[This is the lead statement on the website of the National Council of Churches. -Thomas]
Disagreeing Without Demonizing
NCC General Secretary Challenges Planners of ‘Justice Sunday’ for Attacking Fellow Christians
A partisan political campaign to change the Senate filibuster rules has taken a detour through church-state territory, and NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar has challenged the tactics as “dangerous and divisive” to the nation’s religious and public life. In a statement issued Tuesday, Edgar says:
“We are surprised and grieved by a campaign launched this week by Family Research Council and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who said that those who disagree with them on President Bush’s judicial nominees are ‘against people of faith.’
“This campaign, which they are calling ‘Justice Sunday,’ should properly be called ‘Just-Us’ Sunday. Their attempt to impose on the entire country a narrow, exclusivist, private view of truth is a dangerous, divisive tactic. It serves to further polarize our nation, and it disenfranchises and demonizes good people of faith who hold political beliefs that differ from theirs.
“To brand any group of American citizens as ‘anti-Christian’ simply because they differ on political issues runs counter to the values of both faith and democracy. It is especially disheartening when that accusation is aimed at fellow Christians. [Emphasis theirs. -T] The National Council of Churches encompasses more than 45 million believers across a broad spectrum of theology and politics who work together on issues important to our society. If they disagree with Senator Frist’s political positions, are these 45 million Christians now considered ‘anti-Christian’?
“In the spirit of 1 Timothy 6:3-5, we urge Senator Frist and the Family Research Council to reconsider their plan. We will be praying for the Lord to minister to them and change their hearts so that they will not continue to take our nation down this destructive path.”