REPLACING THE THREE R’S: REPUBLICAN, RELIGION & REPRESSION

Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

Original meanings of words can change over time, giving their use unintended and often far-fetched consequences.

Take the word “evangelical” for example. Its meaning comes from the Greek word evangelion orgood news.” An evangelist or evangelical is one who bears good news.

Unfortunately, “evangelical” today has come to mean “white Republican Christians.” The “good news” is questionable, especially for women, minorities and the poor.

Here’s My Take: Princeton Evangelical Fellowship, an 80 year-old religious association at Princeton University, recently changed its name to Princeton Christian Fellowship. According to PCF’s president, Bill Boyce, “There might be certain assumptions that all evangelicals are Republicans. …. We are interested in people defined by our faith … and not by any sort of political agenda.”

Like the Princeton Christian Fellowship, it’s time to drop use of the word “evangelical” and concentrate instead on being “bearers of good news.”

Jesus was neither white nor Republican. He was religious, however.

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