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"I Want my Faith Back"

Excerpts form this excellent Op-Ed article fromt he Arkansas Times, by Jennifer Barnett Reed:

"I want my faith back...

Of all the progressive and moderate people of faith I talked to as part of this story, Howard “Flash” Gordon, pastor of First Presbyterian Church and a social justice activist, told me the story I’ve repeated the most often:

When Ronald Reagan died earlier this year, someone from Fox News called Gordon, looking for a sound bite for a story on Reagan’s religious faith because Gordon had known Reagan’s pastor.

“I said, ‘He didn’t take care of poor people,’ ” Gordon said.

The guy from Fox said, “I don’t want to hear about poor people, I want to hear about Reagan’s Christianity.”

Gordon replied, “That IS Reagan’s Christianity,” and the Fox guy hung up on him.

That story captures for me how low we’ve sunk in our perceptions and expectations of what “faith” looks like. “I don’t want to hear about poor people, I want to hear about Reagan’s Christianity.”

It’s altogether depressing, really, at least on the surface. There was that infamous exit poll, offered up as proof in the mainstream media that conservative Christian voters were now in charge, and the rest of us were just hopelessly out of touch.

But all the right wing’s posturing, before and after the election, may well be the best thing that ever happened to progressive and moderate people of faith. Outrage has taken me in a good direction. If I’m in any way representative, we are finally starting to clue in to the need to act politically specifically as an expression of faith — and realizing just how many others like us are out there."

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