Sunday, May 6, 2012

Apocalypse now?

You may remember that four years ago James Dobson, writing for the non-tax-exempt Focus on the Family Action, published a fictional "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America" basically saying what might happen during an Obama administration.  In it he made references to terrorist attacks in American cities, churches possibly losing their tax-exempt status for refusing to perform same-gender marriages, Christian publishers being driven out of business, doctors and nurses forced to perform abortions and other statements that darkly warned about the future.

In addition to Dobson's screed being irresponsible and arrogant, it has turned out that none of these dire predictions have come true -- as have virtually none of the other wild prophecies that come about whenever a liberal Democrat ascends to the presidency or any other position of authority, some of which took place when Bill Clinton got to the White House (one woman I personally know saying that, under Clinton, Christians would be persecuted).  But that won't stop the doomsayers from insisting how bad it will be when "they" are in power.

If any of you wonder why we have so much incivility in American politics these days, start there.  In that mentality the opposition is not simply wrong but primarily the embodiment of pure evil and is never to be even considered human or worth negotiating with.  Neal Gabler, who at the time was working on a biography of the late Sen Edward Kennedy, had it right in an op-ed piece published in 2009 in the Los Angeles Times when he aptly referred to conservative ideology as "religion" which needed to be defended to the death if necessary.

I have another name for it:  Idolatry.  Such an attitude spits in God's face because it makes Him come across as unable or unwilling to preserve his people especially in the "worst" of times.

More to the point, when folks complain about "losing their 'freedom,'" what they really mean is that they fear losing their privileged status.  "I don't want to lose all I've worked for," some may say -- but who gave them the opportunity to work in the first place?  Who placed them in a situation where they were able to get a solid education to make enough money to live in a nice place?  Yet these same people often act entitled and project that onto those they see as beneath them, leaving God's Kingdom out of the picture and forgetting that what He gives He expects to be used for His purposes, not to be hoarded.

Especially during the civil-rights and anti-apartheid movements was the resistance to justice most prevalent.  The book "Eyewitness: The Negro in American History" ran a snippet concerning one group called SPONGE -- "the Society for the Prevention of Negroes Getting Everything" -- that was organized at that time in the South.  And during the movie "Cry Freedom," based on the true story of the relationship between a white South African newspaper editor and a black activist, a white police official said to the editor, "We're not going to ... give this all away."  (It should be noted that in both cases activists were often called "socialists" -- more accurately, communists.  In that context Charles Stanley's warning, also after the 2008 election, about "creeping socialism" during his "10 Things to Pray For" concerning the president should make your blood run cold.)

Well, don't "liberals" do the same thing when they talk about conservatives?  Honestly, no -- they don't need to because conservatives make their aims very clear, whether they're frank as to their intentions or you can simply connect the dots and figure things out.  Moreover, they don't have the same apocalyptic mindset as to what might happen because they have far less to lose; if it comes out, which isn't all that often, it's based on experience.

For example, speakers at the national convention, I think in 2006, of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, which has always been despised by the political right, roundly criticized then-President G.W. Bush for his policies and prosecution of the war in Iraq; the Bush administration responded by threatening to "look into" the group's tax-exempt status.  To that, the NAACP said, "We dare you," and Bush backed down.  You see, when you have a history of seeing people die and go to jail for what they believe in, which it does, you won't be intimidated by even a president.

Which leads the to ultimate point:  Why are we American Christians afraid to die or go to jail for Christ?  Is it because we want to live a comfortable life and not have to engage in spiritual warfare?  Where do we think we are -- heaven?  This is one time I wish that, were we faced with Armageddon -- which we're not -- those followers of Jesus would say, as President Bush once did, "Bring it on."


Mark said...

Jesus said " Render to Ceasar what is Ceasar's; and to God what is God's." when asked about Taxes. I do not beleive tax-exemption is the Churche's right, it is a consideration the Government has to groups who help lighten the burden of government services. I could run a business as as non-profit organization; but, even my ministry will register as a For Profit business to obey Jesus. Since Washington's 'love language' is tax dollars; churches are more lightly taken than lobbyists. That change in the Laws would scare off the Sheep Eating , mansion living money-eaters in the church. Having said that....: The gay Agenda does not stop at gay marraiage , Gay's can not reproduce after marraige. They must recruite. The leaders want 1 Lower the Age of Consent, 2Gay Adoption,3 removal and re-education of Politically Incorrect thinking children. AND yes this is happening right now; " Attempt to remove Pedophilia from the list of Mental Didorders" ; just As they had removed Homosexuality from the list of Mental Disorders at the beginning of Gay Rights . In the 1980s they were reminded to play the victim; and accuse anyone pointing out these facts as Hate Speechers. But, now they have an endoser in the Whitehouse who has lifted his hands toward Heaven and given Jesus the finger, again. We had such hopes for the 1st Black President,who instead is practicing what Reverand Wright preached " God D*M% America ". persecution will be defered, but, it's coming. Are We ready???

BlueDeacon said...

I really don't worry about the gays all that much because the more attention Christians pay to them the more sympathy they receive. The reason we're even talking about gay marriage today is because many of us overreacted -- and keep in mind also that more and more of us know gay people and indeed have them in their families.

Oh, and when Jeremiah Wright said "God damn America," he immediately added "for thinking she's God," which theologically is correct. But Jerry Falwell and others who trended ideologically conservative said similar things -- why didn't they get the criticism that Wright did? Perhaps the target was different?