A Civil War Among Christians Over Beck Rally; Glenn Beck Christians Make No Sense.
“This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.”
U.S. Representative Christopher Shays, R-CT, (New York Times 3/23/05)
A civil war among evangelical Christians has broken out over some evangelicals’ participation with Glenn Beck’s conservative rally in Washington this weekend. This is the rally intended to “take back the Civil Rights Movement.” I guess white men like Beck can’t let the black people even have the Civil Rights Movement. Yes, they must own this, too.
The evangelicals are on the defense about setting aside their spiritual conviction to join Beck on what they see as a shared political agenda.
“Many conservative evangelical activists argue that evangelicals and Mormons should set aside theological differences to partner on moral and political issues.”
I’m sorry, but let’s go back to step one. Why is any spiritual belief being used for political gain? This is the question that should be haunting them. Instead they are focused on whether or not they can mingle with the Mormons.
David Barton, an influential evangelical activist, writes on his Facebook Page (this seems to be the method of communiqué among a certain segment who wish to remain unimpeachable via not giving access to questions):
“”Christians concerned about Glenn’s faith should judge the tree by its fruits, not its labels,” Barton, a former Republican National Committee consultant, continued. “After all, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton openly call themselves Christians… Although these individuals have the right labels, they have the wrong fruits.””
Whoa. So, it’s Christian to judge another Christian now? I thought only God had the power to judge another.
“Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone.”
And to this end, it seems it is Ok to judge another as Christian if they agree with you politically (are a Republican or work for the Republican Cable News Station), because Jim Garlow writes:
“There is no need to ‘de-Christianize’ each other over the matter.”
Yes, don’t “de-Christianize” each other. Save that for the Democrats. Like Jesus taught us. Do these folks ever question the morality and end result of what they preach?
The real question they should be asking themselves is, “Should Christians corrupt themselves with the seedy side of politics?” And yet, their response to this question is to quote Paul to the Romans: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1 NIV).
Yes, no governing authority except for God. That would mean that human beings are not God and do not have governing authority over the morality of another. It would also infer that we do not have the authority to judge one another. Although they suggest that this verse urges them to participate in government, they also claim that participation is not seeking power.
And it wouldn’t be, if they weren’t using the money from the church to fund things like Prop 8. Or the Republican Party. The people driving this machine seek to dominate the political process, telling their followers that they have this duty as part of a mandate from God. Pardon me if I shiver recalling the bloody efforts of the Christian Church throughout time to “conquer” all. It’s clear in reading history that this movement has always been used for political purposes by its leaders, though the true believer on the ground seemed to pay the most.
Dominion over our political process flies in the face of our Constitution, because what would naturally ensue? Why, the very kind of behavior we are seeing from them right now: Denouncements of others as not being “real” Christians, refusal to associate with some people because they don’t believe everything you do, and seeking to get them out of power because of this. This thought assumes that one party has divine authority from God to judge the other party. It also assumes they have the right to use government to achieve their spiritual mandate. This is the kind of thinking that led to some of the largest atrocities in western civilization.
It’s what our founders sought to protect us from.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party is chock a block full of evangelical Christians who do not walk their talk. Men (for the most part) who cheat on their wives, swap wives, use tax payer money to violate the public trust, and then when caught claim they are above reproach because they have special dispensation from Jesus. And the Christians are NOT to judge these folks because they have an “R” after their name.
The Bible (American King James Version) preaches: “How can you say to your brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in your eye, when you yourself behold not the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of your own eye, and then shall you see clearly to pull out the mote that is in your brother’s eye.” I suppose this is being disregarded in order to excuse a political agenda.
This isn’t real spirituality. This is a political movement taking advantage of the tax-except status of churches in this country to further political power and gain. As a movement, these modern day evangelicals stand for nothing even vaguely related to spirituality because their self-proclaimed rules shift depending on the letter after your name in politics.
There is truly no greater shame than exploiting faith for political gain, as doing so corrupts the essence of spirituality. Our beliefs, or non-beliefs, are personal. They have no place in politics. True debate over ethical and moral concerns does have a place in politics, but the brand of religion used to justify a belief has no place in politics.
Separation of church and state was designed to protect us from just this sort of witch-hunt. A Christian, a true person of faith, would be too busy trying to walk their own talk to openly proclaim another person to be a not good enough Christian. And a person of strong faith would attract others to them through their actions; not by announcing they have moral authority over others.
Lastly, Glenn Beck has spent the last two years railing against the very things Jesus stood for. He mocks social justice. He distorts the Constitution and the founding fathers for his own agenda. He uses rumor and innuendo to undermine people he doesn’t agree with. He is a force actively working against compassion and peace. It doesn’t matter whether he’s a Mormon, an evangelical, or a Muslim. He is not a spiritual leader. He is a cult leader.
Another cult leader, Sarah Palin, who also works actively to destroy our national soul via division and hate, joins him tomorrow for this rally. And that is what should be bothering self-proclaimed Christians. Not Beck’s religion.
Follow the money. This isn’t a Christian movement; this is an infiltration movement, much like Palin’s Alaskan Independence Party movement. They are infiltrating our churches and using Jesus for their own purposes. It’s positively medieval.
Using their own logic, judge their fruits. Everywhere Sarah Palin goes, division, chaos and ugliness ensue. Glenn Beck is creating an army of supremely, woefully misinformed paranoiacs. These are not the fruits of good work.
They have the right to call themselves whatever they wish, and practice whatever religion they want, whether it’s witch doctors or Mormonism or none. But we also have the right to take a united stand against hate and division.
While these Beck Palin Christians claim they are persecuted in this country, Christianity evolved from being unorganized to what it is now: a hierarchical, dominating Church. Their notions of themselves as persecuted are beyond bizarre and inaccurate. If anyone in this country is persecuted, it is sadly the targets of the modern day Republican Christian Church. This is a movement of hate, funded by some very powerful people with ties to the John Birch society, McCarthyism, white supremacists, and other extremists. While they fight over whether or not they can associate with Mormons while concurrently denouncing Muslims, I’m remembering Jesus’ example of tolerance.
And even though I gave up organized Christianity after 9/11 because I couldn’t find a church where the pastors weren’t railing hate against Muslims, I am now on my knees, praying to any God willing to listen, for my country. Instead of arguing over whether or not they should participate with Mormons, Beck Palin Christians should be asking themselves if they should be participating in the politics of division and hate. The real civil war should not be among Christians over who is the most Christian, but rather should be an ethical and moral question they pose to themselves about the purity and purpose of their own beliefs.
Image courtesy of Image Courtesy of Scari.org.