Red-letter Christian

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Red-letter Christians is a small movement within Christianity, based on the belief that evangelicalism is exploited by right-wing politicians; and that a new liberal evangelical movement can be created, focusing on the teachings of Jesus Christ, particularly in regard to social issues.[1]

The term Red-Letter refers to the Red-Letter edition of the New Testament, with verses printed in red letters to emphasize the actual words spoken by Jesus. This movement was initiated by authors Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, and others who felt the Religious Right places too much emphasis on abortion and homosexuality, and not enough on promoting biblical values such as peace, supporting families, and the elimination of poverty.

The social issues valued by Red-Letter Christians include:

  • more government spending for the poor
  • tolerance of homosexuality
  • silence or support for the legal status of abortion

In sum, Red-letter Christians are liberal Christians who downplay or ignore what Jesus taught against immorality and instead see tolerance towards all attitudes and behavior.