Carol Howard Merritt
Author, Pastor, Co-Host of God Complex Radio
Progressive Christians Enter the Age of Relevancy
Posted: 11/14/2012 3:53 pm
It's been a sobering few decades for Christians who work alongside the poor, claim their feminism, respect scientific discovery, care for the earth, and yearn for marriage equality. We felt like the voice of Christianity had been captured by some strange ventriloquist, and it was proclaiming things that often contradicted our faith. We became frustrated with our own irrelevance, as our speech in the public square seemed to be on permanent mute.
And yet, we worked alongside the poor, remembering Mary, the mother of Jesus, a single woman expecting a child. Mary magnificently proclaimed that God had exalted the humble, filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich empty away.
But in the midst of this exaltation, we heard another voice. It was the Heritage Foundation telling us that marriage was the best antidote to child poverty.
It made many Christian stomachs turn as we interpreted the news, "You're poor? Your children are going hungry? Then find a husband, and everything will be just fine. You don't need to fight for nutritious lunches, after-school care and medical insurance, you just need a man."
1. It's probably better to take a cold hard look at Christian history. Rather than be disappointed
that Christianity has shifted right, realize that it has traditionally been on the right and opposed feminism, science, and marriage equality. It's not for nothing that so many early feminists were atheists, humanists, agnostics or Jews, and ditto scientists and so on and so on.
Pretending to look back to a Golden Age when Christians weren't misbehaving may make copy for pastors, but it's not history. The good old days weren't, as the wise man said.