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Dear GK — I listened

November 10, 2004 |

Dear GK —
I listened this week to the post-election show and enjoyed your comment about wanting a Constitutional amendment to prevent born-again Christians from voting but would like to clarify a little. Born-again is a little imprecise, don't you think? I consider myself born again, that is born again of the Spirit (see John 3:5). But even as I laughed, I thought, no, he means post-millenialists. Those are the ones that think the sooner the world goes to hell in a handbasket, the sooner they get to the rapture. However, there are plenty of "born-agains" who care deeply about the world, would like to repair it, are even political activists. I really wasn't offended, because as an evangelical Christian I've gotten used to being lumped in with people whose application of their faith is abhorrent to me — I opine that they haven't read the Scriptures carefully and I venture to
say that Mr. Bush has not really understood many things about Jesus very well at all. If I thought this dreadful situation was permanent, I'd not get out of bed in the morning. But I believe that somehow God wins, wins every battle and rights every wrong and wipes away every tear, and doesn't need the Constitution to do it. And I love you and your show — it's been part of my life for so long I can't remember not hearing your voice.

Caroline Sato
Long Beach

I grew up among post-millenialists and probably that's why I conflated them with born-agains in one big ball of wax and I apologize for my inaccuracy. However, I don't think that the term "post-millenialist" would instantly register with our public radio audience, so one is forced to use shorthand. Thanks for your thoughts. My keenest memory of the fall campaign is of standing in front of audiences at political rallies and getting them to sing the Star-Spangled Banner in the key of G. People clambered to their feet and were thrilled to find, once we launched into it, that this grand old anthem is actually singable by the average person and when we got to the "land of the free" and that big note, people threw their heads back and SANG. According to surveys, almost half of all Americans claim not to know the words, but when you're in a crowd like that, you get all the prompts you need. It's a simple moving experience and it's pretty rare: the anthem, when it's played, is usually done by a showy soprano or pop diva in a key that shows off her voice and the crowd stands mute, but when people see an old English major up there and hear the G chord, they pitch in and sing. I gave a bunch of political speeches this fall and nothing much came of it, but it's enough to have given those people the chance to sing the Star Spangled Banner, I feel. Just as, though one works hard on the Lake Wobegon monologues, when someone writes in to tell me that those tapes are useful for putting small children to sleep, one feels a little deflated and yet — it's always good to be useful.

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