Dear Tim, and all others of you listening in,
In response to David's excellent defence of himself in the comments of the original post, "Is It Incompetence of Sabotage?", you rejoined with this:
"The religious right has fooled many people into believing that its views are reflective of Christ's views. They are not! In fact, they are often in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus. Please stop soiling the name of Jesus with your politics."
You then go on to unload a criticism of your own under a rubric you call a "secular point of view", as if to show us how separating one's politics and one's faith is done.
First I must address the outrage of right-leaning Christians expressing political views. Perhaps another cartoon is in order. Peruse the following, if you will. (Go here for the cartoon.)
Unless I miss my guess, this must capture your view of conservative Christians in general and this blog in particular. (I especially enjoy the "tax cuts" tatoo). While I do admit that one of my favorite bumper stickers ever announces Jesus is Coming...and is He ever pissed! and that the image of Jesus that I mostly dwell on is the one given in Revelation showing him returning on a white charger and wielding a great sword, I do consider myself--and David--capable of humor, irony, nuance and a certain philosophical precision. You apparently missed that part.
One can construct a Jesus and an evangel to fit any age or culture, as indeed has been done and continues to be done. Most of these are heretical of course; it is the ubiquitous and iniquitous sin nature that turns Jesu the joy of man's desiring to Jesu, the joy of man's designing.
Take the mega-church Jesus above; He wants you to be rich, comfortable with yourself, and pleased to call second rate entertainment adequate worship. (By the way--when do you think we will see pastor Rick Warren at an official Obama function again--or any religious figure for that matter?) Or, perhaps closer to your home, what of St John the Divine in Manhattan, where the actual gospel last made its appearance sometime in the 19th century, and all manner of New Age and eastern mysticism are mixed with the anodyne strains of trendy left-socialist social dogma? What of Jeremiah Wright and the Chicago Church of Hate America, where Jesus is surely black and a radical? Did you feel just the least bit queasy at the numerous magazine cover references to candidate Obama as a messiah, redeemer, light worker--and his allowing of it? Why did this "Christian" man allow anyone to style him as the One Who Would Come? Should Christians criticize that, or is that unbecoming and un-Christ like?
I will speak for myself here. I hold to historic Protestantism, as a conservative Reformed Presbyterian. I claim that the orthodox among the parts of Christendom are most truly connected to the earth and the world, and thus most free to enjoy Christian liberty without heretical rules made to foment guilt, aid righteous living, or distinguish the church. They are also best able to delineate the proper mode of engagement with the world, which always included a political element, but now when the philosophical and political understanding is that the people are judge of their own rights and liberties, and that these are over against the power of the government that serves at their pleasure, believing Christians ought more than ever to engage in political discussion. Does it surprise you that there are sharp elbows involved? How do you think the Pharisees took Jesus' shots at them? Not that I am equating my opinions with Jesus--that is your claim about me and this blog. I deny that I ever have spoken in the name of Jesus--wouldn't that be prophetic speech, and thus required to be added to Scripture?--or in the name of Christianity--who could possibly claim to speak for a globe girdling, centuries enduring abstraction such as Christianity?
Your claim is that criticism of this president, as provided on this blog (and at a very reasonable price too) is unchristian. I can't offer you a refund--David is resolutely against it--, but I can offer you this. Political liberty is a precious thing, mostly unknown to the denizens of this world, even now. I consider it a gift in the providential order of things that America found itself at an historical juncture propitious of a new beginning in liberty. Our revolutionary era ancestors fought and died delivering it to us; our civil war era ancestors fought and died keeping America together; my father and his generation fought and died preventing worldwide domination of first National Socialism and then International Socialism. Since the war with international socialism was a "cold war", we did not really stamp it out as was done with Nazism. International socialism is alive and creeping in the form of so called trans-national organizations, beginning with the unspeakable UN and its continuous calls for world governing authority. I see liberal democrats, and the Obama administration in particular, congenial to ever larger units of governmental authority, ever further out of reach of popular control. Pity the poor Europeans--they couldn't even stop the formation of the EU and its utter destruction of national sovereignty--the elites just went ahead and signed it into law. Why not--they cannot be voted out of office because there is no popular mechanism for doing so.
That is what we see being pushed at America. Obama's foreign policy is to take America out of its leading position-we are to be only one of the 190 nations on the globe, not especially significant; hence all the bowing and scraping he's been seen doing. Did that please you Tim, to see the president of the United States, the elected representative of the people of a constitutional republic, bowing to a Saudi king and the Japanese emperor? Do you think that was a just junior league error, or was it a signal to the world that Obama is serious about reducing the power and prestige of the US? I'll wait while you think it over. Those are the only alternatives, neither of which should go unnoticed or uncriticized.
And here on this blog, those actions and almost all of Obama's others actions and speeches have been criticized, since David and I and most conscious people on the right see in the machinations of this administration what our forbears saw, to wit: a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object, evinc[ing] a design to reduce [us to] absolute despotism. (OK, maybe the committee writing the Declaration were a bit overwrought). And if we do not (yet) see absolute despotism on the horizon, we do not believe this is the usual back and forth of our two party system, where both parties basically agree on the principles but differ on the policies. We see an attempt to fulfill the now chilling proclamation of Obama the candidate: Change is coming America! We did not envision becoming citizens of a Euro-socialist democratic member-state of the threatened world government. Obama and the left Democrats would have no problem fitting the US into a world order where we have both major and minor policies dictated to us--like the Europeans. We will resist such a transformation, by holding forth on this blog site, doing so under Christian liberty of conscience to believe as we do, and under the freedom of speech that is inherent in political liberty, and oh, by the way, guaranteed in the Constitution.
It is not evil to call evil by its name. Political oppression is a large, if perhaps pedestrian, form of evil that we are free to oppose. What will you do when confronted with political oppression--that is, if you could recognize it?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Dear Tim, and all others of you listening in,