Posted by: Jim | April 23, 2009

We Live in Interesting Times

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.

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Responses

  1. […] As I’ve predicted on this blog before, Christian terrorism has reared its ugly head again. I won’t regurgitate the news you’ve all […]

  2. An atheist shot two people in an unrelated incident that I wish to distract you with.

  3. Tsk tsk … no fair Kingfelix!

  4. Jim,

    I think that you are probably right in that there will inevitably be pockets of radical Christians that may resort to violence in what they seem to be desperation in the name of God. They are extremely misguided no matter how well meaning they are.

    Most Christians are passive and non violent. I realize that this is a generalization. Most Christians who are Christ followers are passive and non violent.

    However, there is a fear of religious persecution in this country and if Christians, or any humans feel that they are unjustly being persecuted there may be uprisings termed “in self defense”. From what I’ve seen of the Holocaust I don’t think that there was much Jewish resistance, but I don’t think that would happen again.

    In regards to aggressive, terroristic attacks– those should bring outcry from Christ followers for sure!

    In general, I don’t see any one group or person from any church that acts as the voice for Christianity. There is the Pope for Catholicism of course. I used to really respect and agree with Billy Graham…

    Now, people like Dr. Dobson and Rick Warren may have a large following, but they are not appointed, just popular. If they or anyone else does wrong, it still does not make the premise of Christianity wrong. The ad hominem fallacy still applies.

    The problem for Christians that I’ve seen you and others bring up is that why, if God’s word is true, would so many followers do such despicable things?

    Even if God’s word were inerrant, the followers would not be, and they would still not be able to keep it. I believe that is what some pastors teach about the law and the old testament in general.

    That it was given so that man/woman could see that they could not keep it themselves and that they needed God.

    There are many lives that are touched for the good because of Christianity. Many people who have done wrong and worse, that have come from the depths of society to “become a new creation” so to speak and become contributions to society.

    Many poor, widowed, down and out people have been trained, clothed, fed. Many in despair and scared have been given hope and joy.

    Life is full of ups and downs, positive and negative, yin and yang, good and evil. It’s unfair for one group to point to another with a crooked finger and say “those guys over there are what’s bad for society”.

    In my opinion, culture war is a war of opinions, and should stay that way. As you can see even on this blog, people react differently toward people with differing opinions. When they resort to violence it steps over the line of free speech.

    Thanks for letting me share my perspective.

    kingfelix, that is all I’m doing on this blog anyway. Sharing my perspective. I asked long ago if I was welcome, or if Jim even wanted any of my comments, and I was given the feedback that all comments are welcome and encouraged.

    If there were no opposing views and you could all just post things and chuckle and back slap at straw men and ad hominem posts then it would be very shallow in my opinion.

    I’m not saying that all the posts are fallacious, I’m just using those two as examples. Even if they were great arguments, if there is only one perspective, then the blog serves a different purpose, more of a communal worship time, if you will, not a valuable exchange of ideas, thoughts and culture.


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