Know Hope

“Know Hope” is a grafitti that is popping up in the Middle East and elsewhere. It’s a simple and beautiful thing driven by ordinary people.

This week the Southern Baptist Convention elected a moderate (or at least not a Christianist lunatic) as their president. Now let’s be rational here, Rev. Frank Page is not Bishop Spong. He’s right wing as opposed to ultra-right wing.

E. J. Dionne Jr. discusses it thoughtfully in A Shift Among the Evangelicals on the Washington Post website:

The mellowing of evangelical Christianity may well be the big American religious story of this decade. The evolution of the evangelical movement should not be confused with the rise of a religious left. Although the margin of the Republican Party’s advantage among white evangelicals is likely to decline from its exceptionally high level in the 2004 election, a substantial majority of white evangelicals will probably remain conservative and continue to vote Republican.

But the evangelical political agenda is broadening as new voices insist on the urgency of issues such as Third World poverty and the fights against AIDS and human trafficking. Among the most prominent advocates for a wider view of Christian obligation is Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of “The Purpose Driven Life.”

In the meantime, Rich Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals (and a self-described “Ronald Reagan movement conservative”), has been a leader in urging evangelicals to make environmental stewardship a central element of their political mission. This has earned him attacks from such prominent leaders on the Christian right as James Dobson.

So it’s not much, but it’s something.

Know Hope.

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