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Evangelicals spread the gospel of Rick


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#1 Rue Bella

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:28 PM

I am reminded of a religious refrain from my childhood - Be merciful, Spare us, O Lord.

As reported in the UK about the race in Michigan.

http://www.guardian....n?newsfeed=true


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Santorum's surge in Michigan is in many ways based around Grand Rapids, Michigan's second biggest city and a regional centre for evangelical Christians. "In Grand Rapids it is hard to throw a rock and not hit a church," said Professor Kevin den Dulk, a political scientist at Calvin College, a local Christian university. Indeed, Rozelle isn't the only one in the area who places a great deal of importance on religion in politics. In 2008, 39% of Michigan voters in that year's Republican primary identified themselves as evangelical.

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Santorum's core appeal is aimed solidly at the Republican party's evangelical foot soldiers. Santorum wears his faith on his sleeve, touting his lifelong devout Roman Catholicism, staunch anti-abortion beliefs, happy marriage and seven children. Romney's Mormon faith, on the other hand, is seen by some as a fringe religion, and hampers him in his outreach to the community. But for Santorum it comes easily and in straightforward language. In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club in the downtown of America's car capital, Santorum appealed to a lunch meeting of local businessmen for the country to get back to simple values. "We have to create a culture consistent with the values of our country … believing in freedom, faith and family," he said.
In order to cement support with Christian voters in the state, Santorum's campaign quickly signed up influential Michigan social conservative Glenn Clark, head of the state's Faith and Family Coalition. "We have a tremendous network of people who are going to come out. The evangelicals I am talking to about a month ago were spread out all over the map. Now they are concentrating and being drawn to Rick Santorum," Clark told the Guardian.

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#2 cmk

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:51 PM

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"In Grand Rapids it is hard to throw a rock and not hit a church," said Professor Kevin den Dulk, a political scientist at Calvin College, a local Christian university.

Well, I'm glad I don't live there. It would be tempting to test that hypothesis. :D

(Just kidding.)
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#3 Baron Siegfried

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:25 PM

Given the historical hatred and disdain the fundamentalist evangelicals have readtionally had for the catholics, I cannot but observe that politics makes for strange pewfellows . . .
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#4 Raskolnik

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:16 PM

View PostBaron Siegfried, on 16 February 2012 - 06:25 PM, said:

Given the historical hatred and disdain the fundamentalist evangelicals have readtionally had for the catholics, I cannot but observe that politics makes for strange pewfellows . . .

That "hatred and disdain" peaked during the latter part of the 17th century, and was (at that time) at least as politically- as religiously-motivated. The rhetoric remained, and relations haven't been great, but since the 1960s more and more conservative Evangelicals see Catholics as allies in the culture war. And, from an Evangelical perspective, there is at least a basis for some kind of theological or doctrinal common ground with Catholics; no such basis exists with Mormons.

#5 Baron Siegfried

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:17 PM

I dunno, down here, I've heard fundies carry on something terrible about catholics. It might just be a regional thing, but when the catholic church was building Ave Maria (their very own little town and university), the baptists went batboop crazy trying to block it. They're still not all that happy . . .
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#6 hisgirlfriday

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:50 AM

View PostRaskolnik, on 16 February 2012 - 10:16 PM, said:

That "hatred and disdain" peaked during the latter part of the 17th century, and was (at that time) at least as politically- as religiously-motivated. The rhetoric remained, and relations haven't been great, but since the 1960s more and more conservative Evangelicals see Catholics as allies in the culture war. And, from an Evangelical perspective, there is at least a basis for some kind of theological or doctrinal common ground with Catholics; no such basis exists with Mormons.

The hatred and disdain was alive and well in the U.S. in the 19th century with the formation of the Know-Nothing Party in opposition to the large amount of Irish and German Catholic immigrants. And this anti-Catholic sentiment was reinvigorated in the early 20th century with the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the Midwest as an anti-Catholic, rather than anti-black outfit.

Evangelicals and Catholics have only united as a result of the abortion issue and because of the rightward tilt of the Roman Catholic church after Pope John Paul II took over and stopped dead in its tracks any attempt to reform the church on issues like women priests or contraception.

#7 Raskolnik

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:57 AM

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The hatred and disdain was alive and well in the U.S. in the 19th century

I'm not disputing this but do you think it remotely compares to the animus of the Thirty Years' War? Hence my point.

Also I don't think the Catholic Church was ever heading in the direction of ordaining female priests, and Humanae Vitae was signed by Pope Paul VI (against the recommendations of the majority report) in 1968, ten years before the ascension of John Paul II.

#8 reflectionephemeral

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:38 AM

View PostRaskolnik, on 16 February 2012 - 10:16 PM, said:

That "hatred and disdain" peaked during the latter part of the 17th century, and was (at that time) at least as politically- as religiously-motivated. The rhetoric remained, and relations haven't been great, but since the 1960s more and more conservative Evangelicals see Catholics as allies in the culture war.

I think you're underselling the discord in the US.

When JFK ran for president in 1960, he faced vehement prejudice from respectable Protestantism. No less an avatar of bland Middle Americanism than Norman Vincent Peale fretted that if the US elected a Catholic as president, ”Our American culture is at stake. I don’t say it won’t survive, but it won’t be what it was.”

Billy Graham’s father-in-law, Christianity Today editor L. Nelson Bell, was less circumspect:

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“Pseudo tolerance is not tolerance at all but simply ignorance.” If Jack Kennedy were to become President, he said, then Montana’s Mike Mansfield would become Senate majority leader and Massachusetts’ John W. Mc-Cormack would continue as House Democratic floor leader. “Both are fine men, but both belong to a church with headquarters in Rome.” And to Bell, Rome was little better than Moscow: “The antagonism of the Roman church to Communism is in part because of similar methods.”

I agree that we rarely see this sentiment from conservative elites anymore (though there is John Hagee), because of the culture war.

#9 Practical Girl

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:12 PM

View PostRaskolnik, on 16 February 2012 - 10:16 PM, said:

That "hatred and disdain" peaked during the latter part of the 17th century, and was (at that time) at least as politically- as religiously-motivated. The rhetoric remained, and relations haven't been great, but since the 1960s more and more conservative Evangelicals see Catholics as allies in the culture war. And, from an Evangelical perspective, there is at least a basis for some kind of theological or doctrinal common ground with Catholics; no such basis exists with Mormons.

Not arguing historical peaks, but you discount contemporary Evangelical teaching: Catholics are not Christians. While this may not come from the lips of leadership as often as it did when Billy Graham waws highest and loudest about it, it's a sentiment alive and well within the fundi base. Google "Catholics not Christians" and read (almost 14 million hits) what this base has embraced as part of their learned doctrine, see how they evangelize this message. While there may be, as you say, some kind of theological common ground with Catholics, Evangelicals nevertheless dismiss Mormons and Catholics equally and for many of the same reasons. That they "dis" the LDS church more at this minute speaks mainly to political expediency, not to any true respect for Catholics, their church or their doctrine.
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#10 Baron Siegfried

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:27 PM

As I said, strange pewfellows, indeed . . .
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