Thursday 26 June 2008

far from the holy huddle

Evangelicals make up a quarter of the US population and four years ago nearly 80% of evangelicals voted for George W. Bush. But Frances Fitzgerald reports in the New Yorker that influential pastors have set a new national-policy agenda which is based on a slightly different understanding of the life of Jesus and his ministry to the poor, the outcast and the peacemakers.

These pastors and their congregations lack 'the fundamental resistance to modernist thought, such as distrust of science'. They also represent a shift from individual faith and mutual service ('the holy huddle') to serving the community as a whole. This has resulted, for instance, in the Environmental Climate Initiative, which states:

'Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbours.'

Fitzgerald writes, 'Of all the initiatives the new movement has taken, that on global warming has provoked the most fury from the right.'

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