My original title for this post was “The Polls are Alive with the Sound of Music,” but I changed my mind. This isn’t very funny.
Last week, a Newsweek poll showed that the percentage of Americans who think faith will help answer all or most of the country’s current problems dipped to a historic low of 48 percent, down from 64 percent in 1994.
This came on the heels of the devastating ARIS poll that I already wrote about. The number of “Godless” people has doubled since 1990, and those people were previously Christian. (I’m one of them.)
Then, James Dobson, former head of “Focus on the Family” said the following:
“The battles that we fought in the 80’s now. We were victorious in many of those conflicts with the culture trying to defend righteousness, trying to defend the unborn child, trying to preserve the dignity of the family, and the definition of marriage. We fought all those battles, and really it was a holding action … And now we are absolutely awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged, and we are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking we can say that we have lost all those battles … Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?”
Dobson’s quote might seem like good news for skeptics, and from an ideological standpoint, it is. However I must share what I feel is a deeper concern. I know how sincere and determined many Christians are about this culture war. I was one of them. I regret to say that if Christians begin to feel more and more marginalized, the more reasonable among them may becoming less politically active while the more ardent become more shrill and unreasonable. With fewer and fewer successful methods to influence their culture the way they believe God is commanding them, coupled with extremely hard economic times, we will reach an inevitable conclusion:
A small percentage of Christians will begin to resort to terrorist activities.
Please note, I am not linking this notion with Focus on the Family. I know those people, and while they are misguided they are not violent. However, even as there are many non-violent Clerics in Islam, they will have pockets of followers who take their religion so seriously and see violence as a natural extension of their mission.
Don’t think it can’t happen. It already has, many times. The Ku Klux Klan were compelled by a “Christian” unction. The Army of God bombed abortion clinics and killed people. There are Christians out there who do not see “this” life as important, and may be burgeoning terrorists.
I’m sure I will get a lot of flak for this post. Please understand my intent: most of the Christians I know are good, non-violent people who perceive these violent people to be just as kooky and wrong as I do. My appeal is to those sensible Christians. Do not tolerate any hint of violence, or the threat of violence, or the perceived threat of violence. At the same time, realize that these radicals DO represent you because by adhering to the same book as God’s word, you are indirectly giving credence to radical, violent methods.