A Liberal Alternative — To Truth
by Erin Curry
The newly formed Christian Alliance for Progress has entered the political landscape with a mission to present a biblical justification for socially liberal positions, including homosexual rights, abortion rights, and an end to war.
Since last November's election when the mainstream media and a broader scope of politicians suddenly focused more attention on the value of the evangelical vote, Democrats have been searching for ways to pull those voters over to their side. Meetings have been held in Washington to brief Democrats on what evangelical voters really want and how they can begin to find it outside the Republican Party.
Now the Christian Alliance for Progress, based in Jacksonville, Florida, and led by businessman Patrick Mrotek, is focusing on convincing Christians that the Democratic Party holds ideals that are more closely aligned with those of Jesus.
The group wants to debate conservative Christian figures such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson, arguing that the gospel calls for liberal policies, according to The Washington Times June 23.
"If you look back on the history of American fundamentalism, thirty to forty years ago there were plenty of moderate folks theologically and politically in the Southern Baptist Convention," Timothy Simpson, the group's director of religious affairs, told The Times, noting that progressive politics in the past was associated with evangelical Christianity.
The alliance's Web site lists issues most pertinent to their cause, leading off with the statement, "Our positions on political issues arise from how we see the values that Jesus taught."
After mentioning the need for economic justice in the management of America's wealth and being good stewards of the environment, a subhead reads, "Rejecting Bigotry, Embracing Dignity — Equality for Gays and Lesbians."
by Erin Curry
"Unless we read the Bible, American history is a closed book," The Weekly Standard's David Gelernter posited in a look at Bible literacy in America, with young Americans knowing very little about the Word of God and thus lacking the perspective necessary to understand major themes of history.
"What made John Adams say, in 1765, 'I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence'? What made Abraham Lincoln call America (in 1862, in the middle of a ruinous civil war) 'the last, best hope of earth'?" Gelernter wrote in the May 23 issue.
"… One thing above all made them true prophets. They read the Bible."
Gelernter briefly traced the role of the Bible through history, from the Puritans of the 18th century, when America was "born in a passionate spiritual explosion" created and fueled by the Bible, to George W. Bush's worldwide war on tyranny as a quintessential biblical project, "one that sees America as an almost chosen people, with the heavy responsibilities that go with the job."
The Bible Literacy Project, based on a Gallup-conducted survey of young people mostly in the seventh through ninth grades and forty-one teachers in both public and private schools, found that the fewer than a quarter of the students were what teachers would call "Bible literate."
The report, released in late April, said the teachers were convinced that students ought to know the Bible and don't. Forty of forty-one agreed that "Bible knowledge confers a distinct educational advantage."
Seventy-two percent of students in the survey could answer correctly that Moses "led the Israelites out of bondage," Gelernter noted, and 90 percent realized that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman in Genesis. But 8 percent of teens "believe that Moses is one of the twelve Apostles."