Evangelical, Pro-Life and Progressive, Really?

I have often been asked how I can call myself a Christian and vote for a Democrat; shocking, I know. You have to understand that I live in North Carolina, the heart of "The Bible Belt". We have a church on every corner. In Greensboro alone (my home city)--with a population of approximately 260,000 people--there are roughly 500 churches. Greensboro has around 109 square miles so for every square mile there are five churches. Are you getting the picture now? So, there is the perspective. For some evangelicals the GOP is an acronym for God's Own Party and not Grand Ole Party. I suppose I can see the point; I have sat in enough services where the Pastor makes subtle, yet powerful, statements that make one draw the conclusions that "good Christians" make decisions in the ballot booth based on their convictions.

When I was a high school and college student, I always dreaded the election time because I would have to sit through the subtle nudges of preachers who wanted you to "vote your values" (Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge, the GOP) . I always felt like folks saw it as their personal mission to "convert" me. However, like opposition usually does for me, it made me really answer why I held the convictions that I held. Before I enumerate the reasons why I am evangelical, pro-life and progressive, I want to give my working definitions of each:

Evangelical: 1. Conviction that Jesus alone can pay the debt for our sins. 2. Belief that each follower of Jesus should actively share his or her faith (primarily by living a changed life). 3. Deep belief in the authority of scripture and the inerrancy of the message given. 4. Belief in the actually earthly life, death and resurrection of Jesus and a belief that he presently lives, offering intercession for all who have embraced his gift.

Pro-life: 1. Opposition to abortions (w/an exception for the life of the mother). 2. Opposition to the death penalty (without exception). 3. Opposition to euthanasia

Progressive: 1. Deep sense of commitment to the betterment of individuals over companies. 2. Deep sense of justice. 3. Deep commitment to the rights of individuals over corporations. 4. Deep commitment to civil liberties.

So, here goes:

I believe all of the things as defined above, however I would add this caveat, some of the convictions that I hold (particularly those regarding homosexuals) would place me at odds with many of my Evangelical sisters and brothers). At its core, the Evangelical movement was the middle ground between the theological liberalism of the mainstream church and the seperationism of the fundamental church.

I am pro-life, because I believe that life is sacred--all life. This includes the life of the embryo that has yet to form into an autonomous human, to the person who has committed the vilest violation of our social mores. It is inconsistent (and rather hypocritical) to advocate the sanctity of life while advocating the death penalty the next. As a matter of justice, all life should be regarded as sacred. It is intellectually wanting to teach people that you shouldn't kill people by killing people.

I am progressive because there must be a commitment from folks of faith to see an impact on society. There must be a commitment to see the political parties that we align with do good. Though all three of the major political parties in America are flawed, I identify most with the Democrats. They have a commitment to stand for the weak and to be a voice for the worn. The Dems are not willing to pick up yourself by your own boot straps when it is obvious that you have no boots. The Dems are committed to do what they can to ensure there is access to a quality education. The Democrats recognize that in a country as blessed as America, have a right to quality health care. The Democrats realize that no matter your sexual orientation that you are a person who should be treated with dignity and respect.

I would love to hear your thoughts!
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