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The errant ways of evangelicals

March 17, 2007

Re "Evangelical agenda fight is heating up," March 10

I am always amused by such right-wing Christian leaders as James C. Dobson, who condemn such fellow tribesmen as the Rev. Jim Wallis for taking up causes such as global warming, the AIDS epidemic, poverty and ill-conceived wars. I take this to mean that evangelicals should mindlessly support big business, all wars and capital punishment and oppose universal healthcare and poverty programs. On the other hand, I can see why the likes of Dobson would counsel inaction in the face of global warming and its devastating consequences. They have always preached the coming of the apocalypse, and here it is.

HARRY GORDON

Long Beach

*

The old guard evangelicals don't pay much attention to New Testament teachings such as those found in Matthew that focus on social justice. Instead, they rummage around in the Old Testament for passages that support their political agenda, which is out of sync with New Testament principles. The new generation of evangelicals derives direction from the New Testament, which isn't accusatory and exclusionary but reconciliatory and inclusive.

JOHN ROSSMANN

Tustin

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Dobson's attempt to silence other evangelicals who don't preach only on abortion and gay marriage proves that organizations such as his are simply shills for the Republican Party. The Times also failed to talk about the most obvious (and cynical) reason that Dobson and others want to focus on abortion and gay marriage: These issues raise the most money for their organizations.

D.R. HEYWOOD

Orange

*

This article had the following flaws:

* In the late 1960s, "evangelical Christians" were so named to contrast with other Protestant groups that did not do their form of evangelism. Since the late 1970s, the phrase "evangelical Christians" is basically interchangeable with "conservative Christians," and thus some liberal Christians do evangelism but are not evangelical Christians.

* Having read the Rev. Jim Wallis' book, "God's Politics," and Columbia University religion professor Randall Balmer's book, "Thy Kingdom Come," I can state that they are not evangelical but liberal Christians who do evangelism.

* It is true that by ignoring global warming, evangelical Christians are coming across as being indifferent to the starving people in Third World countries.

* As a right-of-center evangelical Christian, it is my opinion that today the key to most evangelical Christian leaders is their extreme hypocrisy in regard to the sex-escapade history of the two top Republican presidential candidates.

CHARLES HEWITT

West Covina

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