Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christian leader eats treesshoots, leaves

Christian Coalition pres.-elect leaves

The president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America has declined the job, saying the organization wouldn't let him expand its agenda beyond opposing abortion and gay marriage.

The Rev. Joel Hunter, who was scheduled to take over the socially conservative group in January from Roberta Combs, said he had hoped to focus on issues such as poverty and the environment.

"These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," said Hunter, a senior pastor at Northland Church in Longwood, Fla.

Hunter announced his decision not to take the job during an organization board meeting Nov. 21. A statement issued by the group said Hunter left because of "differences in philosophy and vision." Hunter said he was not asked to leave.

"They pretty much said, 'These issues are fine, but they're not our issues, that's not our base,'" Hunter said.

This is funny and sad all at once. It exposes the Christianists (Sully is right on this one) for the "anti-Christs" they are -- focusing entirely on things Jesus never talked about, and ignoring the things he did (according to the New Testament, which they seem to think is, well, gospel).

I'd like to think it also presents an opportunity. The hard-core fundies are unreachable. But there must be some believers out there willing to take the Sermon on the Mount seriously. And there are religious leaders, like this one, who want to do good, and who have had enough of the Falwell/Dobson/Haggard nonsense. That change would be an unambiguous good, and would have the side benefit of further splintering the ugly, cynical, selfish coalition that has cloaked itself in religiosity for two decades.

(Update: Oops -- I remembered the name of the book wrong. The original heading of this post made no sense at all.)


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