Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Modern Tower of Babel and what to do about it

The once great USA is becoming a modern-day Tower of Babel. However, instead of the differences in language underlying the dissolution, now it is the differences in worldviews, and even more so, the mutual antagonism caused by these differences.

  • Last Thursday, Mike Malloy commented on the Twitter war between Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, Ann Romney and, eventually, Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
    • And the Catholic League - that piece of human waste Bill Donohue - then twitted or tweeted or tweaked - ‘glad to know Hilary’s fans are in a state of apoplexy - you’d think she was outed by their hysterical reaction. Get over it and grow up! You child-raping sons of b-tches in the Catholic Church, I am so sick of all of you - especially your priests and your bishops and your scum, the Nazi Pope, I am so sick of all of you. And this Donohue freak—wow.
The hatred is bubbling to the surface like sickening methane gas from a surrounding swamp. Meanwhile, the culture wars are being pursued unrelentingly. For example, the ACLU brought charges against Jones County, NC commissioners for praying to Jesus before each meeting.

  • According to the [ACLU], the prayers “are explicitly sectarian and favor only one religion, Christianity”…The ACLU’s field office in Raleigh sent a letter to Jones County commissioners April 3, writing the commissioners’ invocation prayer “should not demonstrate a preference for one particular sect or creed.”
How has “Jesus” become the one unutterable word in a country, whose Declaration of Independence recognizes that the God of the Bible is the one and only source for our “unalienable rights?”

The ACLU charge is based on the erroneous assumption that by eliminating religion from the public sphere, it would now become neutral, assessable and pleasing to all. This, of course, is highly disingenuous. By eliminating God, another religion quickly and automatically fills the void. If God and faith can no longer be invoked, then only the opposite beliefs – atheism, secular humanism, cultural relativism, materialism, naturalism, moral relativism, and permissiveness – are allowed to dominate the public arena. Ironically, by appealing to a distorted understanding of the “separation between church and state” – the “establishment clause”- secularism and atheism have now become our state established, sanctioned and supported religion! However, this remains a carefully guarded, un-confessed sin among the elite.

How do we respond to the wide range of these secular challenges? Christians are very divided and understandably so. There do not seem to be any easy answers now that the formational Christian consensus has withered. Here are three possible but problematic solutions:

  1. Continue to fight these culture wars that only seem to be inflaming antagonism, polarization and even hatred. However, even if we are able to elect a Christian president who is able to push back on some of the radical advances, such a victory might only be temporary.
  1. Set our battle lines elsewhere, at more central and defensible positions. Here are two possibilities.
    1. Recognize the diversity of religions and worldviews within the USA and opt for a more generic form of prayer and religious expression. However, the majority of Evangelicals would understandably find such a watering-down totally unacceptable.\
    1. Call for de-centralization and a greater emphasis on “majority-rules.” Such a strategy would allow the Jones County Commissioners to pray in Jesus’ name if this was the majority’s will. It would also allow for gay marriage in those states or municipalities where it had been voted in.
I find “2b” to be the most attractive option. It would allow for majority choice, diversity – the Federal government would no longer enforce its own monopolistic and alienating religion – and would allow people of divergent opinions to live more harmoniously together. Perhaps it might only represent a temporary peace, but it would also allow us breathing room to observe the implications or fruits of our different belief systems as they play out in different locations?

However, the light of truth must continue to shine. Hypocrisy must be exposed. The secular attacks will not cease until the church is no longer the light and no longer denounces sin. Preaching against sin has become “hate-speech,” and the Bible has become the hate-monger’s battle-ax. We should not expect secularism to allow us to worship as we wish.

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