Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
May 23, 2018
Contact: Chelsen Vicari, Cell: 540-239-2170, E-mail: cvicari@TheIRD.org
Washington, DC—The Episcopal Church Bishop who garnered widespread praise for his lively sermon during Saturday’s British royal wedding now plans to lead a protest against a “dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership” on May 24 in Washington, D.C.
As part of a new “Reclaiming Jesus” declaration of Religious Left voices, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will co-lead a prayer vigil and protest procession ending in front of the White House. Curry will be joined by Evangelical Left activist Jim Wallis, Sharon Watkins, former General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), James Forbes, former pastor of New York’s Riverside Church, among others.
According to the Reclaiming Jesus website, the protest rejects “’America first’ as a theological heresy for followers of Christ,” complains of budget cuts for social programs, and alleges growing white nationalism, misogyny, and authoritarianism. The prayer vigil and protest will begin Thursday, May 24th, 7 p.m., at National City Christian Church.
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
“Denouncing political stances as ‘heresy’ is often unwise & confuses categories; prelates most prone to it often are least likely to identify genuinely doctrinal heresy.
“This protest targets Trump era rhetoric, and doubtless a thoughtful critique could be useful. Unfortunately, this declaration mostly defaults to conventional verbiage long common to Mainline Protestant elites and the Evangelical Left.
“Christian doctrine doesn’t provide direct dogmatic guidance in most of temporal politics. The church can offer broad principles for a good society but should be reluctant to demand specific policies subject to prudential judgment, not dogma. Helping the poor and outcast is a Christian principle. The best state policies in pursuit of this task are debatable for Christians.
“The Protestants behind the ‘Reclaiming Jesus’ declaration should temper their rhetoric and their ambitions. And maybe they should focus on doctrinal fidelity within their own ecclesial communities. Churches faithful to Christian teaching will better advocate a truly good society.”Google+