#ReimagineCHRISTIANITY... in America 


#ItSeemsToMe... Evangelicals need to return to a worldview that is biblical rather than partisan.

Yes, we must vote and participate but not at the expense of the unity and calling and mission of the Church. The laws of our land are vital but they do not guarantee righteousness. Freedom is essential but unbounded//unresponsible liberality has dangerous, even if unintended, consequences. 

Phil @ The Reimagine.Network

Selected Quotes from -

How Much Power Do Christians Really Have?

The invisible divide that’s shaping how Republicans and Democrats think about religion — and politics
By Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux        

​[​"Invisible Divides​"​ is a series exploring the profound differences in worldview between Democrats and Republicans. These beliefs about education, religion, gender, race, and political extremism align with partisanship — but run much deeper. Differences like these don’t just influence the ways Democrats and Republicans vote, but also how they think about their place in America. And they help explain why opposing views on important issues today seem increasingly irreconcilable.​]​
“I think Christians are discriminated against.”
“We act like they have all this power, but really we’re just raising our voices and getting ignored.”
Crystal Vasquez

“A lot of evangelical Christians — I think they’ve confused being Christian with being Republican.”
“They want to have strict rules and regulations and they want everyone to be like them, and they’re using the political system
— the judges they’v> e appointed, the politicians they’ve elected — to impose that worldview on other people.”
Kathy Watson is an evangelical Christian.
There’s a sense, the country is in the midst of a reckoning over what it means to be Christian in America. On one side, there are the people who see Christians as the victims of a successful campaign to infuse the country with secular values, forcing Christians — particularly conservative ones — to accept values they violently disagree with. But many Americans think Christians occupy a very different role. In their version of the country’s current drama, Christians are the villains, ensconcing their own beliefs in law and politics even as their numbers dwindle. There’s a thread of unease on both sides — as if the one thing everyone agrees on is that these two ways of thinking about Christianity in America simply can’t coexist.

​"​FiveThirtyEight/PerryUndem/YouGov​"​ survey ​... ​our exploration of invisible divides — the differences in worldview that shape how people vote and think about their place in America — we found profound disagreements​ ​about how much power Christians really have, and the role they should play in the country’s politics and culture. Like the other divides we’re exploring, these divisions track fairly neatly along partisan lines and help explain why the gap between Republicans and Democrats sometimes feels unbridgeable: It’s because their ways of thinking about the world are increasingly irreconcilable.
This moment is about four decades in the making. In the 1980s and 1990s, as white Christian conservatives forged an alliance with the Republican Party, Christianity itself started to become a partisan symbol. Identifying as a Christian was no longer just about theology, community or family history — to many Americans, the label became uncomfortably tangled with the Christian Right’s political agenda, which was itself becoming increasingly hard to separate from the GOP’s political agenda.
Social scientists have argued compellingly that left-leaning Americans started to reject religious labels altogether around this time because of the perception that Christianity was becoming tainted by politics. The rise in the share of Americans who have no religion​ ​wasn’t just about loss of belief — it was about the rejection of a political identity, too. According to this theory, people who had relatively weak ties to religion — the ones who attended church once a month, or twice a year — started slipping away, discomfited by the idea of calling themselves Christians because of the term’s new political baggage. 
Carolyn Novak, 54, didn’t stop calling herself a Christian because she no longer followed Jesus. Instead, she stopped going to the Southern Baptist church she’d attended for years because she felt like it made people assume things about her that weren’t true. She found herself increasingly at odds with her fellow churchgoers. “Being labeled a Christian, [people think] you’re some kind of right-wing nut,” Novak said. 

These trends, meanwhile, have reinforced a long-held feeling of embattlement among some Christians, particularly conservative ones. From the beginning of the Christian Right’s alliance with the Republican Party, the movement’s predominantly white leaders have presented themselves as the standard-bearers of a beleaguered cause. The country was secularizing; the feminist movement was gaining ground; abortion was legal; divorce rates were high; school prayer was outlawed; racial integration was mandated for schools.

As the years went on, this defensiveness was further entrenched by the election of the first Black president — who was falsely portrayed as a Muslim by right-wing media and politicians — the legalization of same-sex marriage, and dwindling church attendance. The Christian Right’s battles increasingly revolved around the preservation of rights for Christians, tacitly conceding their status as a cultural minority. Former president Donald Trump capitalized on these feelings of persecution politically and actually appears to have brought some of his nonreligious followers into the fold. A Pew Research Center study released in 2021 found that some white respondents who had warm feelings about Trump but hadn’t previously identified as evangelical Christians began to embrace the label after Trump was elected. It was yet more evidence that Americans’ political perspectives are doing more and more work to shape their religious identities — even if it’s not happening consciously.
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