Saturday, October 16, 2010

All Souls in Tulsa Sunday Sermon: Politically Conservative & Religiously Liberal?

I won't be able to live stream it tomorrow but hope they save it in text or video. Clipped from All Souls' site,
There are people who cannot understand how someone can be both politically conservative and religiously liberal. If you wonder the same thing, then this is the Sunday for you! With mid-term elections coming up in a few weeks, there may be an assumption that people who worship alike will vote alike. But no reputable church should ever hitch its star to one political party. Doing so degrades the church’s moral authority, independence, and prophetic witness. Yet, there is often an assumption made, by some, that if a person is in a religiously liberal church, then that person must be politically liberal too.

More than one politically conservative member of the church has told me stories of being in a classroom, Branches group, dinner party, or other conversation with other All Souls members in which everyone in the group talked as if they were sure everyone else must agree with them politically. Conservatives were being so thoroughly mocked and maligned that the person did not feel welcome at church. If you have ever been on either side of these discussions at work, at church, or anywhere, you know what that feels like. And it is a feeling that none of us want to have at our own church.

Mike Wessinger won the prize at last year’s auction to name a sermon topic, and this is the worthy and provocative topic he has chosen. Our Centennial Vision 2021 includes the statement that All Souls be filled with people of all kinds, including a diversity of political persuasions. To that end, it is important that we discuss the differences between religious and political liberalism and conservatism.
I think the problem is talking as if they were sure everyone else must agree with them.... that kinda happens a lot.. too much. I admit though, if a politically conservative UU complains about feeling outcast, I tell 'em it's not like they didn't know what kind of Church they were joining.

Elgin's Northwest Baptist Bible Church just knocked on my door and invited me and the family to cook out tomorrow. Polite guys, waiting for a hint to engage on some doctrine or whatever, but left after the invite and their spiel. Wonder when's the last time a Unitarian or Universalist ever went door-to-door inviting strangers to lunch. Notice I didn't say UU because I can't imagine that happening post 1960.

1 comment:

Desmond Ravenstone said...

Perhaps one of the problems is how political "liberals" and "conservatives" define one another in monolithic terms.

Jim Wallis considers himself politically liberal or progressive. He's also opposed to abortion.

David Brooks is a conservative political commentator. He also supports same-sex marriage.

Too bad our political process often limits choices to two often polarized parties, instead of a wider range of choices, including those which defy labels while still being sensible.