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Monday, February 18, 2008
Is the EC Endorsing Obama?
To what extent is the Emerging/Emergent church endorsing Barak Obama as the Democratic candidate for this year's election in the U.S.?

I've heard some Christians (who do not label themselves as Emergent/Emerging) say that they've seen a lot of this lately. I can't say that I have, but maybe that's because I don't read most of the official Emerging blogs? Have you noticed this trend? If so, what do you think of it?


posted by Lydia at 1:56 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 2/18/2008 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Tia Lynn

    Overall, I think Obama is reaching a variety of different groups and people within all types of circles are supporting him. I have no idea if Emerging circles are more inclined to do so than others, but I know people who label themselves emergent and support Obama. Evangelical circles have endorsed republican candidates for decades now, so it’s nice to know that not all Christians pledge blind allegiance to the republican party.

  • At 2/18/2008 05:37:00 PM, Anonymous Matt Scott

    I think that for the most part emergents are leaning towards Obama (at least the one's whose blogs I frequent), it also seems like Sojourners is supporting Obama so I can see where this idea comes from.

    The danger lies in those who say this assuming that we (emergents) are going to become a voting block of the democratic party.

    Here's hoping that doesn't come true...

  • At 2/18/2008 06:14:00 PM, Blogger gavin richardson

    i've seen a few "emergent" people throw support to barack, but mostly, i've seen just about everyone put that "yes we can" video on their blogs. if that constitutes support, then there are a lot of people who are supporting him

  • At 2/18/2008 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Deb

    a. EC is not a denomination or an official we-have-officers and an official legal presence
    b. I, for one, am sick to death of being pigeon-holed, analyzed and telemarketed to. And it's ONLY February.

    Just sayin'

  • At 2/18/2008 08:26:00 PM, Blogger Steve K.

    I've supported Obama since day one of his candidacy, but I'm not a "thought leader" in this emerging church world so I doubt that counts for much ;-)

    I appreciate what Matt said about the appearance of "emergents" being a voting block for the Democratic party. I sincerely doubt this is accurate. The vast majority of people I think would consider themselves "independent" and not interested in either party affiliation. What we want is a viable third way -- in our lives, in our churches, in our politics, etc.

    For this election, there are still only two viable parties, and between the two, Obama is the most "attractive" candidate as far as I'm concerned.

    And the will.i.am "Yes We Can" video was just plain cool. Posting a YouTube video should not count as an "endorsement," I don't think.

  • At 2/18/2008 11:25:00 PM, Anonymous Matt Scott

    we for the most part will and should remain independent. I was commenting on the fact that it looks like most emergents are going to be voting Obama in this election.

  • At 2/19/2008 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Lara

    I know that Obama has some support in my own church, but not a lock. Our bunch seems to pop out all over the political spectrum. I do see a bit of an age divide, with more conservatism among the over-30 people, but again there's no way to pigeonhole the emerging crowd quite yet.

  • At 2/19/2008 11:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    Check out Huckabee at http://www.mikehuckabee.com

    He says,
    "Americans are tired of the horizontal politics that pulls us back and forth without getting us anywhere -- left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal, Democrat vs. Republican. I believe in a vertical politics that will lift all of us up."

  • At 2/19/2008 11:31:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    Sure I see a lot of us in the emerging church conversation supporting Obama. He isn't the perfect candidate by any means, but many of us see him speaking to many of the moral and faith issues we care about.

    I think it is dangerous to say that the Emerging Church or Emergent Church endorses any candidate just because some of its "members" happen to. Individual support is very different from community endorsement.

  • At 2/19/2008 06:48:00 PM, Blogger Lydia

    I think it is dangerous to say that the Emerging Church or Emergent Church endorses any candidate just because some of its "members" happen to. Individual support is very different from community endorsement.

    I agree with you, Julie, but can you talk a bit about why you think it's dangerous? I've been having trouble putting my thoughts into words.

  • At 2/20/2008 01:15:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Dangerous -

    1. the assumed legal reasons. Even if the group isn't constrained by the tax laws, most people assume they are and cause controversy because of it. So keeping the institution vs. individuals separate can save on headaches at least.

    2. With regard to legal issues... Because churches and other tax-exempt groups can't endorse candidates or tell people how to vote some have assumed that means individual church leaders can't have a prophetic voice. Bring up politics or political issues and one immediately hears cries for separation of church and state - generally from the opposing side or from those who dislike the church. This peer pressure has effectively muzzled many leaders who are now too afraid to have an opinion on anything. I think this hurts the church's ability to do kingdom work and stand up for what is good and right in the world. So let individuals have opinions, but don't accuse them of representing groups of people or churchs just by having those opinions.

  • At 2/25/2008 01:01:00 AM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    As several have pointed out, the emerging church is not an "official" anything, so it cannot have official positions. Just because several people involved in the conversation (even those with books or speaking gigs) happen to like Obama, that doesn't amount to any sort of "institutional" endorsement.

    Also, supporting a candidate is not the same as being coopted by an entire party. I can like Obama and not be a Democrat. The way some critics talk you'd think that the only way for us ECers to avoid being labeled the "Religious Left" is to never vote for anyone at all.


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