FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
‘Tis the season…
…to demonize people of faith…especially Christians. Let’s take a look at some of this week’s hits:
Kathleen Parker – again
Not satisfied with angering Christian conservatives the first time, Kathleen Parker comes back for another helping. She received so much attention for her previous cutesy use of “oogedy-boogedy” that she thought she’d milk it for another column. So, just to make her feel better, I’ll bring it back to life here. Unsurprisingly, her new one is just as incoherent as the other.
Parker seems to have a phobia for God, since she spends so much time criticizing those who believe in Him. She’s even dipping into the Democrat Talking-Point-o-Matic with this blather:
That’s a start, but let’s take it another step. How about social conservatives make their arguments without bringing God into it? By all means, let faith inform one’s values, but let reason inform one’s public arguments.
That was and remains my point. It isn’t so much God causing the GOP problems; it’s his fan club.
Here Ms. Parker now implies that faith is unreasonable. Nice. She might wish to leave the “It’s not Christianity, it’s Christians” argument to the left, lest she be mistaken for one of them (I fear it may be too late for that, however). A little reality check for KP: faith drives values, and values drive public arguments. Which means, of course, that faith drives public arguments by nature. If one’s faith is true faith, it will frame their entire worldview. It is inseparably coupled with all parts of life, including politics. People of (true) faith do not check their beliefs at the door of the church when they leave there on Sunday morning.
As long as the religious right is seen as controlling the Republican Party, the GOP will continue to lose some percentage of voters, and that percentage likely will increase over time as younger voters shift away from traditional to more progressive values.
Incorrect perception is unfortunate, but to rephrase what Ms. Parker stated earlier in her diatribe: “Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true.” Perhaps she and the rest who use that lame excuse of the “religious Right” controlling the GOP should read the Pew writeup on media coverage of the 2008 election which shows that social conservative issues were on the far back burner. From Pew:
Culture war issues were not a driving narrative of this election cycle. The extent to which they were present, they emerged late in the campaign and were largely tied to the nomination of Palin. Together, social issues – including abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research — composed 9% of religion-focused campaign news but less than 1% of campaign news overall.
And Parker whines about the Saddleback Forum:
The cause is not helped when someone of the stature of Rick Warren interviews the leading presidential candidates in his church, questioning them about their faith. If that’s not a religious test, I don’t know what is.
Considering that both Obama and McCain had both stated that they were Christians long before the Saddleback Forum, I don’t think anything was being tested there. In case Ms. Parker missed the questions, they can be found here. No “test” in that list. Again – this goes back to values, which Ms. Parker seems to believe are critical when they belong to “progressives,” (a contradiction in terms, I might add) but not to Christians. I repeat: faith drives public arguments by nature. Both men claim to be men of faith. Therefore, if there was a “debate” that was truly revealing of the candidates’ true values, it was the Saddleback Forum. And that was borne out by Obama’s now infamous “above my pay grade” blunder when asked about when life begins. I have frequently referred to Obama as an evil person here on RedState, and that judgement stems almost exclusively from his extreme views on abortion. The Saddleback Forum brought those views to the fore. Unfortunately, the press again gave Obama a pass and the issue was largely buried.
Again, Parker provides a backhanded slap at Christians:
The glue that binds the GOP’s religious right — social issues, especially abortion — is not insignificant and doesn’t deserve to be dismissed. But nor should those issues be tied to scripture. Some religious conservatives understand this, but the memo apparently isn’t reaching all the pews.
She just does not get it. Scripture defines what Christians believe. It is the source of truth. It defines the values of the believer. I can no more separate my values about all aspects of life from the Scriptures than I can change who my parents are.
Parker’s main complaint seems to be that religious people have the audacity to base their values and political beliefs upon their faith. I’m sure we’ll see plenty more from her on this front in the future, but the fact is: it ain’t changing. Christians and many other people of faith base their beliefs and values – ALL beliefs and values – upon an objective source of truth: the Scriptures.
Atheists strike in Olympia, WA
Let’s turn momentarily away from Kathleen Parker’s cluelessness about faith and look at other recent incidents of religion-bashing. As this diary’s title implies, the Christmas season is underway, and with Christmas comes the typical litany of public Nativity controversies. The latest, and most outrageous, example of Christian-bashing in the public square comes in Olympia, Washington. In this case, Washington’s governor has allowed atheists to criticize the nativity scene with a sign that reads “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” Does anyone believe for a minute that such a sign would be allowed within a mile of a display celebrating an Muslim holiday? Granted, this atheistic message directly attacks Islam along with Christianity. But make no mistake – this is an attack on Christianity and Christmas. The atheists who posted this sign explain it this way:
“When people ask us, ‘Why are you hateful? Why are you putting up something critical of people’s holidays? — we respond that we kind of feel that the Christian message is the hate message,” he said. “On that Nativity scene, there is this threat of internal violence if we don’t submit to that master. Hate speech goes both ways.”
Not much mistaking their objective, is there?
More from the Hollywood homosexual lobby
And from another side of the anti-Christian hit parade comes the pro-homosexual, Christian-mocking Prop-8 propaganda video starring Jack Black and other Hollyweird types. Again we see that bashing Christians and other people of faith who disagree with homosexual marriage is perfectly permissible. I won’t discuss the Prop 8 topic here, but will point to Erick Erickson’s diary describing the Nazi-esque tactics of the anti-8 crowd who desires to punish anyone who dare disagree with their position.
Speaking of Hollywood and Prop-8 fallout…
Seems the Hollywood elite are not-so-pleased with the black community in California over their overwhelming support for Prop 8. As the NY Times reported yesterday, African-American churches and related have long occupied a cherished spot in the hearts of the left. But post-Prop-8? Not so much.
Apparently, the California elites have discovered the issue: “It’s their churches”
“It’s their churches,” somebody whispered to one of us not long after the election; “It’s their Christianity,” someone else hissed, rolling her eyes. Apparently the religion espoused by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is now the enemy, at least among the smart set, and if this sounds like a regional issue, it’s not.
Perish the thought…churches driving values. Sheesh.
I’m going a bit off-topic here (as I stated I wouldn’t discuss the Prop 8 thingy), but this paragraph says a lot:
To the opponents of Proposition 8, this kind of analogy is a rallying cry; but as white Hollywood has recently discovered, to the blacks who voted for the measure, it’s galling. Comparing the infringement on civil rights that gays are experiencing to that suffered by black Americans is to begin a game of “top my oppression” that you’re not going to win. The struggle for equality – beginning with freedom from human bondage (see: references to the book of Exodus at the Gospel Brunch) – has been so central to African-American identity that many blacks find homosexual claims of a commensurate level of injustice frivolous, and even offensive.
This is a point that bears making repeatedly: those who the civil rights movement benefited the most do not buy the homosexuals’ claim that their “cause” is one of civil rights. Social conservatives who oppose homosexual marriage need to remember this and bring it up when someone tries to make the “civil rights” claim.
But back to the “it’s their churches” topic again – here’s another key point:
Furthermore – and perhaps even more painfully for those of us who support gay marriage and all that it represents – Christian teaching on marriage is not the only reason so many blacks supported Proposition 8. Although it has come as a shocking realization to many in this community, a host of sociological studies confirm that many blacks feel a significant aversion to homosexuality itself, finding it morally and sexually repugnant.
I find it odd that the author states that “Christian teaching on marriage is not the only reason…” Really? So where does she think they got the idea that homosexuality is “morally and sexually repugnant?” That attitude must have come from somewhere. It certainly didn’t come from “reason” (attention Kathleen Parker). I assure you that those values came from faith and Biblical teaching. People don’t just come up with those “aversions” out of thin air.
In all of these cases, we see objections to how people of faith express what they believe and how they extend their faith into practice. In a world of “diversity,” we would expect more “tolerance.” But in the world of “progressives,” tolerance only applies if we agree with them. The aforementioned NYT article says:
Of the values progressives hold dear, none can be as central or as cherished as the promotion of diversity. It is a word that has become almost a term of art. When a private school champions its embrace of “diversity,” parents understand that the admissions office is not dying to enroll the son of a white evangelical minister or the daughter of a founding partner of a white-shoe law firm. Rather, we know that the school makes an intentional effort to include children of certain minority groups among its student body, and that most important among those groups are African-Americans and the children of gay families.
So true. “Diversity” only goes as far as the support of the “chosen causes” such as homosexuality, etc. Ensuring a balanced mix of religious conservatives is certainly not at the top of the list of the diversity crowd.
Oh, and one last thing: when I read passages of Scripture like this
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Tim 3:1-5)
and I see how accurately it depicts the times in which we live, I am reminded of why I “tie issues to scripture”. So Kathleen, that Scripture’s for you. Hope you enjoy it.