Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I blame the Christian Right: a sort of serious look at the failure of the Christian Right's culture war.

I blame the Christian Right for the downfall of American Culture.

The Christian Right, especially of late, has attempted to push their agenda not through political action. They have tried to force the government to create just laws and to put in politicians who share their viewpoints on issues – especially homosexuality and abortion. They have attempted to create a unified platform with a unified group of Christian voices ramming this platform into effect. Thus controlling the country through majority rule.

I support good laws and I wish that the government would always have good laws, but to say that making good laws is the point of our religion would be a mistake. The problem with laws is that someone can decide to change the law. If abortion is ever outlawed, they could at one point decide to change that decision, and we’ve wasted all our time in a fruitless enterprise. The issue is in the hearts of the people around us, not the laws that govern them.

Around 1920 Christians rose up and outlawed alchohol. They saw drinking was evil and spent years trying to get it outlawed. Did making booze illegal change the nation? Well actually it created an underground. Organized crime began to distribute bootlegged alcohol, making millions of dollars in the process. Twelve years into the Prohibition experiment, the law was rescinded and today the nation is no different. Making booze illegal only created an atmosphere that empowered evil. This is a prime example of legislating morality failing! But the Christian Right did not learn from this misstep.

Notice what Jesus tells his followers to do. He sends his followers out to make disciples. He does not call his followers to infiltrate government and create good laws. He says go preach the gospel; teach the nations what I have taught you. When the nations are people of God, good laws will be made. It is a natural thing to happen. When we end up trying to force people to live like a Christian, in many ways we’re not following the directions that Jesus set out for us.

NEVER in the Bible does God force anyone to follow him. Instead he calls people, he asks people. The way of Jesus and the way of the Kingdom of Heaven is not about coersion, but love. This is why Jesus goes to the poor. He loves the unloved. His love is what changes hearts, not his brute force. Why does he do this? Because when you use force, it fosters one of two responses – fight or flight. This is what’s happening today in our culture. The Christian Right has tried to force the world to act like it believes they should – and the world is fighting back.

This is why I blame the Christian Right…