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By John D. Pierce

flagIt is time, way past time, to call out “American Evangelicalism” for what it is: a political movement that simply baptizes hard-right, secular political ideology in some religious varnish.

Hence, my intentional identification of this movement sans the words “Christian” or “Christianity” since it has nothing to do with the life and teachings of Jesus.

It is a fear-based, fear-driven, fear-inducing movement that attempts to claim the endorsement of One who consistently called his followers to “Fear not!”

It is a political movement that sees grace and mercy as weaknesses. And raw power is revered over the Fruits of the Spirit.

Misleading code words form the movement’s terminology. For example, “family values” means just two things: to mount political opposition to legalized abortions and to discriminate against gay and lesbian persons. Period. Yes, period.

That’s why the actual family commitments of candidates are irrelevant to the movement’s supporters; what matters are political commitments to these causes and the power-sharing coziness between politicians and preachers.

It is perfectly fine in this Land of the Free to hold these political positions and to support the candidates of one’s own choosing. Just know that many of us have a lot more sense than to fall for the notion that this movement somehow — or anyhow — represents Christianity.

The movement lacks a basic biblical perspective on truth and love, essential to the Christian faith. Just read One Corinthians 13 and other holy texts including the Gospels. It’s all there.

Vote for the person you wish; make your case for how your candidate is best to lead our nation, your state or local government. But cut out the nonsense that God exclusively shares your endorsement and that your political preferences somehow represent the Christian faith.

It’s embarrassing. That’s all.

John Pierce

About John Pierce

John D. Pierce is editor of Nurturing Faith Journal — the signature publication of Baptists Today, Inc. He is also publisher of Nurturing Faith Books and Resources. Previously he served as managing editor of The Christian Index and as Baptist campus minister at Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University. A native of Ringgold, Ga., he is a graduate of Berry College (B.A.), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Columbia Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He speaks frequently in churches, consults with congregations concerning communications and holds interim pastorates.