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UM Bishop Schol and Liberals from other Mainlines Denounce "People of Faith"


The following are excerpts from this article:

Don't use broad brush on 'people of faith'

By The Rev. Peter K. Nord, the Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff, the Rt. Rev. John Rabb, the Rev. John Deckenback, the Rev. H. Gerard Knoche and the Rev. John R. Schol

May 25, 2005

AS PEOPLE of faith, we disagree with public officials' use of the phrase "people of faith."

A few weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist spoke at "Justice Sunday: Stop the Filibuster Against People of Faith." The Senate leadership, using this mantra, threatened to exercise the so-called nuclear option, eliminating the use of the filibuster for judicial nominees.

Recent articles in Time and The New York Times are also making much of "people of faith." . . . the use of the phrase "people of faith" is little more than a political tool and suggests that all "people of faith" are of one mind about political issues.

The problem occurs . . . when we let a few vocal Christian denominations speak as if they represent all Christian denominations -- indeed, all "people of faith." When a few religious and political leaders are allowed to use phrases such as "people of faith" and "anti-Christian" unchecked in their political rhetoric to further their agenda, we are allowing them to place a political litmus test -- that simply does not exist -- on being a Christian person of faith.

For example, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, United Methodists and members of the United Church of Christ, along with many other Christian denominations, have policy positions on abortion and end-of-life issues that differ from the ones played out in the Terri Schiavo case.  . . . we are reluctant to legislate our particular understandings of God's leading or seek "activist" judges who are similarly motivated.

When our political leaders and media commentators are allowed to pretend that all Christians share the same political views, it does something more damaging than skewing the political outcome. It undermines people's natural desire to become part of a community of faith. And it marginalizes those whose faith leads them to different outcomes on the issues of the day.

We are proud to be persons of faith living within communities of faith. We are proud to be Christians as well as Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, United Methodists and members of the United Church of Christ. We are glad that we live in a country in which we have freedom of speech and religion.

At its core, "faith" is not a set of arbitrary beliefs - political or religious.

Copyright 2005, The Baltimore Sun

Editor's note:  These mainline church leaders are telling you clearly that there are NO essential beliefs of their so-called christian religion.

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