MARGINALIZING CHRISTIANITY

July 29, 2011

It is no secret that the Christian faith stands in the way of everything "earthly." It's teachings stand diametrically opposed to each and every item on the far-lefts agenda, from gay marriage to abortion from social justice to the punishment of evil.

The left scorns Christians, except those of the ilk of Barack Obama's faith-based czar Jim Wallace and Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlewhaite of the progressive Faith in Public Life Group and senior fellow for George Soros' Center for American Progress.

Thistlewaiste wrote a Washington Post editorial in which she postulated that Christianity — and right-leaning political beliefs — are responsible for the tragic Norwegian rampage. Her article was entitled "When Christianity Becomes Lethal" and in it, she lectures readers about the perils of “extreme Christianity” and the failure of believers to see the connections between their beliefs and associated violence.

Before continuing, it would probably be worth noting that Thistlethwaite is the former president of Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) and a preacher ordained through the United Church of Christ (UCC). The infamous Rev. Jeremiah Wright has also taught at CTS and is, of course, ordained by UCC as well.

In her article, Thistlethwaite plays up the notion that the Norwegian terorist Anders Behring Breivik is a Christian. In fact, her entire piece hinges on this notion. She writes, “He has been described by police there as a ‘Christian fundamentalist.’” After attempting to firmly convince readers that Breivik was, indeed, a follow of Jesus, she explains: "Christians should not turn away from this information, but try to come to terms with the temptations to violence in the theologies of right-wing Christianity.

It is people like Thistlewaite and Wallace, who purport to be open-minded Christians who really don't understand Christianity at all. And if it isn't the social and political left bashing pure Christianity, it is those "from within", and they do much more damage.

On the heels of the tragic massacre in Norway, the internet and media have been abuzz with warnings about the potential threat of “Christian extremists.” Typical is an article from domestic terrorism expert Daryl Johnson entitled, “Christian Extremism from Timothy McVeigh to Anders Breivik.” (Yes, you read that title correctly.) He begins by stating, “Those two jihadists—two right-wing reactionaries, two terrorists, two anti-government white supremacists, two Christians—have a lot in common. . . .” Two Christians?

Johnson alleges that, “[McVeigh’s] idealism of a golden-age white America was the Christian translation of al-Qaeda’s idealized caliphate.” He further claims that, “Islamists who may want us harm need only sit back and enjoy the view. They might as well have outsourced the job to their Christian brethren, with plenty of assists from mainstream conservatives.” And this is meant to be taken seriously. Indeed, it is meant to serve as a warning.

Of course, we have known for years that Christianity played no role at all in Timothy McVeigh’s demented, murderous mind (he was, in fact, a self-professed agnostic), while it is becoming increasingly clear that a living, Christian faith (as opposed to a European, cultural Christianity, completely unrelated to faith) was something of no real importance to Anders Breivik. And Christian thinking or ideology certainly did not fuel his savagery.

But falsely branding McVeigh and Breivik as “Christians” is not the real problem. The problem is when people of genuine Christian faith are labeled “Christianists,” the semantic equivalent of “Islamists,” the current way of describing Islamic terrorists who allegedly distort and pervert Islam. We are now the perverters of the Christian faith, not Christians but “Christianists.” Apparently, if you take your faith seriously enough to allow it to influence your worldview, and if you seek to live in accordance with that worldview, you are a Christianist.

In keeping with this, the JoeMyGod, gay activist website posted a link to an earlier article this week about Anders Breivik with the heading, “John Corson: American Christianists Will Suffer Because Of The Norway Killer.” Similarly, my article drew the attention of RightWingWatch.com, a website which also warns of dangerous “Christianists” like me.

To the left, those who take their moral and social values into the voting booth, and do their best to be a public and private influence for the good are Christianists. In the words of Jesus, they seek to let our light shine. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are Christianists. They are not afraid to let a child with Down Syndrome live in a society which has turned in a direction encouraging women to "terminate the fetus."

And just as our society has room for gay activists campaigning for same-sex marriage and aggressive atheists fighting to remove all traces of religion from the public square, Christianists believe it has room for them to stand up for the rights of the unborn, for freedom of religion, and for traditional family values.

And there’s more. Christianists try to infiltrate the inner-cities and tell gang leaders about God’s love and His purpose for their lives. They launch adoption movements to provide homes for unwanted children. They are the first to show up at disaster sites such as Joplin, Missouri after the tornadoes or New Orleans after Katrina. And they are the biggest contributors to organizations like World Vision that feed the hungry around the world. What a scary bunch they are.

What I am describing here is the Biblical Christian, not what liberal theologians from Yale, Harvard and Princeton say Christianity is. It is not the social gospel with it's emphasis upon the government solving all of society's ills. If there is one thing Christianists know it is that government cannot and will not heal our land. Only God can.

I leave you with this one thought: What do you suppose would happen if the influence and the presence of Christianity were to be suddenly removed from the world, or from this country? You only need to look at Europe, with its less than 2 percent Christianity to find the answer to that question.

By the way: This will be the last time you read or hear me using the phrase "Christianist" described a real Christian.


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