Brian McLaren wrote an open letter to conservative Christians on God's Politics, saying that they can positively influence the healthcare debate and save lives if they can uncouple their theology from the bandwagon of the talk-radio idealogues.
It’s been disturbing to see how many Christians have begun to follow and trust leaders who live more by political/media/ideological codes than by moral/spiritual/biblical ones.
As a result, I sometimes think that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Fox News may now influence many conservative evangelicals, charismatics, and Catholics more than Billy Graham, Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Pope Benedict, or even the four gospels.
McLaren says that Christianity is losing moral authority in the culture as the church in every tradition is rocked by scandal, abuse, division and internal disputes. But "we Christians...have a high calling – to be radically committed to integrity and civility, even (especially) with those with whom we disagree."
Too often, McLaren writes, Christians are guided more by the loudest voices in the culture rather than the deep currents of their faith and traditions.
...in the debate about health care, I am... disheartened to see the relative silence of thoughtful Christian voices as counterpoint to the predictable rhetoric of the more reactive voices. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been getting mass e-mails and Web links from evangelical and charismatic organizations that present frightening and outlandish claims about what President Obama is planning to do regarding health care. I’ve checked into these claims, and in case after case, they are simply false. They’re based on rumors spread by certain dramatic radio and cable-tv personalities, but they are not based in truth.
McLaren knows that many conservative Christians, and certainly most conservative politicians and pundits would write him off because of his vocal support for Barack Obama's candidacy as well as his opposition to the war in Iraq and his environmental activism; but, writes, "if you are a conservative Christian who cares about integrity and civility in communication and debate, perhaps they will still listen to you when you call them to a higher standard. I hope you will take the risk of speaking out with that in mind."
Read the rest here.