Recently, Gary Adkisson, Bismarck Tribune publisher, wrote a thought-provoking opinion piece titled “Best when we listen to understand.” He said “life is better when we listen to understand rather than listen to reply.” Basically, listening enhances understanding.

There is one aspect of America’s ever-changing culture that I am failing to understand, even after much listening: the increasing role religion has in politics/politics has in religion. This used to be taboo; separation of church and state. Now, Rep. Kevin Cramer and the Republican House of Representatives, through the tax bill, want to allow religious institutions to get involved in political activities.

America is seeing an emergence of the Republican Party being equated with groups such as “evangelical Christians, white evangelical Christians and social conservatives.”

Being from the old school, my definition of evangelical Christian involves a person who shares the good news of the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. A Christian is an individual who believes in Jesus Christ and who follows his teachings such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the ill, welcoming the unwanted, loving one’s enemies and treating others as you would like to be treated.

I am no longer sure what the term “evangelical Christian” means in the political world. Much of the current meaning centers on “social conservativism.” Social conservatism definitions often include non-fiscal matters such as promoting man/woman marriage and opposition to both abortion and homosexuality — often referred to as “Christian values.”

A large majority of evangelical Christians support Republicans who support President Donald Trump’s actions. This segment of the religious population seems to be growing so strong that the current Republican Party may be metamorphosing into the Evangelical Christian Party. I have even heard the term “White Evangelical Christian Party.”

I don't understand.

Henry Lebak, Bismarck

 

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