I am an Asian American; these are my politics

Okay, not me personally–if you’ve read my blog enough, you can probably figure out almost all of my political principles.

Instead, an interesting–certainly interesting to me as an Asian American–new poll is out from Gallup on the political leanings of Asian Americans.

Overall, 41% of Asians identify politically as Democrats, 41% as independents, and 16% as Republicans. As a result, Asians are above the national average in terms of the percentage of political independents (37% nationwide) and Democrats (34%), and below average in terms of the percentage of Republicans (27%).

The percentage of Asians who attend church on a weekly basis also is lower than for other U.S. racial or ethnic groups. A slim majority of Asian-Americans say they seldom or never attend religious services.

Thoughts? Rationales? Conclusions? Critiques? Explanations?

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“We hunt people for Jesus”

My friend Heather spent two and a half years in Afghanistan doing photography and communications work for developmental NGOs. She wrote this blog in response to video footage of an American military chaplain encouraging soldiers to “hunt people for Jesus.”

Training the military to convert those at whom they point weapons is not only a grave misuse of power, but a reinforcement of extremists’ stereotypes, putting American lives at risk.

Hensley’s language of “hunting people” and “sending the hounds of heaven after them” suggests nothing but conquering; it implies perpetrating violence against, and the oppression of, people created in the image of God. Jesus told a parable saying “As much as you’ve done to the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” Why? Because our treatment of those on the fringes — the widow, the orphan, the alien and stranger … our perceived enemies — is indicative of the moral climate of our society. Our treatment of these is an outworking of the way we love our God.

Jesus did not live and breathe in a political void. Jews had been waiting and waiting for the Messiah to come — for their savior to overthrow the Romans in a violent revolution. Yet Jesus chose not to engage militarily. Instead, he loved and he died. This is my Jesus — leading a life in which love disarms arguments, heals the chasms of stereotype, and makes the feared Other part of the family.

As one of the blog commenters pointed out, Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:15 don’t often get much coverage from the pulpit:

You cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

On religion’s oppression of women

Please, please, please read Nick Kristof’s op-ed: "Religion and Women."

Links of the Day, September 18

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