Letter: Please don’t paint all ‘evangelicals’ with same brush


I’d like to talk about a word that is tossed around in political media without much real understanding. When used politically, this word is taken out of context to describe a so-called group of people who are assumed to be in lockstep with their politics.

That word is “evangelical,” and it has nothing to do with politics. It is a theological word that means “the good news” of Jesus the Christ as described in the first four books of the New Testament in the Christian Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

I’m irritated when I hear the word watered down in political talk. Why is the “good news” of Jesus the Christ being linked to politics? This to me is politically incorrect. Is there not a definitive separation of church and state in America? We don’t have state churches dictating for whom we should vote.

I belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the most progressive denomination of Lutherans. We ordain men and women, gay and straight, to pastor our churches. We believe in inclusivity, in unity within diversity. We cherish every human being as loved by God without any superiority, inferiority, or labeling.

We seek to feed the hungry, house the homeless, aid the sick, welcome refugees, and inform those seeking a loving God. Why do we do these acts and more? Simply because our motivation comes from the “good news” of Jesus the Christ. These are the very acts Jesus did, and we are compelled to do likewise.

My concern is that the word “evangelical” when used politically may give the idea that all “evangelicals” are of the same political bent. It is not only politically incorrect, it also, and more importantly, weakens the strength of the real meaning of that word.

Retired Pastor Naomi Barcanic

Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church



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gregj777 1 week, 1 day ago

I was heartened to read this letter online and appreciate the author for writing it. It is very well said. I manage www.evangelicalwatch.com which shows the political side of the word. This letter shows the true side.


pinonbistro 1 week, 1 day ago

I couldn't agree more. The problem as I see it is that many in the political arena call themselves evangelical Christians in order to to promote their ideological goals many of which are meant to demean or restrict others who hold different views. As you suggest it has changed the meaning of word in some ways to some people. But I think most of us can differentiate between evangelical Christians who are doing the work of Jesus and those who call themselves evangelical Christians but behave in ways that show they are clearly not.