Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hagee and Wright

McCain Endorser Hagee: God Sent Hitler, Jews Have Dead Souls

Barack Obama's Pastor his Christianity Jeremiah Wright

The captions on these videos are the names given to them by whoever put them on youtube, not by me. If you disregard the obvious partisanship of both sides, it becomes apparent that something interesting is happening religiously this election cycle.

I'm pretty sure there were a big chunk of Americans who go to thoroughly boring churches and thought that most everyone else did too. The thing is that people like Hagee and Wright have been shown on TV and the internet so much, the public consciousness about controversial pastors has been raised quite a bit. These standard Middle Americans are now questioning just how typical their boring church really is.

For a long time, there has been a misconception that America is mostly Christian (true) and that while they belonged to different sects, most Christians cared about the same things and talked the same way. This is a massive misconception; America may be mostly one faith, but it is still amazingly diverse.

If either of these guys had been preaching about how God loves everyone, even gays, or how gay marriage would undo the fabric of society people wouldn't have noticed. That's pretty much expected by now. The fact is that both these men are saying something many Americans haven't heard before, at least not in a religious context.

During this cycle people also learned a lot about Mormonism, and would have learned even more if Romney had won the Republican nomination. The fact is that the official LDS Church is more mainstream than Hagee or Wright. The mess in Texas with the FLDS has served to remind America unknown denominations aren't unified either.

Maybe later I'll write something about the word "cult," which has been horribly overused in discussing these issues and isn't really a helpful word at all.

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