Rising out of the Marsh

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Rising out of the Marsh

If the Republicans and right-leaning voters listened to the philosophy of evangelical Christian and UVA educator Charles Marsh ["Prof to evangelicals: quit politicking," UVA News, July 31, 2007], we would lose every election from hereon everafter! Please keep the history of the Christian Left alive in any of your articles and interviews as you prepare to skewer the Christian Right Wing of America, which represents 35 percent of the voting population. Marsh seems to want to silence the Right while the Christian Left would march on and thereby win all subsequent elections.

Charles Marsh

And who are the Christian Left? Why, they are the group who begat the Christian Right. In the Civil Rights era of the early ’60s, they congregated at their churches led by the reverends King, Jackson and others, and gave birth to Sharpton, and yes, even our own Dr. Alvin Edwards. All men to be respected. But it was their influence in the ’60s and ’70s that elected Kennedy and Johnson and later the Christian Left president from Georgia, Jimmy Carter, that caused outrage by the likes of the reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They called their movement the Moral Majority, and swept to office Reagan, Bush and Bush.

Love them or hate them, the Christian Left and the Christian Right are alive and well in America. But to follow Marsh’s diatribe would be to surrender to the Christian Left, something Righties are not willing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had Marsh suggested that Franken, Obama, Dean or Toscano should just shut up and sit out this election?

There’s a place for both sides, Left and Right, Republican and Democrat, and dare I say it, a third, fourth or fifth side in Greens, Anarchists, or so-called Independents. Let us all have a voice. But to even suggest that we silence anyone for any reason is unconstitutional, by the very definition of our First Amendment.

And Charles, I did not miss the underpinnings of your argument. Christianity in politics does not serve the Master of Christianity. Or does it? The Christian Left fights hard for social justice, poverty, death penalty and peace issues. Does that not serve your God? The Christian Right fights for protections of the unborn, for the elderly against euthanasia, protection of our nation and Israel against others who would destroy us, and for God to be honored in public schools and civil venues (the First Commandment). Does that not serve your God?

For my agnostic and atheistic friends, or those who hate the space where politics and religion coexist, I can only offer the reality that 60 percent of our nation, more or less, is a member of the Judeo-Christian Left or Right. We’re a majority-rules nation, to a point. We’re not a democracy, you know? We’re a republic. We elect representatives and executives that we trust will vote our will as we actually have no vote in governement. Listen to the rhetoric, voters. Obama already has his minister telling us all what a fine Christian man he is. If Hillary follows Bill Clinton, there will be another "New Covenant," as the Clintons are really good at "ecumenical speak." They’re church-going folk.

Giuliani’s a Catholic, Romney’s a Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints), and the rest of the Republicans are Christians of the Protestant or evangelical stripe. And why do you know that? Because both party’s candidates wear their religion on their sleeves! They won’t get elected otherwise.

Charles Marsh is way off trend, and also forgets the religious Left and the balance of political influence when considering religion and politics. His words wouldn’t have gotten published had someone influenced the editor of C-VILLE Weekly to silence political speech by Christians.

Randolph Byrd
Charlottesville

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