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August 20, 2008

Cameron Strang pulls out of DNC benediction

Magazine founder recommended author Donald Miller.

Relevant Magazine founder and CEO Cameron Strang decided not to give the benediction at the Democratic National Convention as previously planned.

Strang said his planned prayer was perceived as showing favoritism, so he pulled out and recommended Blue Like Jazz author Donald Miller instead.

Strang sent the following statement to me in an e-mail.

"As a pro-life voter, I never intended my participation to imply unequivocal endorsement, and the DNC knew that and were fine with that. I viewed it simply as an opportunity to continue positive dialogue, show support for a continuing emphasis on faith issues, and pray in a forum where faith isn't typically thought to be emphasized. I wanted to show that this generation of values voters doesn't necessarily need to draw battle lines politically the way previous generations have, that we can work through areas of disagreement to further the common good.

"However, the reality is, through RELEVANT I reach a demographic that has strong faith, morals and passions, but disagreements politically. It wouldn't be wise for me to pick a political side, when I've consistently said both sides are right in some areas and both sides are wrong in some areas. My desire is to keep an open dialogue with both campaigns and talk about the issues that matter to my generation of Christians. If my praying at the DNC was perceived as showing favoritism and incorrectly labeling me as endorsing one candidate over the other, then I needed to have pause. And that's what was happening.

"So I brought that concern up to the DNC, and they understood. I recommended bestselling author Don Miller as a much better representative of our audience than I am, and they were glad to invite him to give the invocation in my place. I think this will ultimately be much better for the DNC. The campaign and I still have positive dialogue, and I'm thankful for that.

"Like I mentioned, they've invited me to participate in a "Faith in the '08 Election" panel on Thursday, which seems to be a perfect fit. It allows me to continue a positive conversation with the DNC and be involved a bit more behind the scenes. I want to make sure our generation of Christians has a place at the table, so to speak, and this will afford us that chance -- even moreso than if I was to give a prayer onstage.

"As an aside, in a "put your money where your mouth is" move this week, I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Independent. I want to vote because of values and convictions, not party affiliations. To me, that's an important part of being a thinking, values-minded Christian."

Comments

as a RELEVANT reader, my respect for Cameron Strang just grew immensely. I received my recent edition of RELEVANT Magazine in the mail yesterday and the cover story reads: "How to Vote Without Losing Your Soul" -- I can't wait to find out how! :)

There are many Independent voters who always happen to vote Republican---NOT because we particularly LIKE all or even most of the Rep. candidates but the democrat platform is so totally godless that it leaves true independents who happen to be Christians, with no choice but to vote Republican.
For a "christian" candidate to pontificate about his concern for The Poor and Helpless but to have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the plight of THE most helpless among us, an unborn child, is despicable and unsupportable.
Again,however, some of the Republican candidates and, particularly, Republican officeholders have done a wretched job of living up to their own self imposed moral standards.

I appreciate Cameron's courage to change his mind. I appreciate relevant mag. and for years I've been sympathetic to his context. He is in a tricky position and it seems he is under the microscope. However, it is my opinion that prayer does not have to be seen as an endorsement. We can actually see it as communicating to God. Further, both conventions need all the godly prayer then can get. So does the White House, the Playboy Mansion, and my home. We're all broken sinners in need of God's grace; prayer shouldn't be seen as a political tool.

IMHO--- This COMMENT SECTION has the "overtones" of: "Rock-abye Baby--from O're the Tree Top / When Cameron Backed Out--He needed a MOP! WHO WAS THE MOP? "Daddy"... don't be fooled! This is a case of:
Question: In which form does the enemy take or use to begile you? If you need me to spell that out for you, no wonder this Country is in for a very bumpy ride! Who was the Patriot who proclaimed: If you expect to remain "free" and ignorant, you are expecting something that cannot be!
This "touching and dancing with the devil will only soil your clothes, and my bible tells me that he is comming for a church "without spot or wrinkle"! Who in their right natural mind thinks that if your a known Republican and you want to speak at a "all Democratic Function" (and) have a word of prayer and bless all those who are in attendance so they can feel like GOD has ordained their event, and then tout to the press and the world that it had the backing of a "evangelical republician" to boot so as to be seen in a "HOLY LIGHT" is a person who does not value their personel diginity and respect of and for the right to invoke and call upon Diety for his Blessing Worldly, Flawed, Crass, Deceptive, Users of Righteousness and Right standing to their perverted "crooked" causes and events! In case anybody didn't know it: "a Politician of either party will lie to you in the face, quicker than you can say your middle name"! [and if you don't have one, that's pretty quick!] "J.D."

How can a christian vote for a President who thinks he can bring in the New World? (Rev-21-1-2) Only Holy God has the Power to bring in the New World through His Son, Jesus Christ. No man, or no Government has this Power! Only Satan showing himself that he is God could even make such a claim!

I see you must praise the Republican Party, or your post won't be seen!

I find it so very interesting how people make issues out of entirely irrelevant things, not to mention the paranoia expressed by a certain fraction of the "evangelical" constituency toward the Democratic Party.

Looking at the failure of George Bush And the Republican Controlled Congress (2000-2007) seeing corruption within Both Parties, tell me why most evangelical leaders place blame on the Democratic Party? I must add this statement, if George Bush is a christian, God help us, we don't need any more Christians in the White-house.

My comment above, How can a Christian vote for a President who thinks he can bring in the New World, is speaking of Bush Sr, and his son. The link I gave has been removed, I want to make it clear, I was not speaking of McCain or Obama!
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8259800846851144110

First of all let me say that simply because the Democratic party appears to be more compassionate towards the needy it is not necessarily more "Christian" in that way. As Christians, Jesus requires us to give in the form of tithes and alms and to give from the heart and to give generously, but it is a matter between the individual and God, not one that is to be expected of (or even sanctioned by) the government. There is no political party that is somehow more "Christian" in the way it deals with the poor, I do believe it is something of an illusion. With that being said, as Christians, we should be voting for leaders that will support the values that would be most important to God. Read and meditate on Matthew 23:23 - "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." My personal interpretation of this as far as politics is concerned would favor the Republican party because I can't possibly think that God would favor something like an increase in welfare or concern for the environment over things as basic as justice and protection for the unborn and the complete disregard for something as sacred as marriage. It would be as if money mattered more to God than the more fundamental aspects of law, judgment, mercy, and faith. Although I will admit it is difficult to apply these principles to political parties, I would proceed with caution in any case.

As far as the DNC is concerned, I think any sort of "interfaith" enterprise is a ruse, a sin, and an insult to the One True God, and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. How a Christian would successfully navigate such a situation and still give glory to Jesus is beyond me and I'm thankful I am not put in that situation. I wouldn't otherwise entertain or condone such a gathering in any way. When Jesus said that He didn't come to bring peace on earth, but rather division, I do believe that this is the type of thing He was talking about.

Also read Luke 12:56 - "Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?"

Anyway, that's my 2 cents for what it's worth. Pray to God that our decisions be wise and God bless you all.

Peace,
Brian

Brian, have you not read the Word of God that you might know God's concern for the poor? (Matthew-25-32-46) Yes, God is in favor of Life, Justice and Peace within the world, do you think God approves America making herself Police over His World? Do you think God was pleased with your President, George Bush who lied to the people that he might create a war that killed hundreds of thousands of the people in Iraq? Seeing the daily needs across this World do you think God is pleased with America spending Billions every month to continue in a created war? God said, Blessed are the Peace Maker, He did not say, blessed are the Warmonger! I truly believe God and His Word are not in the minds of 85% of the people across America. I will agree, America is a Religious Nation but so is every other nation across this world.

If Cameron Stang was a True Christian, he would have gone! Was he ashamed of the Democrat Party or is God his problem? After all he should have been praying to God, not the Democrat Party. Will he pray with the Republicans this week? If he does, he is nothing more then a Hypocrite who calls himself Christian! He knows for Fact, for 12 years Republican had Control of Congress, 6 of those years with a Republican President, pray tell me what did the Republican do in 12 years to stop Abortions? NOTHING! What makes him think they will do anything Now?

What Stang is too blind to see, Congress or the President cannot stop abortions in America, Hearts must be Changed. Only God can do that. Now, who does God Blame? (Malachi-3-7-18) RELIGIOUS LEADERS who told the people they are not under God's Commandment, they are to obey the Law of the Land!! Without conviction of sin, there is no Fear of Holy God in America! How do they now say, you shall not kill? Doubled Minded Religion is the Cause of the Fall in America. Making themselves Judges over Government, they better take a long look at Themselves, because God will Judge them First.

(11Corin-11-10-15) First thing True Christians must do, get the devil and his Ministers out of the Church (11Thess-2-3-12) before it's too Late, And God Cuts America Off. Then it will be too late to Cry, God, Bless America. (Romans-11-20-22)