The following Sunday Forum is in response to “Lt. Gov. Forest: Politics are ‘religion of the left’” (Apr. 16).
‘Corner on God’?
As a someone with a deep Christian faith and a past President of the North Carolina Council of Churches, I find Lt. Gov. Forest’s recent remarks disturbing and inflammatory. He is actually saying that political conservatives are the only true Christians who place their faith in God. So I have to ask, who seems more “Christian?” Someone who spews hatred toward segments of our population like immigrants and LGBT people, curtails people’s right to vote to assure they stay in power, prioritizes the selling of assault rifles over protecting our children in school, and gives free rein to those who want to pollute the beautiful world God created?
Or someone who works hard to protect the most vulnerable in our communities like widows and children in poverty, wants to pass on a clean Earth to our children and grandchildren, wants to provide all our children safe and quality education, and views good government as one that works with churches and private citizens to love and help others as Jesus taught?
Shame on Mr. Forest for insinuating that he and his political party have some sort of corner on God.
Stan C. Kimer
Making a ‘dent’
I was amused by the irony of Lt. Gov. Forest’s comment before the Civitas Conservative Leadership Conference on Friday: “If you want to make a huge dent in the breakdown of society, then make a dent in fatherlessness.”
Where’s the irony, you may ask? Just moments before he made that comment, he’d lamented that the huge Republican tax cut “didn’t block funding to Planned Parenthood and didn’t repeal Obamacare.” No doubt the lieutenant governor is also opposed to raising the minimum wage to a livable wage, like his GOP brethren.
I submit if the good lieutenant governor is sincere about “making a dent in fatherlessness,” then he’ll actively support the mission of Planned Parenthood to provide affordable public health and prevention – including contraception – to potential parents. I also encourage him to be a champion for raising the minimum wage. Too many young fathers find it economically impossible to provide for their own children, the mother and themselves when they’re barely making $1,000 a month.
Let’s stop blaming the victims, and start taking responsibility for building a more compassionate and loving society. Maybe then we can make a real dent in its breakdown.
Faith for change
We agree that government can’t fix all society’s ills. We also agree that a change of character is needed for societal and cultural change. We disagree that marchers are leftists, that protest is their religion and that they have no hope in God.
What the marchers have in common is a concern for how we treat each other as humans. They are conservatives, liberals and libertarians. We have marched because our faith in God commands us to do what we can to change the heart of our nation. Paula and I are guided by our faith to “act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). We are also guided by our belief that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17).
The people we met in those marches were compelled by their beliefs to make their voices heard, whatever their religion or belief. If we truly want to change the character of our nation, dividing and discrediting people only makes things worse. We look to our elected leaders to unite us, not divide us.
Mike and Paula Jennings
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest seems pretty confused about religion, politics and fathers in the home. You don’t need to believe in God to be a moral and responsible citizen and take care of the poor, and religion isn’t going to put a “father” in every home.
I want some of my tax dollars to go to government programs that help single moms and disadvantaged individuals, and I also do what I can in my community to help. You can do both, with or without religion. Another thing I can do is vote against Forest.
By what authority does Forest pronounce that my wife and I, whom he would consider to be on the political left, “don’t have a hope in God”? How does he conclude that our advocacy of social issues “is the religion of the left”? Really?
We have been married for nearly 50 years and Christians longer than that, and are hardly unusual. May we never be guilty of such stereotyping of conservatives.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is confused about what religion is. Religion is about building a community. Religion is about being respectful and listening to others. It’s about hospitality and nursing each other. When disaster strikes, like illness, losing a loved one or surviving a genocide, religion helps us emotionally deal with the horror.
Religion and faith are for surviving what we can’t change. It is about acceptance, carrying hope, letting go, letting others, and letting God. Perhaps, the lieutenant governor was thinking about another concept mentioned in the 10 commandments: idolatry. Idol worship is holding onto an object or ideology too tightly. The idol comes above, and before, everything else, including community and human relationships. It turns a human being into an island – deaf, blind, and unreachable.
Some examples of icon worship include: hoarding money and resources at the expense of the poor and strangers; fixation on guns at the expense of the innocent; the love of Confederate statues and power at the expense of the oppressed; and the adherence to current technology and habits at the expense of future generations.
Sarah K. McIntee