Via Pharyngula, I came to this story and hope was renewed. After dealing with the fundamentalist crowd around this town, these are the kind of folks who could get me back into the fold....(well, maybe...). I particularly like the essay by Bishop Shelby Spong who has always been one of my favorite Christian writers. He describes "Crosswalk America" - a group of Christians who is trying to take Christ back from the fundamentalists. I particularly like their creed:
They walked to publicize something they called the ‘Phoenix Affirmations’ that involve these principles:
Christians must have an openness to other faiths
Christians must care for the earth and its ecosystem
Christians must value artistic _expression in all its forms
Christians must welcome and include all persons
Christians must oppose the co-mingling of Church and State
Christians must seek peace and end systemic poverty
Christians must promote the values of rest and recreation, prayer and reflection
Christians must embrace both faith and science
They wanted to demonstrate that those who are committed to Christ would not set the citizens of this land against each other over differing religious beliefs and practices. Their desire was to turn the present course of Christianity in America away from its divisive pro-war, anti-female, anti-gay public face, where those who disagree are relegated to an emotional status somewhere between being excommunicated and burned at the stake,to a religion identified with the words ‘love’ and ‘inclusion.’
Yep, that's more like the "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love" version that I was taught as a child, and less like the "Pro-Republican, Anti-Public Service, Pro-Own Anything You Can Get Your Hands On, Anti-Science, Pro Fetuses-Are-Holier-Than-Children, Demean Homosexuals and Athiests, Substitute the Bible for History and Reason" crowd that dominates Christianity today.
I bet the group Spong writes about doesn't think teachers only work 6 hours a day....