of sex scandals, terrorism hysteria, and the disaster of illegal, pre-meditated, potentially endless war, there's good news:

Millions of American Christians have had enough.

Enough of watching as our faith has been hijacked, warped and twisted for partisan political gain.

Enough of seeing Christ, the foundation of our Church, virtually bulldozed out from under us by power-hungry "Christian" leaders and politicians.

Enough of watching "Christian" leaders annihilate Christ's message of love, compassion, self-sacrifice and humility to replace it with a message of fear, arrogance, greed and self-righteousness.

Enough of knowing that Christ, the Prince of Peace, would never condone "Christian" politicians launching illegal, unconstitutional wars of conquest against third-world nations--nations whose resources are coveted by the transnational corporations who fund the politicians!

Enough of being told that "voting our Christian values" boils down to voting against homosexual rights and against a woman's right to medical privacy--when, according to the Bible, Jesus of Nazareth never said a word about homosexuals or about abortion.

Enough of knowing--but too rarely hearing from our "Christian" leaders--that Jesus' most central and profound message was simply this: "Love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself."

If you've had enough, you're not alone!

On Tuesday, November 7th, millions of American Christians will vote Christ's values of love, compassion, gentleness, caring, humility and peacemaking.

We'll reject, once and for all, the tactics of fear, hatred and deceit some would use to control us. Instead, we'll remember what we've read in the New Testament, in 1 John 4; that "perfect love casts out fear" and "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

We'll vote for wise candidates--locally and nationally--who promote humility, caring and peacemaking, not arrogance, fear and warmongering.

We'll vote for ballot measures that will advance the well-being of people, especially the most needy, rather than enhance the profits of the already wealthy.

We'll learn from history, remembering that although Jesus never said a word about homosexuality or abortion (even though both existed in his time), Adolf Hitler so hated both homosexuality and abortion that, in 1936, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler created a Gestapo "Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion." [For more on this, see "Homosexuals: Victims of the Nazi Era, 1933-1945" at
 http://fcit.coedu.usf.edu/holocaust/people/USHMMHOM.HTM]

With history in mind and an eye to a compassionate future, we'll vote to honor the dignity of homosexual persons and to establish legal rights and protections for partners in homosexual relationships.

We'll vote to uphold a woman's right to choose (even while many of us work to minimize unwanted pregnancies), realizing that medical privacy is a right all of us deserve and want to protect.

We'll vote to promote wise stewardship of the environment, believing it's both our duty as Christians and essential for our survival as creatures of the Earth.

We'll remind ourselves that a "War on Terrorism" is, by definition, unwinnable; precisely as unwinnable as a "War on Gravity" or a "War on Lint." We'll remember that Hitler claimed to be waging a war against terrorism when, in fact, he was out to conquer the world and its resources. We'll recognize that any politician who speaks of "winning" a "War on Terrorism" is either deceived or out to deceive us, or both. And we'll vote for candidates committed to ending this empty, unwinnable war and using crime-fighting techniques to minimize the threat of terrorism and to bring terrorists to justice.

We'll vote for candidates who oppose wars of conquest (and exploitative foreign trade agreements) and support diplomacy, negotiation, peacemaking, fair trade and honest, fair dealing.

When we're done voting, we'll work hard to make sure our votes are counted, to make sure all future elections provide a recountable paper record of every vote, to demand dramatic reform of our national and local media (so that real news and in-depth investigative journalism might once again thrive), and to end the corrupting influence of money and soulless transnational corporations on the soul of our democracy.

We'll work side-by-side with people of other faiths (and people of no faith at all!) to achieve our goals.

And we'll work in love, humility and boldness to call to accountability our own ministers, priests and other Christian leaders, refusing any longer to accept a Church that has lost its foundation; a "Christianity" that has forgotten its Christ.

Keep the faith--and know you're not alone,

An American Christian
Right and wrong from another Christian 03.Nov.2006 19:06

Gabe

You are right to say that jesus said nothing about homosexuality, However you are wrong to say that Jesus said nothing about abortion. When the man asked how to be good; Jesus said to follow the commandments, which includes NOT KILLING. You are right to say the Prince of Peace, would never condone "Christian" politicians launching illegal, unconstitutional wars of conquest against third-world nations. However this implies that Jesus would condone SOME wars which he never did and never would You are right to say that christians should protect rights and the envirment. You are wrong to think that voting will accomplish this. Jesus was strongly anti-state. I think maybe you should read up on your liberation theology. You should also investigate the Catholic worker. If we want the change the world for the better, the power lies in our hands not our vote. If we want to stop politions from doing horrible things, the first step is getting rid of politions, not voting for them. P.S stop saying Jesus was for abortion unless you can biblically prove it. I dont go around saying that you are for protecting the unborn, when your not.

re: gabe 03.Nov.2006 19:35

Salinger

Yes Gabe! It is true that Jesus condoned no war. If we were truly a nation that followed Christian principals then we never would have even retaliated against those who attacked us. Jesus tells us to "turn the other cheek". Imagine the world's suprise if we had not retaliated in any way. What would they have done? It is unimaginable.

By the way, I am not a staunch Christian, but think that Jesus was very wise and lived by enlightened principals for his time.

not killing 04.Nov.2006 20:34

another Christian

The issue around abortion is when life begins. For hundreds of years "life" was considered present when a woman could feel the life -- sometimes referred to as the quickening. Thus, life was something a woman knew through a woman's own body. Then men (by way of science - which they made their god)) redefined life as beginning at conception when of course, a man was present. Men now could determine when "a life" was present rather than having a woman determine such a thing. If Life begins at conception, most sexually active women "lose" many children since not every "conception" results in "a life". The logical follow through is to mourn every menstrual cycle with a funeral -- just in case you know.
The deliberate taking of a known life is murder (war/capital punishishment/etc.)
Abortion is a touch point for people who like to make science their god but only when it suits them.