By Bill Anderson (posted with permission).
As an American evangelical who is a member of a theologically-conservative church, I tend to be very observant when the U.S. Government trashes religious rights. I say this also believing that American evangelicals have wrongly embraced the State and especially its military wing, and now that Obama and the Democrats control the U.S. Armed Forces, the days of military support for evangelicals is over.
To me, the armed forces’ new hostility toward Christians is not exactly unwelcome, as perhaps now evangelicals will end their ridiculous and wrong worship of all things military. (Laurence Vance has done heroic work in pointing out that same thing.) That being said, however, I also will say that this particular administration is openly hostile toward Christians in a way I never have seen in my lifetime, and it only will get worse.
Although evangelicals tended to be ridiculous in their support of the George W. Bush administration, in truth the Neocon Bushies also were hostile toward Christians and that hostility clearly was demonstrated in Bush’s support for Islamic groups in Iraq that either murdered Christians outright or drove them from the country. Today, we see the same thing with the Syrian rebels for whom Obama is giving arms and financial support.
At a recent Congressional hearing, Syrian Christians asked why the USA is “at war” with them. There have been many atrocities that the rebels have committed, but Washington ignores them (and I suppose even supports them). It is instructive that there was no media coverage of that hearing of which to speak, except for some religious press outlets.
The fact that the American media is ignoring what is happening speaks volumes about where this country is headed. The Obama administration clearly despises Christians and at every turn has made its hostility very clear, and I believe that we are seeing only the beginning of what Washington is capable of doing when it comes to religious freedom.
My guess is that we are going to see coalitions such as the Neocons and the Left-Libertarians joining together, as both of those groups are united in their absolute hatred for Christians and Christianity. We also will see Christian-Left groups such as Sojourners joining that coalition.
Why? People like Jim Wallis (who came to Washington 40 years ago to protest against the governing culture and now has become a pillar of the Washington establishment) not only despise conservative evangelicals but also would like to see them eliminated from society altogether. Wallis was absolutely enthusiastic about communist movements that specifically targeted Christians, using torture, imprisonment, and summary executions to promote their will. After a while, it becomes easy to connect the dots, as Wallis simply wants to get rid of the competition and is willing to encourage the government to do just that.
The answer for evangelicals like me is NOT more political involvement, however. I do support Christians seeking their rights, just as St. Paul appealed to Caesar, but the last thing Christians should want is any control of the apparatus of government. We are going to have to face the hard fact that in the future, as government expands its power, we will be shut out of many lines of work and will face outright government hostility and discrimination.
That is not necessarily a bad thing; our Christian brothers and sisters throughout history and in many places even now have been facing the same restrictions and persecution and try as it might, no government has been able to wipe out Christianity. The greater weapon government has used has been the co-opting of Christians, as Laurence Vance many times has noted in his writings. It is time for Christians to reject the dreams of political power and to start living a life as demonstrated in the Gospels.
It also is time for American Christians to reject the false religion of Progressivism. For more than a century, Christians on both the right and the left have embraced American Progressivism, and we see where it leads: to idolatry. Progressivism is a false religion and America is a false god and no amount of political involvement and the “electing of the ‘right’ people” will change that hard fact.