Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Monday, March 06, 2006

More on Moore, et sim

Leaving aside questions about tax status, my problem with churches like those described in the previous post is that their infatuation with a few big issues trumps all other issues.

Locally, you remember the Christian Coalition's ad hominum attack on Prof. Hamill, who dared argue that Christian values required that Alabama reform its tax structure. If you don't remember, see this.

Nationally, certain republigelicals were quick to criticize evangelical leaders who dared propose that Christian values require serious environmental planning. The whole story is here.

This quote (hat tipAndrew Sullivan) from Tom McCluskey, a bigwig at the Family Research Council, perfectly summarizes the attitude about which I am complaining:

"What is at the core of being Catholic is the life issue, and that's something the pope has never strayed from," he said. "While other issues are important -- such as helping the poor, the death penalty, views on war -- these are things that aren't tenets of the Catholic Church."

Now I have no disagreement with the first half of that sentence, but the second is patently absurd. (Disagree? See this). I have a vague recollection of some guy saying the material difference between the damned and the blessed was that those destined for bliss fed the hungry, while those destined for H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks, left the poor to their poverty. Maybe that was because the damned believed in personal responsibility, family values, and small government.

Whatever, the point is that all these Christian values stem from one person. If you are going to pick and choose, you are dividing that person. Whether the all excluding value is life, or the ten commandments, or anything else, the result is a divided Christ. If you want to preach his message, you ought to preach the whole thing.

In my opinion, anyway.