My wife’s cousin stayed with us last night on a layover to Uganda that left this morning. He’s going back for a year or so on his mission to record and help market native music. This trips comes after only a couple days home from fighting fires in northern California. He considers himself an “evangelical” and is voting for Barack Obama.
To say I was impressed with his commitment to doing good in the world would be an understatement. It made me think about a lot of the things over the last week or so around here as democrats continue to push the notion “Jesus Freaks” and other assorted myths about Christians. The democrats far left wing is totally clueless about the faith-based community beyond the caracitures they saee on TV or in films.
I asked him on the way to the airport this morning what his definition of an evangelical was because so far he goes against every stereotype I had heard. He looked surprised at the question, as if no one had ever asked, and replied, “We consider ourselves the progressive Christians.”
This statement was a blinding flash of the obvious to me considering all the stuff I have concluded from blogs and the primary results and the feeling at large in America. Just like “liberals” are ready to take out the “conservatives” without really understanding what those terms mean at the grassroots level, a Witch Hunt is occurring with evangelicals in America. As if they are all ready and waiting and willing to bring on the Apocalypse. As if every single one of the millions of evangelicals are like 40 or 50 thousand that can be seen in a televised megachurch service.
Liberals have taken a minority voice with the biggest pulpit and prejudged the entire evangelical community, most of whom are just like my wife’s cousin – humble and charitable and willing to work on what we have in common despite what we might not agree on right now. He also watched the Rick Warren Saddleback Church broadcast and came away even more committed to getting Barack elected. Many of his fellow faith-based Americans came away with the same impression. Most are actually following Jesus’ lead and won’t be the ones screaming from the highest mountain about crazy shit.
The problem with applying a definition to a group of people from the outside is that it might not match the actual definition they have for themselves. If most “evangelicals” consider themselves to be the Progressive Christians, how is it that the democratic party, before Barack ran, was unable to get their votes?
Think on that Obamadems. Perhaps it is time for a little of that good ole liberal empathy that we keep hearing so much about.