Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and President Obama

Scott Walker is, famously, the son of a preacher man.  

A Baptist preacher man, to be exact. He continued that faith well into adulthood and was even a deacon of his local church, Underwood Memorial Baptist in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Apparently everything was going swimmingly until around 2003, when a liberal female pastor named Jamie Washam showed up. Washam opposed the war in Iraq and thought that gay couples should be able to see each other in the hospitaltruly unChristian stuff.  

So Walker left the church and joined the Meadowbrook Churchclose to his old church, geographically speaking, but a world apart in its beliefs.

Meadowbrook is one of nine churches in the Milwaukee area that end in "brook," which sprung out of the Elmbrook megachurch in nearby Brookfield, Wisconsin. The church is not affiliated with any organized religion and was started by an Englishman named D. Stuart Briscoe, who came to Wisconsin in 1970 and had no formal religious training.

A 1988 Milwaukee Journal profile of the church said the congregation is "almost all white, young, and affluent." And that "its critics say its emphasis is on saving souls while ignoring more earthly social issues, and its theology reinforceseven blesses the lifestyle of many of its members."     

Although these churches advertise themselves as nondenominational, their beliefs mirror that of most uber-conservative Pentecostal churches, "a form of religion that is more conservative in its religious philosophy but also in the social and political philosophy that characterizes the majority of the church."  In addition, "although Elmbrook calls itself nondenominational, couples cannot be married in the church unless they've had 'born-again' experiences."  

"Many of those attending the church espouse an attitude that anyone that does not accept their born-again theology is not Christian," the Milwaukee Journal article also states.

Walker's branch, Meadowbrook, doesn't have any female pastors or "Elders," which are the governing body of the church. According to same Milwaukee Journal article, "the church has ordained female pastors, but cannot elect women to their Council of Elders because its constitution forbids it."  On the church's website, a similar note is struck when it states that women are the "weaker" partner and should obey the Bible’s teachings on submission to their husbands. 

In fact, church members believe that everything in the Bible is literally true and "without error" and that Christ's return (and the ensuing Apocalypse) is "imminent."   

They also speak in tongues. If you're not familiar with speaking in tongues, it’s when God supposedly speaks through a person. But God apparently doesn't speak any of the human languages, so it all comes out as gibberish. Luckily, if a trained man of God is nearby, he can translate it all for you.

So, when Scott Walker seemed to feign ignorance on the question of whether or not President Obama was a Christian, maybe he's being sincere. Maybe President Obama's mainstream brand of Christianity is so foreign to Walker that he doesn't even recognize it.  

Or, more likely, Walker doesn't believe Obama is a real Christian because Walker’s church teaches that a real Christian has to be born-again, and Obama has never identified himself as a “born-again” Christian. 

Funnily, even conservative televangelist Pastor John MacArthur, host of the radio program Grace to You, doesn't recognize people who speak in tongues as Christians. MacArthur believes that those who participate in speaking in tongues are blasphemous, condemning it as  "all false, all lies, all deceptionsattributed falsely to the Holy Spirit." 

MacArthur also says President Obama is not a Christian.   

For the far-right religious community, identifying real Christians is no easy task.

 

 

Jud Lounsbury is a political reporter based in Madison, Wisconsin. Previously, Lounsbury served as a press secretary for several politicians and organizations, including Russ Feingold, Tom Harkin, and Al Gore's Iowa campaign. 

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Comments

Hilarious -- If Walker can suggest Obama isn't Christian, I'm glad someone turned the lens on him! Jack ass
These comments on Walker are absolutely ludicrous! Someone has worked overtime in the condescendsion department.
Another good Progressive piece below, with audio link to his speech. Please expose this delusional man. When he had first met his wife, he said, "That night I heard Christ tell me, 'This is the person you're going to be with.' " http://www.progressive.org/news/2011/03/157986/scott-walker-believes-he%E2%80%99s-following-orders-lord
"For the far-right religious community, identifying real Christians is no easy task." No. It's actually depressingly easy. As an outsider, the one in question "isn't like us". WAAAY too easy to demonize 'the other.' Assholes.
Oh great, Walker and ISIS have the same core theology - it is End Times. If you aren't with us you aren't a member of our religion at all, a vicious disregard for the welfare of others who are not of the same ethnic group, in fact a righteous willingness to stick it to them as soon they will be firey fish bait in the burning lake, an overwhelming sense of self righteousness and self entitlement, a conviction whatever they do is right because they are the very definition of right being God the merciless destroyers favorites, things come to a close with them on top and everyone else literally on bottom in hell, and a large tendency to speak gibberish. How could they ever have such unnecessary traits like empathy, compassion, respect for other, or tolerance and love. Their Jesus (or Mohamad as the case may be) carries a sword and burns all who would question this wonderful order in the universe. The universe itself reeks, is actually sort of a big mistake, a 6,000 year old universe built as a kind of prototype for a very short time and now about to be destroyed in sheer joy (don't buy any of those Liberal rainbow lies about God would not do that again, that's why they head straight into the lake of burning fire). No global climate disruption, no pollution, no need for any7 responsibility just be "reborn" into embracing the destruction with extreme prejudice of the universe itself. Embrace, believe without question, or die a hideous death into ever lasting torture and torment, thus they say in the name of their God of End Times devastation. It's enough to make them rapturous in Mosul and Brookdale. Fundamentalists will be fundamentalists, regardless of the cover story of a particular mythology. The modern world is at war with the same Radical Religion by multiple names. Only the Republicans could pick such a person to be President to bring on the final prophesy.
You have very little understanding of what you are saying about religion. And what knowledge you have you are mis-characterizing. I disagree with Scott Walker in many theological areas, apparently including tongues, but that is not at all what they believe tongues are. If someone is going to bother to call themselves a Christian they also believe their is a higher power who properly has the authority to make rules of worship and for getting into heaven. That someone who is a Christian might try to decide if they or someone else is a Christian is hardly surprising. And then you attack him for deciding not to answer the question about whether the president is a Christian. Clearly you would have attacked him either way. This is a ridiculous article.
Our rights come from God and our country was formed on that. Gov. Walker has the right to worship were he wants just as you Heather have the right not to attend church. From Obama's words I see him as not very informed on Religion in general.
"...President Obama's mainstream brand of Christianity..." Did the author bother to examine the teachings of Obama's pastor, Rev. Wright? If that is mainstream Christianity, we're clearly not on the same page at all.
Remember when Jud was critcal in an article of Obama because his pastor shouted "not God Bless America, God Damn America"? Yah, I dont remember that either.
Walker did not suggest Obama isn't Christian. The Muslim versus Christian question arose in 2007 and came from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. All pastors will tell you that no one can judge the heart of another; in other words, no one can judge whether someone is a Christian or not. AND--any church that relies on Biblical truths doesn't accept women as pastors or ministers; women have other gifts within the church--teaching, not preaching. The Catholic church also believes this--not just Protestants. Only those Protestant churches that have evolved away from Biblical teachings--among them mainline Protestants--ordain women. Scott Walker, no doubt, left his Baptist church because a woman had become the minister, not because of anti-war sentiments. It would help immensely if Progressives actually knew anything about the church.

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A couple thousand "nobles sauvages" and nerdy savants from across the republic are letting loose this weekend.

If I lived in South Dakota, I’d probably be in a nursing home. And that would be hell.

The nights would start with beer and end with coffee—a lot of coffee.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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