All American political campaigns are nasty, and that is to be expected. In the 19th century, for instance, vote buying, extortion, libel, beatings, intimidation, and even murder, were all par for the course. So I don’t expect genteel behavior when it comes to the natural man’s quest for political power. But as I’ve been cruising the web of late I’ve been struck by the intensity of the wickedly angry vitriol being aimed at Sarah Palin. No insult is too mean, no action too underhanded and awful, her enemies would literally like to rip her limb from limb with their bare hands, and then they’d give each other bloody high-fives when they were done.
The reason this strikes me as odd is that the top of the ticket is a much easier target. While they have to invent scandals to smear Palin, McCain has the equivalent of a walk-in skeleton closet. For instance, he was involved up to his eye-balls in the S&L scandals of the 80s and early 90s and yet we seldom hear a peep about that.
So why does the left hate Palin so much more than McCain? The only explanation I can find is that they perceive her to be visibly a member of the “religious right.” The comments section of blogs bears that out, and because she is member of the religious right, there is the perception that she must be bigotted, hypocritical, and above all stupid. Regardless of your feelings about the ticket itself, the “crucify, crucify!” level of angry mob abuse Palin is taking seems to be yet another example of the truth of Christ’s words in John 15:17-19.For instance, when Palin’s personal email account was hacked, one of the emails that was most ridiculed and held up for scorn was an email asking that Palin pray for a friend. This kind of email prayer request is something that most evangelicals take for granted. We exchange them regularly and think there is nothing odd about them because our guiding presuppositions include the fact that there is a God, that He is in control of the universe and that as His children we can ask Him for the things we need in Jesus name. We also believe we have a biblical mandate to pray for one another, so we do. But for the left, the idea that a politician would receive prayer requests and that she would actually pray to God in Jesus name for the needs of her friends is totally beyond the pale. This for them is yet more proof positive that she is a dangerous nut who must be stopped at all costs. But have we stopped to ask, if Palin is a dangerous nut, and let’s be frank, theologically she’s to the left of many of us, what are we?*
If there is a lesson here for us, it is that Western evangelicals are totally unprepared for the tidal wave of hate that is building particularly among members of the American left. This is a murderous rage that will seek to strip us of our rights as citizens, to hold office, to speak and teach in the public square, to raise our children, to preach and teach the gospel, and which will ultimately seek to first marginalize (“ghettoize”) and then eliminate. Far from being paranoid, one can easily point to actual legislation in the Western nations and even here in the USA that seeks to do exactly that. Already in nations like Canada and Australia simply preaching what the Bible says about Homosexuality or religions like Islam is considered “hate speech” while here in America biblical marriage, the right to homeschool, or apply our Christian beliefs to our businesses are all under attack.
Western Evangelicals are poised to take on the unenviable role that German Jews played in the late 30s – the group that it is acceptable to hate, blame, disenfranchise, and abuse mercilessly. While the persecution at present is relatively “soft” we should expect that if current trends continue, we will find ourselves in a position not too terribly different from that enjoyed by our Christian brothers living in the Islamic world. Don’t think that just because it is Atheistic the west can’t create its own version of Dhimmitude.