Parochial Much?

I read the preface to Burkee’s book over at FP, in which he laments the political divide that now exists in Christendom. That is, “mainline” churches tend to be Democrat, and “Evangelical” churches tend to be Republican. (Although he doesn’t use those terms, that is essentially his point.)
He claims that this is partially the result of what others have called “the Preus Otten purge of Missouri.” Now, while it is true that the seminex debacle aligned us more with the Evangelical than the Mainline churches, it is not that event in itself that has defined the Republican/Democrat divide. His lament at the questions of “how can you be a Christian and a Democrat” to his friend and co-debater has absolutely everything to do with one issue : Abortion. It is the issue that has defined politics in our nation for almost two generations. While we have tried to delude ourselves that abortion was not a specifically partisan issue, no pro-abortion Republican has achieved (or been nominated to) an office higher than Senator since Gerald Ford. Similar rules apply to pro-life democrats. Indeed, the divide has become sharper in recent years, when it became clear that pro-life democrats were expected to fall in line and sacrifice their beliefs whenever party fealty demanded it. The Republicans have been no less compromising, and late-in-life “conversions” are seen in presidential hopefuls all the time.
To presume that the political divide in our churches has anything to do with the ecclesio-political battles that were fought in the LCMS in the 70’s is simply a arrogant parochialism of the highest degree.
True, faithfulness to scripture is the cause of the LCMS pro-life stance (and hence her republican leanings), while the ELCA “What-Word-Of-God?” method of interpretation has led them to a rabidly pro-choice/pro-homosexual agenda that is consistent with the Democratic party. But that has more to do with the politics of the radical secularization of the government than with the politics of the LCMS. If his book is a study of how one little corner of Christendom has been effected by this, then it may be useful. But since it presents itself as a lesson in how to avoid politicizing the church, I assume it is nothing more than liberal fantasizing about what might have been if Preus didn’t have those extra five votes in Denver.
The more I know, the less interested I am in reading. Even Forum Letter seems unsure that the book actually does well what the thesis suggests. If anyone else is interested in reading it, and finds that his thesis is not what is suggested by the preface, I would stand to be corrected. But I just don’t see it as a good use of $17.40, plus shipping.


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