Skip to comments.Anti-Christian paranoia [no longer just "untrue", Christianity is now "evil"]
Posted on 11/21/2006 9:21:25 PM PST by Alex Murphy
Instead of arguing that Christianity is not true, the more popular argument today is that Christianity is evil
We Christians need to get something through our heads: Secularists do not like us. This is perfectly understandable. But the case against Christianity has now degenerated into paranoid bigotry.
The old argument against Christianity was simply that it is not true. Modern science, evolutionary theory, rational argumentation, and the like were said to disprove the existence of God and the claims of the Bible.
But this line of attack does not work well anymore. Postmodernists themselves distrust science and rationality, and they consider such hallmarks of the now passé modernism to be so last-century. In fact, now Christians are about the only ones still standing who have a worldview that has a place for reason and the reality of the objective creation.
So instead of arguing that Christianity is not true, the more popular argument today is that Christianity is evil.
Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris last month reached No. 10 on the Amazon bestselling list and No. 6 on the New York Times nonfiction list. Going beyond the old argument that the world's suffering shoots down belief in God, Harris argues that belief in God causes the world's suffering.
As he put it, "That so much of this suffering can be directly attributed to religionto religious hatreds, religious wars, religious delusions and religious diversions of scarce resourcesis what makes atheism a moral and intellectual necessity."
Of course postmodernists do not believe in moral absolutes, either, so any argument invoking them against religion, their only conceivable source, is going to be lacking. What postmodernists do believe in is power. They teach that all truth claims are "constructions" that can ultimately be traced back to one group trying to exercise power against others. That is, "imposing" beliefs on other people is a way to seize power.
As Ross Douthat has pointed out in a review essay in First Things, a whole raft of books have come out recently warning America that conservative Christians are on the verge of taking over the country: Michelle Goldberg's Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism; Randall Balmer's Thy Kingdom Come; and Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy, which hit No. 2 on the New York Times nonfiction list.
The most lurid of them all is James Rudin's The Baptizing of America, with this opening paragraph:
"A specter is haunting America, and it is not socialism and certainly not communism. It is the specter of Americans kneeling in submission to a particular interpretation of a religion that has become an ideology, an all-encompassing way of life. It is the specter of our nation ruled by the extreme Christian right, who would make the United States a 'Christian nation' where their version of God's law supersedes all human lawincluding the Constitution. That, more than any other force in the world today, is the immediate and profound threat to our republic."
Never mind that virtually all Christian conservatives would be content if we would just follow our Constitution. That "specter" metaphor is a cliché originating with Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto, and Rudin tries to scare his reader with all sorts of ghost stories.
According to Rudin, once we Christians get into power, "All government employeesfederal, state and localwould be required to participate in weekly Bible classes in the workplace, as well as compulsory daily prayer sessions." We would issue everyone a national ID card giving everybody's religious beliefs or lack thereof, and "such cards would provide Christocrats with preferential treatment in many areas of life, including home ownership, student loans, employment and education." Religious censors would control all speech, political dissent would be outlawed, and freedom would be eliminated. Did you know that was what you wanted to do?
It is one thing to oppose religion, but now we have arrived at the marks of dangerous religious bigotry: spreading sensationalistic lies, instigating fear in the public, and promoting paranoid conspiracy theories.
Actually, it seems Christians are one of the few groups interested in maintaining the Constitution as it was written. And that is a threat to those who call it a "living, breathing" document subject to change at the whim of the American people.
Gee, that sounds a lot like Islamofascism.
Gee, that sounds a lot like Islamofascism.
Ah, Ms. Goldberg will bleat in terror about Christian "theocrats" up until the instant that some Iman throws a burqua over her addled head and frog-marches her off to a Sharia harem.
They also claim that radical Christianity is on the rise. This is the most absurd thing you could possibly say. Christianity has become less fervent every decade of American history, beginning in the 1600s when Catholics could not hold public office because their beliefs were unbiblical.
Too funny...that's why every wannabe dictator tyrant tries to stomp out two things; religion and an armed populace.
Maybe we should start issuing death threats, and cutting the throats and lopping off the head of the detractors of Christianity.
But that wouldn't be very Christian.
These are sad times, in which we live; truly, there is more danger now than in the time of our fathers, who suffered death for the testimony of the Lord. Few believe this, because the great majority look to that which is external and corporeal, and in this respect it is now better, quieter and more comfortable; few only look to that which is internal and pertains to the soul. And on which everything depends, "for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt 16:26
These times are certainly more dangerous; for then Satan came openly, through his servants even at noon-day, as a roaring lion, so that he could be known, and it now and then was possible to hide from him; besides, his chief design then was to destroy the body; but now he comes as in the night, or in the twilight, in a strange but yet pleasing form, and in a two-fold way, lies in wait to destroy the soul; partly, to trample under foot, and annihilate entirely, if this were possible, the only saving Christian faith; partly to destroy the true separated Christian life which is the outgrowth of faith.
The good times are returning, where the devil is easily seen.
Unfortunately, the track record of self-described atheists in places such as the Soviet Union and Communist China do not support the author's contention.
The sad truth is, human beings are all too willing to commit evil for whatever reason (or no reason at all). Religious belief can motivate violence and oppressionbut so can such ideals as peace, freedom, brotherhood, equality, and prosperity. Even love can be a motivation for evil acts.
Atheists are subject to the same appetites, passions, and weaknesses as other human beings. Perhaps what the author really means is that humans must rid themselves of all emotion and become dispassionate logic machines. I would be interested in hearing how he would manage that feat.
The reference made by the author to Ross Douthat and his essay may be further investigated at this FR Link!
By the United States in Congress assembled.
Whereas, it hath pleased Almighty God, the supreme Disposer of all Events father of mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States of America in their important struggle for liberty, against the long continued efforts of a powerful nation: it is the duty of all ranks to observe and thankfully acknowledge the interpositions of his Providence in their behalf. Through the whole of the contest, from its first rise to this time, the influence of divine Providence may be clearly perceived in many signal instances, of which we mention but a few.
In revealing the councils of our enemies, when the discoveries were seasonable and important, and the means seemingly inadequate or fortuitous; in preserving and even improving the union of the several states, on the breach of which our enemies placed their greatest dependence; in increasing the number, and adding to the zeal and attachment of the friends of Liberty; in granting remarkable deliverances, and blessing us with the most signal success, when affairs seemed to have the most discouraging appearance; in raising up for us a powerful and generous ally, in one of the first of the European powers; in confounding the councils of our enemies, and suffering them to pursue such measures as have most directly contributed to frustrate their own desires and expectations; above all, in making their extreme cruelty of their officers and soldiers to the inhabitants of these states, when in their power, and their savage devastation of property, the very means of cementing our union, and adding vigor to every effort in opposition to them.
And as we cannot help leading the good people of these states to a retrospect on the events which have taken place since the beginning of the war, so we beg recommend in a particular manner that they may observe and acknowledge to their observation, the goodness of God in the year now drawing to a conclusion: in which a mutiny in the American Army was not only happily appeased but became in its issue a pleasing and undeniable proof of the unalterable attachment of the people in general to the cause of liberty since great and real grievances only made them tumultuously seek redress while the abhorred the thoughts of going over to the enemy, in which the Confederation of the United States has been completed by the accession of all without exception in which there have been so many instances of prowess and success in our armies; particularly in the southern states, where, notwithstanding the difficulties with which they had to struggle, they have recovered the whole country which the enemy had overrun, leaving them only a post or two upon on or near the sea: in which we have been so powerfully and effectually assisted by our allies, while in all the conjunct operations the most perfect union and harmony has subsisted in the allied army: in which there has been so plentiful a harvest, and so great abundance of the fruits of the earth of every kind, as not only enables us easily to supply the wants of the army, but gives comfort and happiness to the whole people: and in which, after the success of our allies by sea, a General of the first Rank, with his whole army, has been captured by the allied forces under the direction of our illustrious Commander in Chief.
It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart the 13th day of December next, to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day, with grateful hearts, to celebrate the praises of our gracious Benefactor; to confess our manifold sins; to offer up our most fervent supplications to the God of all grace, that it may please Him to pardon our offenses, and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his laws; to comfort and relieve all our brethren who are in distress or captivity; to prosper our husbandmen, and give success to all engaged in lawful commerce; to impart wisdom and integrity to our counselors, judgment and fortitude to our officers and soldiers; to protect and prosper our illustrious ally, and favor our united exertions for the speedy establishment of a safe, honorable and lasting peace; to bless all seminaries of learning; and cause the knowledge of God to cover the earth, as the waters cover the seas.
Jesus the Christ said He would return, and reconcile all things to Himself. Better get ready guys, it could be a bumpy ride for you two.
THANKSGIVING DAY 1864
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to use new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
Except that Christians who are trying to spread the word about their religion don't behead you if you decline to accept it.
But then, you knew that...