Saturday, April 16, 2005

Peter W.

My name is Peter Wallace and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I was born and reared in the loving home of a United Methodist pastor and his wife, good mainline liberals. To my regret now, I rebelled against my parents' values by moving rightward politically and religiously, ending up at a conservative independent seminary (home of much of the Left Behind rapture-style theology) and graduating with honors. I worked for an evangelical Christian organization after that for several years, until it began dawning on me that many of these folks don't really practice what they preach. To many of them, it's all about power, not service.

God led me to return to my roots and I ended up a good, liberal episcopalian. I now work in religious media trying to give voice to the progressive mainline protestant church. I have have written books--using Scripture to focus on the grace and freedom God gives us so liberally.

I affirm faith in all its forms. The Jesus I believe is one who reaches out to all, no matter what. The Jesus I believe accepts all with unending love. The Jesus I believe tells me not to judge but to love God and to love others.

That's why I find the increasingly shrill, negative, hateful, judgmental, and narrow views of the Christian and Republican right to be precisely opposite of what Jesus would say and do. This latest effort to turn the judicial branch into their theocratic rubber stamp is simply wrong. It is antagonistic to the gospel.

This is America, land of liberty, of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to congregate in whatever ways you want. I believe it is time to get back to real righteousness. Namely, to accept one another, to live and let live, to stop living solely for ourselves and live like we believed in the golden rule. To love and serve and reach out and accept others.

I hope and pray that the partisan divisions that are tearing our country's soul apart will be dissolved by the tears of humility, of repentance, and ultimately of joy, love, and reconciliation.

At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter, Its good to hear from another Georgian- your words are great! Lots of agreement among other Peach staters.


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