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“ACLU Says the War on Christianity is a Myth”

That headline is from Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink.

I’m quoting the article in full. Like many promoted through the daily email Dobson sends me, it is very short — short in number of words, short on substance, long on self-reporting and self-serving. But at least they do inform us of their primary source: “from staff reports.”

from staff reports

A top official calls it “self-intoxicating rhetoric.”

The group that is always first in line to rid the public square of any mention of Christianity now says religion has never enjoyed greater freedom and public discussion in America.

Already we are into examples of the hyperbolic right’s brand of “self-intoxicating rhetoric.” It is not reasonable, respectful, nor true to start their article with “The group that is always first in line to …” In fact the ACLU is often the first or only group “in line” to protect churches and religious people from state interference. I had a self-described “very conservative” Republican tell me a few months ago that he’s a “card-carrying member” of the ACLU precisely because it tries to keep Big Brother out of our lives. For that we should be grateful, not viciously slanderous. Unless, I guess, ‘we’ are aspiring to become Big Brother.

Some of us went to the article in hopes of actual information. Well, there is a little.

Jeremy Gunn, director of the paradoxically named Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), spoke last week at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, he said religion has never enjoyed greater freedom and public discussion in America. He said reports of a war on Christianity are false.

“A lot of this is sincerely believed,” he said, “but it is self-intoxicating rhetoric.”

I’ve never heard, or even heard of, this Jeremy Gunn. But he must be a fairly well-informed fellow – after all, he agrees with me. He said it more recently and more publicly than I. “Religion has never enjoyed greater freedom and public discussion in America.” But the rhetoric to the contrary truly is “intoxicating”.

Retired Major General Bob Dees said documented examples that make the headlines on a weekly basis make it clear that it’s anything but rhetoric.

“When we took prayer out of schools. When we took the Ten Commandments off the walls of schools in 1980,” he said. “There have been definite agendas by some of these groups – definite cultural warfare.”

“Headlines on a weekly basis” but the examples are not very contemporary issues. They are two events from decades ago. AND they do NOT represent warfare against Christianity, nor were they intended as such. They do, however, represent hot buttons that rightist politicians like to punch a lot.

If this kind of Christianity (“Christianism”) really had a “God who is there”, a God who responds to prayer of integrity, surely the prayer going on in churches all over this country would have brought much healing and health to this culture. Schools would be much more effective and wholesome places because of the genuine prayer going on in the churches and neighborhoods around them, and in the hearts inside them.

So either their God is not there, or He is not listening to their prayers – or they are not praying out of school nearly as much as they say they’d like everyone else to be praying in school. Saint Paul once wrote, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God.” It seems to me that the current politicized religious activist groups have that quite backwards – their God is not mighty enough to work through spiritual means, so they will use carnal and even corrupt weapons to fight on his behalf – poor weak God.

Instead of effective prayer, and imitation of the One who described himself as “meek and lowly of heart”, we get all this war-talk and war-reality.

Senator McCain goes to Falwell to illustrate his repentance of the bad habit of having asked honest questions in the past. THAT’s your real war against Christianity!

Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America, told Family News in Focus the escalating attacks on Christian values come from Hollywood, the media, academia, courts and activist groups like the ACLU.

“The use of the word ‘war’ is not even a hyperbole; it’s literally what is taking place today,” he said. “The fact of God in our public schools is often taught as theory, and the theory of evolution is taught as fact.”

The courts are owned by the extreme right. The media are owned by the extreme right. “Activist groups like the ACLU” surely include the mammoth “Focus on the Family” and its constant media manipulations and direct arm-twisting of the Federal Government.

Fantasyland has apparently extended its borders far beyond Anaheim, reaching all the way to Colorado Springs. Either it’s a world of fantasy, or it’s a world of deliberate mis-information and deliberate deception. Neither is defensible in self-proclaimed Christian leaders.

The power behind the corruption of our culture flows largely from extremely wealthy right-wing media corporations and their extremely wealthy and powerful right-wing owners. The powerful key spokesmen of the so-called Christian Right serve these forces of cultural corruption very effectively. And they use the ACLU, “godless liberals” and Democrats as distractions to keep people from seeing what they’re really doing.

I guess I’m one of those “godless liberals” by the way. Except I’m not godless, or Christ-less, or Bible-less, or faithless, and really only moderately liberal. But it seems to me better these days to be (falsely) called a godless liberal than to be aligned with a conservatism that puts a number of things above the truth of God and above the truth of what’s going on in the world around us.

I get the Dobson email daily, and often feel that it deserves a response. But it is consistently so shallow and manipulative that I have a hard time staying calm when I try to write about it. Forgive me if I’ve gotten too ranty or speak beyond what is helpful. But you know, there are some situations in this world where anger is not automatically a bad or inappropriate thing.

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