In African American Protestants, Political Activism, and “Liberal” Redemptive Hopes, R. Drew Smith speaks about how America’s political system draws so heavily on Christian symbolism that the two realms are virtually inseparable. An example of this inseparability centers on the abolition debate for socio-political perfection in America during slavery. One on hand you have northern abolitionist who criticized America for allowing “something as morally and theologically damaging to its purpose as the practice of slavery.” On the other hand, slavery proponents saw slavery as “a proselytizing and civilizing mission” that was divinely ordained by God. Black religious communities have criticized American civil-religious traditions despite generously drawing on them themselves. Because of this, they have been criticized as well. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that Black church-based resistance was responsible for correcting America’s social injustices while also correcting Protestantism’s proclivity to identify God’s kingdom with a specific social and economic structure. Most of the criticism has focused on Black Protestant activism’s, “enthusiastic, almost religious, embrace of the democratic liberal assumptions undergirding social existence with the American context.” A central tenet of democratic liberalism is the recognition of individual rights and freedoms for all peop...
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... Therefore, there is no escape from the sacred.
I cannot give one exact answer for how I would apply theses analytical concerns to contemporary American political activities because of their complications. As with many things in life, context determines the stance we take on particular issues. There are times when applying democratic-liberalism, separationist ideas to social concerns is beneficial and there are times when it is not. Eliade’s claim that there is very little distinction between the sacred and the profane troubles me the most. In my opinion, there still remains a distinct difference between the sacred and the profane. With this understanding in mind, I believe the pulpit needs to remain a sacred place which does not allow for worthless profane language. The use of profanity from the pulpit at Proctor served no purpose whatsoever for collecting money.
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