Blog Against Theophobes

Ah. A lightbulb goes off. I read several posts this Easter weekend about the dangers of forming a theocracy. The Houston Chronicle linked to one at Feet to the Fire:

The banwitdth devoted to the dangers of Church to State is enormous. Being righteous lefties that analysis comes easy to us. As a lefty who is also believer, I also see the other side of that equation and the dangers run in both directions.

I thought this would be interesting. (P.S. to the author of “Feet to the Fire” if you follow a trackback here – run your post through a spell checker) A lot of the post I agree with, but then there’s a hard left turn at the end –

So, what am I saying in this blog against theocracy? I am saying that when we resist the improper influence of clergy and church in secular affairs, we are saving some arrogant and benighted men (usually), and their followers, from themselves. The kingdom they seek cannot be legislated , cannot be built on the bodies of “unbelievers”. That way lies not heaven on earth, but hell.

This has first the supposition that “righteous righties” actually want a theocracy. We are called to be good citizens of our society, and along with that is a responsibility to resist those laws that oppose God. I can’t imagine a more intense “hell on earth” than to live in a society with *no* Christian influence. Murder is ok, sure. Sleep with your neighbor’s wife, see if I care. Nah, not my kind of society.

But I passed on participating; I thought it was just an outlier post. But then I read another, and then another… what the heck? A whole bunch of lefties suddenly start preaching against forming a theocracy?

Ah. It was an organized blogswarm against theocracy. I’ll make another note that the lefties do not want to lose the 2008 election to Christians so they’re going to do their best to supporting Christianity at the same time they oppose any Christian influence.

Evangelical Outpost has a reasoned response to the blogswarm –

The theophobes, however, are a bit unique in that they embrace an infantile brand of libertarian socialism.* Like other leftists, they tend to advocate for collectivist government solutions. But their support ends when government interferes with their “rights” to do as they please. This is why they hate–and hate is not too strong a word–people who refuse to keep their religious beliefs in the closet. Christians, in particular, are considered a group that is always trying to impose their bourgeois standard of morality on society despite how it makes some people feel.

There’s no doubt about it – Christianity makes people uncomfortable because God’s law is perfection that is a light on our darkness. It convicts us of our sin. That makes us feel guilty and helps lead us to the way, the truth, and the life. But lefties don’t like that sort of judgement, and they prefer to see only the God of love. But the God is also Righteous Judgement, and that’s the part lefties don’t like. In other words, I believe they often worship an incomplete God.

This is why it is impossible to take these people seriously. Their crack-pot conspiracy theories rarely bear any resemblance to reality. Do they seriously think that a country with a thriving abortion industry, a pornified pop culture, and where even speaking ill of homosexuality is considered déclassé is in danger of becoming a theocracy?

I recommend reading the entire Evangelical Outpost article. And don’t forget that the lefties will be practicing their technique all the way to the 2008 election to split the Christian vote.

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8 thoughts on “Blog Against Theophobes

  1. This is a very impressive post. I’d had no idea there was such a thing as “blog swarm” but it doesn’t surprise me. I couldn’t agree more concerning the lefties and their “infantile brand of libertarian socialism”. Your probably tired of people responding in “agreement” with you but this entire post really struck a cord with me because I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. I don’t want to be a voice of doom, but my guess is that 2008 will definitely see a “split the Christian vote” type election and I expect to see the “Christians” split between those who will vote and those who will sit it out for one reason or another. I’d seen an interesting article, (it may have been a “plant”) suggesting that Christians may well sit out the next election as they’ve been very politically active for the last 15 years but have become disillusioned (s.p.) with the political system as an effective mechanism for change.
    Thanks, I’ll return.

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  2. I proudly participated in the blogswarm. We do not need “Christian influences” to avoid murder and adultery. By that, you suggest that non-Christians are amoral (or simply less moral), which is of course, incorrect.

    “Do they seriously think that a country with a thriving abortion industry, a pornified pop culture, and where even speaking ill of homosexuality is considered déclassé is in danger of becoming a theocracy?”

    Yes. Because if Roberston, Falwell, et al, get their way, more Regent University alumni (founded by Robertson) will continue to flood the government. Roe v. Wade will be overturned and states already have laws in place to ban abortion if that happens. Because of DOMA, the potential for ‘marriage amendments’ and other attemps to relegate GLBT’s to second class citizens. Because of efforts by Congress to interject in a private person’s right to live/die. Because of attempts to institute covenant marriages, abstinence only sex ed, teaching intelligent design alongside evolution… the list goes on. Those of us who study, read, and learn about the insidious ways that theocratic behaviour is seeping into our culture and government are doing our best to alert the sleeping populace to what’s taking place.

    This has nothing to do with hating Christianity, Jesus, or morals. It has everything to do with preventing extreme members of the Christian Right from controlling more of the government and imposing their moral views on the nation. Whatever happened to ‘no religious test’?

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  3. Ed, I don’t tire of people agreeing with me. Hebrews 3:13, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve posted before about the “split the Christian vote” strategy the Democrats are planning – when you see Hillary Clinton quoting scripture one day and blasting religious people the next, something’s up. But the Republicans are just as much at fault – they’re trying to appeal the left and end up alienating the right. As a result, everybody’s unhappy. I want a conservative party, but it’s so hard to find.

    Lerin… bah. I did not suggest non-Christians are amoral. Robertson and Fallwell aren’t suggesting a theocracy, DOMA doesn’t relegate GLBT to second class, it just recognizes that marriage is one thing and GLBT is something else entirely. Your note about “interject in a private person’s right to live/die” is probably a Terry Schiavo reference and I challeng you to find any resource other than the cheating husband who supports that Terry said she wanted to die. “Institute covenant marriages” has been in place for thousands of years, it’s efforts like GLBT to overturn that we oppose; the status quo is fine with us. Teaching abstinence is a good thing. Evolution has unresolved problems that aren’t being taught (Reasons.org has some excellent resources). And you’ve misapplied the “no religious test” as that basically says a person’s religious affiliation should not be a requirement for him to hold office. If Bush wanted to appoint Falwell as Secretary of State, Falwell’s religion is not allowed to be tested. As if the left would ever let that happen, bah. But I’ve been down this path before – you and I won’t agree because we don’t share the same basic principles.

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  4. Romney’s Mormonism is in question as not being Christian enough, much like JFK’s Catholicism was questioned in the 60’s. James Dobson said he liked Fred Thompson, but said he didn’t think he was a Christian – meaning, not evangelical or open enough about his faith. Since Dobson, Falwell, Robertson and co. have the ear of the very Christian president, I would say that a religious test *is* being applied.

    You’re avoiding the point on Terri Shaivo – it’s not a matter of whether the husband cheated, it’s that it was not a matter for the state governor or congress to interject in, based on their religious beliefs.

    Marriage is a government institution – you can’t get married without a government license. You can go to the holiest of churches, have the most Christian of ministers say “I now pronounce you man and wife” and if you don’t have the government papers, you are NOT married. So it stands that anyone should be able to get that paper, no matter who they want to marry. Leave the religious part of it to the churches. “Covenant marriage” should be between you and your God, not the government.

    Unresolved problems in evolution does not mean a religious belief should be taught at its equal level. Save ID for philosophy class, not the science class.

    Teaching abstinence is a great thing – in conjunction with comprehensive sexual education, including how to responsibly use birth control.

    You’re right, we won’t agree. I simply take umbrage at being called a theophobe when what’s going on in our government today is being glossed over by those who would be glad to see a Christian theocracy.

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  5. Lerin, those are not the “religious tests” mentioned by the Constitution. The people can question the color of the candidates underwear if they so wish. But government cannot apply a religious test to determine if someone should hold office.

    I think we’ll just agree to disagree because the rest of your post is foreign to me. To take it too an illogical extreme, it appears to me you are saying, “It’s ok to end people’s lives, even if there’s no credible reason the person wants to die, and I oppose any effort to save them. I want to redefine marriage, and I don’t believe nuclear families with a mother and father is something I want our society to encourage. I don’t care if there are holes in evolutionary theory, we shouldn’t even discuss the problems with it for fear religious people might have some input. I want to teach our children all about sex, even if their parents don’t like the idea. I’m not a theophobe, I’m just afraid of religious people.”

    That was taken to the extreme and I’m well aware you think I’m misrepresenting your views, but that’s the way it sounds to me. You have a public-education worldview I just cannot agree with because I think it’s bad for our country.

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  6. I have to say, I appreciate the dialog we’ve had. It’s been very enlightening to talk to someone with such different views than myself, and to see how ideas and opinions are seen by ‘the other side.’ I’m glad we’ve both been able to remain respecful 🙂 I will round this out with a clarification of your comment. Yes, I’m aware you took it to an extreme but since it sounds that extreme to you, I want to do my best to show that it’s really *not* that way, fail though I might.

    It’s ok to end people’s lives, even if there’s no credible reason the person wants to die, and I oppose any effort to save them.

    ***I do not oppose efforts to save lives. I oppose abusive government interference. In Terri’s case, efforts to rehabilitate her spanned many years and the full use of doctors and the court system. In the end, the courts sided with the husband and it was far beyond scope for Congress to step in.

    I want to redefine marriage, and I don’t believe nuclear families with a mother and father is something I want our society to encourage.

    ***I don’t say it’s a matter of “not encouraging” nuclear families. It’s a matter of encouraging families, period. I simply believe that two people who love each other have the same right to be together and raise a family, no matter what their gender. And since marriage is a government institution, not a religious one, it should be left to the church/synagogue/etc to dispense religious morality, not the gov’t. In fact, to make it even clearer for the populace, what if the gov’t only offered ‘civil unions,’ and saved ‘marriage’ for the religious. I wonder if that would make it more tolerable. *Anyone* could get a civil union, and only those who meet the demands of their religious institutions could get ‘married.’ It makes more sense.

    I don’t care if there are holes in evolutionary theory, we shouldn’t even discuss the problems with it for fear religious people might have some input.

    ***No, I never said we shouldn’t discuss problems with evolution. I said we should not include religious ideas as an alternative to evolution in a science class. There may be gaps in the understanding of certain things in evolution, but that does not mean evolution is not true. (and beyond that – who says God didn’t create evolution? I personally believe they can coexist)

    I want to teach our children all about sex, even if their parents don’t like the idea.

    ***Basically, yes. Parents can teach their children whatever they want. But the government should not force a religiously based curriculum (abstinence only, no mention of birth control/inaccurate BC information) on tax-funded public schools. Teens who have comprehensive, accurate information are more likely to make smarter decisions, including postponing sex. “Just say no” doesn’t work for any kind of prohibition. Ignorant children just make ignorant choices.

    I’m not a theophobe, I’m just afraid of religious people.”

    ***Well, that can be construed many ways! I’m afraid of people who twist religious ideas to suit their own political agenda and force everyone, no matter *what* their religious beliefs, to follow them. I’m afraid of religion being turned into law. We see how well it works in the Middle East. Am I afraid of religious people, who are good and decent people, who leave the judging to their God and treat everyone equally, as their God expects? Not at all.

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to talk. While I know we’ll never come to an agreement, I hope that at some point you can try to understand where ‘the other side’ is coming from, and maybe how we come to the conclusions we do. Even if you never agree, knowing both sides is vital. Have a great week.

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  7. While I appreciate your efforts, it still sounds just as extreme to me. 😛

    I oppose abusive government interference. In Terri’s case, efforts to rehabilitate her spanned many years and the full use of doctors and the court system. In the end, the courts sided with the husband and it was far beyond scope for Congress to step in./

    In other words, it’s ok for the courts to end her life but not the legislature. I don’t particularly care who’s trying to end her life. All of her family said Terry’s Catholic upbringing would mean she’d want to live, and starving her to death was horrible.

    I simply believe that two people who love each other have the same right to be together and raise a family, no matter what their gender.

    The logic behind that, though, might as well be used to legitimize polygamy or bestiality. Ah, but that’s immoral, you would say. And so is gay marriage, I would say, which no doubt you’d disagree with. I base my morals on the bible; if you base your morals on the majority rule, most would agree with me. And if you base it on minority rules, that makes little sense in a democracy.

    We actually are in fair agreement on the evolution. I don’t care for ID because I think it diminishes God. And as long as evolution is presented as theory instead of fact and does not rule out a divine hand, I have no issue with it being taught. Reasons.org has some excellent writeup on the coexistence of God and evolutionary teaching.

    I disagree on the teaching teens about sex; not because I don’t think you have a good point, but because I believe it should be the parent’s perogative. It’s mandatory public education that should not trump parental teaching, and if a parent wants to teach abstinence only, there are good sound theological and psychological reasons for doing so.

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