Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christianity in America

Ilya has shamed Christians. But he may just as well shame all Americans. The vast majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians. However, this population is quite diverse in its beliefs and political leanings. This is one of the peculiarities of America as opposed to say Western Europe where you are Catholic or Protestant (as it pertains to beliefs if not the resulting political leanings). One need only look at my church, the Lutheran church. Anti-Everything, in his crusade against Michelle Bachmann (representative elect, should I say) made light of some of the more extreme stances of her church, also Lutheran. But we belong to different synods, that have vastly different beliefs and also political leanings. I belong to the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. It is typically identified with the mainline or "liberal" protestant tradition. My synod, like many "liberal" protestant churches, voted on divestment of companies that do business with Israel. I hasten to add that this does ingratiate me with my church.

Rep.-elect Bachman (I know, despite Anti's valiant efforts) is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which in the aggressiveness and content of some of its political stances (and frankly beliefs, as Anti identified) causes it to be identified with the evangelical movement. From a theological perspective I don't really know if there is substance in such an identification. But Israeli divestment is not on their political radar. The Lutheran church is not exceptional but rather a typical example of Protestantism in America. I won't even touch on Catholicism because I will probably say something completely false and invite Pied's or Anti's ridicule. But nonetheless, I think they would also agree that there are fissures within the Catholic community as well. But Christianity in America is heterodox. Thus quite difficult to shame collectively.

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