Regarding the Wednesday letter, “Social change part of history, present” about “compassion” missing in evangelicals, the writer misses the point. The great distinction made in the “missing compassion” original letter, is that there are liberal and conservative evangelicals. Martin Luther King would have been of the liberal kind, against the Vietnam War, for civil rights, for women’s rights, etc. In short, he was a man of compassion for people, all people.
Jerry Falwell, and others like him, may have passion for their beliefs, but are not compassionate toward these and other liberal issues. The conservative evangelicals are known to blame the nation’s problems (the Sept. 11 attacks, for example) on political or sexual minority groups or immoral behaviors – compassion indeed. They view the world and its problems through a narrow slit in the broad and colorful fabric of life. They are clearly fraught with their own brand of what the writer calls “irrational anti-religious bigotry,” and I would ad moral and social bigotry.
Handing out food, giving free haircuts etc., is nice, but excludes a wide range of human social and political activity. I don’t think any church is heartless, it’s just that some have heart for only a few, while others open their hearts to all.