Saturday, February 24, 2007

Faith in action (for the rich and powerful)

A United Methodist friend of mine passed along this newsletter from the Institute for Religion And Democracy. Just in case you were wondering if yours truly was looking under rocks to explain the existence of the American Anglican Council.

Of course there is the obligatory sky-is-falling pronouncement of the Episocpal church's "implosion" (nothing could be further from the truth), but the most telling part of this recent newsletter is a direct attack on the UMC's support of the National Council of Churches:
The United Methodist Church is the largest church contributor to the National Council of Churches (NCC) this year, giving over $600,000.
Here's their indictment:
In its Fall meeting the NCC Board condemned Wal-Mart for business practices it says run counter to labor, women’s rights, international justice, and environmental protection. The NCC board also adopted a global warming statement calling for
the United States to support “mandatory measures that reduce the absolute amount of greenhouse gas emissions.”

An NCC resolution on Iraq calls for the U.S. to “immediately begin to develop a plan for the phased withdrawal of American and coalition forces from Iraq, which should include a timetable for an expeditious final troop withdrawal.” The resolution insists that the justifications for the war were “false or ill-considered.”
The tag on the newsletter letterhead would almost be funny if the Church was not suffering so much from IRD's efforts: A newsletter for United Methodists working for Scripture-based reform in our denomination.

Scripture based? I can't think what could be more Scripture-based than speaking out for peace, social justice, and God's creation! The United Methodist Church is the biggest supporter of the NCC precisely because they are theological committed to work in the world, which the NCC does, advocating a Christian message to our voters, politicians and government. The NCC's faithfulness to Holy Scripture is exactly why IRD has NCC has its primary target.

The fact is, IRD exists to nurture and support splinter groups like the AAC and UMAction to protect the interests of their rich powerful donors. They really don't care about abortion and gays, those are just issues they are using to divide Christians so the Church can no longer speak out on things that are TRULY central to the Christian faith: justice, peace, and love of neighbor.

Why does this matter to us in Rapid City? Well, the IRD and groups like them are getting in the way of us finding the will to address our tax policies, Folks like Rep. Mike Buckingham (Fox-News-conservative) and Sen. Dennis Schmidt (mail-order evangelical preacher conservative) listen to what these groups say and have the talking points in their heads as they vote in the Legislature on environment, on taxes, on education of our kids, and on the poor. This is why we need to tell the truth about these groups and keep looking for their real agenda.

Nuff said?

1 comment:

  1. oop, Curtis. IRD, I meant, not IRC.