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Friday, September 19, 2003

I was reading about mainline church opposition to U.S. invasion of Iraq. My instructor was lamenting (or observing, to allow a claim of objectivity) the lack of impact those leaders' opinions had on Bush's policy. The list of denominations was less than impressive. ELCA, PCUSA, United Methodist? C'mon. Most real Christians are either considering leaving these denominations, or have already done so. If Christians perceive that the Gospel itself has been forsaken, why would leaders' opinions on "just war" theory mean anything? You can't assume that the more "conservative" elements are all Southern Baptists and independent evangelicals, either. Religion scholars have failed to account for the creation of new "mainline" denominations to replace the others, where doctrine and practice has remained strong and traditional, better explaining the huge groundswell of support for the war policies of our President. This is a much better explanation than hordes of independent evangelical Jerry Falwells. Christianity still has an enormous influence (though diminished) on national policy.

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