Moore Baptists say Christian voices still not loud enough in U.S. politics
Much has been made of the fact that one of President George W. Bushs core constituencies in his election in 2000 and re-election in 2004 was the countrys Christian conservatives.
This group is seen as a key group for Republicans running for office in many states, particularly in the southern United States. And any potential Republican presidential nominee is expected to have to woo the Christian Right ahead of the U.S. presidential elections in 2008.
But members of the congregation here at the enormous First Baptist Church in Moore say that they feel Christian conservatives have been excluded too much from national debates on key issues such as abortion and gay rights and encroaching secularism in American society.
They say its time for Christians to stand up a phrase used often here and participate more actively in the debate. These Christians say their voices need to be heard to prevent what they describe as the destructive influence of secularism on American society.
Here’s a selection of audio file excerpts from interviews on the subject.
Rhonda Allen, congregation member, school teacher. If we all stand strong I think we could have a louder voice.
Marie Meek, in charge of the churchs Tape Ministry, which among other things records services for absent members of the congregation. “We need to have some backbone and stand up.”
Kevin Clarkson, pastor, First Baptist Church. We feel like were not always respected, were sort of, kind of lampooned, sometimes caricatured. They have prejudices of their own that they dont recognize and they tend to see Christians as ignorant and poor and easily lead.”
Kathy Metcalf, retired congregation member. “We need to stand up more for what we believe… Other religions are allowed to say things that were not allowed to say.”