Rev. Chuck Currie asks: Can we trust Smith this time?

Over at his blog, the Reverend Chuck Currie is wondering aloud about Gordon Smith's change of heart:

Christians ought to be open to the idea of conversion experiences. After all, Paul went from killing Christians to becoming the greatest evangelist after his conversion along the road to Damascus....

But you'll have to excuse me if I take today's conversion of Oregon Senator Gordon Smith from a Bush hawk into a Mark Hatfield-like dove over the war in Iraq with a grain of salt....

Maybe it is just a coincidence that weeks after the Republicans lose control of Congress that Smith - a Red senator in a very blue state - changes course and offers critical remarks about a war he has backed....

The problem with conversions is how to know when they're real. Don't be surprised if Smith once again flees to the middle - maybe even a little to the left - but then swings back hard to the right if reelected. It is fair not to trust him.

If, on the other hand, he uses the next two years to fight the war ... I'll trust that God has spoken and the Holy Spirit has moved this man into the role of a peacemaker. We need all the peacemakers we can get.

Currie also offers up his own personal experience with Gordon Smith, with a 1996 flashback. (Back then, Chuck wasn't a Reverend yet.)

Wyden won the [1995] race in part because voters saw Smith as too conservative.

When Mark Hatfield's seat opened up two years later [actually, one year - editor.] a more moderate Smith decided to run. This new Smith endorsed an increase in the minimum wage and went down to Old Town to have lunch with me at Sisters of the Road Café to talk about poverty and homelessness. In fact, Smith spent the better part of that day letting me tour him around agencies and housing facilities that benefited from federal partnerships with local communities and private foundations. ...

But he has spent the last six years of the Bush Administration following the president's lead in Iraq and even supported economic policies advanced by the president that have increased poverty and hunger in America.

Read the rest. Discuss over there.


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