Wednesday, May 9, 2007
In Praise of Conservatives, Fundamentalists and Republicans
Here’s to Miss Marie, my fifth grade Sunday School teacher, who ensured that I knew the books of the Bible by heart and had me learn a memory verse from the Bible every week. Who prayed for my salvation and gave me a tiny old lady hug the day I got saved, with tears in her eyes. She loved me well.
Here’s to countless others who taught me in Sunday School back in the day. To a person, they were impossibly great individuals.
Here’s to my mom and dad. They taught me peacemaking with their literal take on the Bible.
Here’s to Pastor Schaefer, my first pastor, who preached the Bible inside and out. Who I can’t recall if he taught we should take the Bible literally (probably did) but who definitely taught us to take it seriously. He also loved well.
Here's to the fella who was the best man in my wedding. He, in his sort of fundamentalism, helped lead me to where I am today with his fiery interest in seeking God's ways.
Here’s to Charles Sheldon, the author of “In His Steps” (the book from which the now-trite, “what would Jesus do?” phrase came - found here online). I don’t know that he was a conservative, but suspect that would how he would be identified today. His book taught that, in order to take the Bible seriously, we must take seriously how we treat the “least of these.”
[This would be the book that most likely started me in the steps that I walk now. Being written at the start of the century last century, it could probably be called a bit formal, stuffy and overly earnest in writing style, but it changed my life.]
Here’s to Mark Hatfield, Republican Senator from Oregon and Harold Stassen, Republican politician in several roles. They give a good connotation to the term “conservative politician,” that has been so sullied of late. May their tribe increase!
Here’s to all the kind, dedicated, loving, strong conservative men and women out there who represent their faith communities and families so well. They help make America great and the world a better place to live.