Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Christians and the Pagans sat together at the Table...

Thanks to Dar Williams for the title of this post.  And thanks to the "War on Christians" for giving me reason to use it.  Check it out in the Post, the Lawrence Journal World, and the Post again (via the SF Chronicle).
According to Tom DeLay, Sam Brownback, and a host of other well known figures, there is a War on Christians.  They claim it is being prosecuted by "radical secularism."
I'm not going to go into full force here--I have constraints on my time, after all.  But I do want to pick at the crux of these two sentences:
"War on Christians," and,
"Radical Secularism."
War?  I don't think so.  No more than our invasion of Iraq should be considered a war against Islam.  In fact, even less so.  I'm not sure if anyone's noticed recently, but there are guns and bombs and bullets and bodies in Iraq.  Some of them caused by U.S. led military forces.  Most of them not.  BUT, I'm not seeing any bullets or bombs directed at Christians in this country.  At least not expressly because they are Christian.  Further, how much accommodation, affirmation, and acceptance does the Conservative Christian movement need before it stops proclaiming that it is oppressed?  (And for the record, I don't find it coincidental that the same people who spent the 1990s belittling the "feel-good" movement of PCism are the very same people who are now embracing it for their own ends.)
Lastly on this, I can understand Christians feeling they were persecuted when they were forced to battle lions in the Coliseum.  I can understand them believing there was a war against Christianity when the Caliphate rampaged through Europe, or even when the U.S. backed government of a sovereign country views conversion to Christianity as a capital crime.
Radical Secularism?  According to, Secular has several meanings. The first two are pertinent to this discussion:
  • Worldly rather than spiritual.
  • Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.
    I'm not sure what's so radical about that.  I believe it was Jesus who said, among other things, that to enter the kingdom of heaven one should renounce the worldly and follow him.  He also said that before removing the spec from someone else's eye, we should make sure to take the plank from our own.  It's been a while since I studied the Bible closely, but I don't remember anything in the New Testament about raising a faux-holy fervor every time the world doesn't accommodate our specific demands on it.
    Maybe if those who spend so much of their time and effort demanding the rest of us live up to/accommodate their religious belief system actually went about practicing the supposedly world-bettering tracts they are so quick to assert, the world would actually be better.  Just a thought.

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