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Conservative Christians: If You’re Going to Criticize Obama, at Least Do It Well (Miniblog #177)

by Carson T. Clark on February 9, 2013

Dear friends and family who are conservative Christians,

Disagreeing politically with president Obama doesn’t itself make one a racist. Feel free to criticize his economic principles, political philosophy, executive policies, inconsistencies, worldview, and the like. As with all presidential administrations, those are important issues requiring much attention. But variously describing the president as socialist, communist, fascist, gay, Muslim, and atheist does pretty well preclude intelligent thought. At that point you’re nonsensically pasting pejoratives together, thereby declaring to all that you’re a belligerent, ignorant fool who’s content with emotionally ranting rather than offering a careful, thoughtful analysis. It’s the adult equivalent of my calling my brother a big butthead when he broke my Heavy Duty G.I. Joe action figure. And I’ll be so bold as to say you’re certainly not helping the cause of Christ’s Kingdom with such conduct. Evangelical theologian Richard Mouw has wisely noted, “A lot of people today who have strong convictions are not very civil and a lot of people who are civil don’t have very strong convictions. What we really need is convicted civility.” Allow me to suggest that convicted civility that evidences a simultaneous commitment to truth and love, principle and graciousness is the better way forward. If you’re going to criticize president Obama, at least do it honorably and well.

Grace & Peace,

Carson T. Clark

  • SamHamilton

    Seems like common sense to me, but unfortunately needs to be repeated. Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      :)

  • Dave Muir

    As a Progressive, I am very, very happy to see this. Honest, robust discussion is the way forward, but cannot proceed when the atmosphere is poisoned with unfounded hatred. Good for you.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      You’re welcome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Merl-Allen/695715159 Merl Allen

    I think “conservative” Christian is an oxymoron, they sure as hell don’t act like they’ve ever heard of Jesus Christ.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      Do keep in mind there’s a difference between conservatives and fundamentalists. All fundamentalists are conservative, but not all conservatives are fundamentalists.

    • SamHamilton

      Are you talking about people who are uncivil, or anyone who is politically conservative and a Christian?

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      A good and helpful distinction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1824106352 Neil Gillies

    Nicely stated. Given that the ” socialist, communist, fascist, gay, Muslim, and atheist” litany is self-evidently about bearing false witness, one would think that Christians commanded not to do so would, well, not.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      Well, there’s that… ;)

  • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

    Readers: I’ve had 500+ people click over from Facebook at a time when I’ve given it up for Lent, so I’m curious who linked to this page.

    • SamHamilton

      Don’t know… I never signed up for the thing in the first place. You should continue a facebook fast after Lent and see how long you can go.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=623052575 Ronald Burr

      A Facebook page named after the character from The Grapes Of Wrath named Tom Joad. I shared it on my page after reading it on his. After Lent you should check him out. He’s usually a pretty good read. Very moderate and rational.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Very well said. There’s a lot Obama has actually said and done that can be criticized, either from the left or the right. Blurting out perjoratives based on fantasies and whacked out conspiracy theories wastes everyone’s time and convinces no one.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      Thanks.

      Who referred you over? Where did you find the link?

    • D_C_Wilson

      One of my facebook friends posted it in a group.

  • Mindy Kellhofer

    Well Said.

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      Thanks.

      Hey, who referred you over? Where did you find the link?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

    I am a Liberal Democrat and this is the most rational intelligent thing I have heard in a long time. Good job! Policies are debatable and as a rational intelligent man I am open to new ideas. What has happened to he rest of the right?

    • http://twitter.com/carsontclark Carson T. Clark

      “this is the most rational thing I have r[e]ad from the right in a long time.”
      “to [t]he rest of the right?”

      Ummmmmm… why do you think I’m on the right? The title of this blog is Musings of a Hardlining Moderate.

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