Liberty Council Wants People to Pray for Liberals

Jul 03 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

They’re a group of anti-Constitutionalist crazies, but they’re seemingly sincere about their craziness.  I’m talking about the Liberty Council “Adopt a Liberal™” program. Liberty Council is infamous for claiming that the granting of equality destroys equality. They claim that they have a right to persecute the non-Christian “other” and that any law that protects those people from that persecution is in fact a persecution of Christianity. It’s a twisted, unsupportable logic, but they’re all in. They really think it makes sense.

They know they cannot convince sane people to agree with such an egregious abuse of logic and common sense so they want to wage a spiritual warfare against them, to convince their god to intercede and force liberals into the dark abyss they inhabit. Because that’s all their god is there for: to answer twisted prayers. It’s worse than the “dark magic” they claim witches practice.

This is how it works: they want you to pick a liberal from the list and then:

Pray earnestly and intensely for them! Pray that the Lord would move upon them and cause them to be the kind of leaders who will encourage others to lead “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

What they really want is for these liberal leaders to succumb to the dark side (Sith Lord Obama, anyone?) Here is the list:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Congressman Barney Frank
Director John Holdren
Mr. Barry Lynn
Secretary Janet Napolitano
President Barack Obama
Senator Harry Reid
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Senator Olympia Snowe
Alan Colmes
Keith Olbermann
Rachel Maddow
The “Unknown Liberal”

The unknown liberal is one you can adopt who is not already on this list. Very handy!

This prayer program, they say, is built upon Paul of Tarsus’ words:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.
— 1 Timothy 2:1-3

Never mind that Paul of Tarsus did not write 1 Timothy.

You see, of the 13 Pauline Epistles that made it into the New Testament, only seven are indisputably Paul’s: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians and Philemon. Of the remaining six, Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are all questionable at best.[1] Scholars disagree to what extent Paul’s voice can be found in these six letters. Michael Grant’s verdict is that “It cannot be denied that Ephesians, the great ecumenical Letter, and Colossians, which presents Christ as the answer to men’s questions about the cosmos, do not read quite like the rest of Paul: they show signs of having been somewhat rewritten and worked up at a later period, though they probably go back to him for their principal themes and are still to a considerable degree Pauline in character.”[2] Chilton actually makes Timothy the author of Colossians.[3] The two letters to Timothy and Titus, the so-called Pastoral Epistles are probably pseudonymous and “appear to have been written by later Christians who were taking Paul’s name in order to propagate their own views.” As Ehrman observes, these letters are more useful in understanding how Paul was remembered by later Christians than for shedding light on Paul.[4]

Of course, it’s expecting too much for actual facts to influence the anti-Constitutionalists. I mean, look who their experts on the subject are: Michele Bachmann and David Barton, neither of whom have ever even read the Constitution, and Sarah Palin, who thinks Paul Revere was a Tory.

But back to Insanity 101:

Liberty Counsel has therefore named this special new prayer-in-action program Adopt a Liberal. And that’s exactly what we invite you to do — adopt a liberal who is in authority for regular, intense prayer in accord with St. Paul’s admonition to his disciple, Timothy. In fact, we expect that many of our friends and supporters will choose to adopt many liberals as subjects of regular prayer!

What they really mean, of course, is that you should act in accord with the person who forged 1 Timothy in Paul’s name because we should all trust the word of a dishonest forger pretending to be somebody long dead who claimed to talk to god and get told a bunch of things that Jesus didn’t say himself when alive and had a chance to say them to his living disciples. Yes, that’s a sound plan.

In 1 Timothy we see Pseudo-Paul say, “I suffer not a woman to teach” (1 Tim. 2:12).  This injunction has had far reaching and long-lasting effects in the Christian world, as the world saw recently in the case of a Watertown, New York woman who was dismissed as a Sunday School teacher. The letter the church sent to her containing her dismissal cited this verse from 1 Timothy.[5]

This may seem stifling enough, but the full passage must be quoted to do it justice (1 Timothy 2.9-15):

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who process to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the only deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

As it happens, 1 Timothy is also the epistle that says that “All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered” and further reminds slaves that those whose masters are like them, Christian are no less deserving of respect because they are brothers. In other words, don’t take advantage or expect special privilege. You’re still a slave. Act like it (1 Tim. 6.1-2). I think this is really the point Liberty Council is trying to make: you’re the other, you’re a slave, act like it. Pray to God to intercede and make this list of liberals into our slaves.

I wonder if the unknown Christian who forged Timothy in the century after Paul died realized what untold damage his work would cause down through the long march of time.


[1] See the discussion of Bart Ehrman in The New Testament, 285-287..

[2] Grant, Saint Paul, 4. Samuel Sandmel (A Jewish Understanding of the New Testament, 39) makes the observation that Colossians and Ephesians “seem related to each other” and that most scholars who accept one accept the other (for example, W.H.C. Frend, Primitive Christianity [1984] and Ben Witherington, The Paul Quest, [1998]). Sandmel further argues that there is more doubt about Ephesians than Colossians. Bishop John S. Spong assigns 2 Thessalonians to Paul, as well as Colossians and calls the view that holds Colossians to be pseudonymous the “minority” view. See Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism (1992). But there are problems with such an interpretation of Colossians, for instance, differing Christologies (compare Rom 6.4 with Col 2.12) and writing styles (short vs. long sentences). For these, see Ehrman, The New Testament, 378-381.

[3] Chilton, Rabbi Paul, 248-249.

[4] Ehrman, The New Testament, 287, Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene, 93-94. Michael Grant agrees: “Such writing has evidently been the fate to an even larger extent, of the ‘Pastoral Epistles’, purporting to be written by Paul…in their present form these letters seem to be of early second century date.” Grant, Saint Paul, 4. But Ben Witherington feels that the Pastoral Epistles may have been written by Luke “for” Paul towards the end of his life and that in any event, they do not “present us with a Paul that is at odds with the image of Paul that is at odds with the image of Paul found in the earlier Paulines.” See Witherington, The Paul Quest, 10.

 

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