Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is this election a referendum in the culture war?

Where have all the conservative Christian values gone? Why is it that a man who is the most liberal senator on the hill, who has admitted being strongly influenced by liberation theology and is one of the most extreme supporters of abortion has a very good chance of being the next president of the United States?

How does this election fit into the overall culture war?
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Personal interlude: "I am frankly astounded that Senator Obama even has a chance. The mere fact that he was not rejected out of hand in the Democrat primaries was already surprising, and that he is now in with a better than average chance of becoming president. I don't think that he is a bad person, but he clearly doesn't hold to traditional and conservative Christian values when it comes to his policy positions. Nor do I think that anyone who votes for him is a bad person. For me, this is more about the overall culture war, and how this election may be a turning point in that war."

Judeo-Christian values has been taking a pounding in the last 50 or so years. From Hollywood to the secularization of educational institutions, the move of most mainstream media to the left and then the recent spate of books and movies attacking Christianity as illogical and irrational may have finally taken its toll. (the economic problems and disjointed campaign from McCain hasn't helped. But the fact is that Obama is one of the two major party candidates.)

Faith has seemingly played less of a role in this election cycle than ever before. When it became known that Governor Palin was a conservative Christian, the above groups were quick to pounce on her faith with breathless incredulity and indignation, and she has not made it a clear differentiator either. "Creationist" was flung around like it meant the same as murderer, and her teenage daughter's pregnancy was trumpeted as an example of hypocrisy.

The default position has become that of the secular left, and those with conservative Christian values are now being labelled the radicals. And what is worse is that the majority of Americans, for the first time, seem to agree. The pounding down of Christian values and faith has finally taken its toll. It has become a non-issue on the campaign trial for both candidates, and the person holding the strongest secular positions looks like he is winning comfortably.

And we cannot blame anyone but ourselves. Christians have politely stood back and opened the door for this to happen, seemingly forgetting that we are in an eternal war against evil. In many churches has the secular creeped in, preferring to preach earthly wealth and prosperity instead of the eternal battle. Preferring to make God our buddy, and banishing talk of evil, hell and Satan to the same scrapheap as theology and doctrine. Preferring to conform to the world, and not stand apart from it.

Has that influence from the secular left so far infiltrated even the American faith that it has forever and inevitably turned? Has the last bastion of conservative Christianity in the world fallen, following in the footsteps of Western Europe? I would like to think not, but the evidence seems to point the other way.

The culture war is at a precarious tipping point, and regardless of the outcome of the election, Christians will have to take a good hard look at where it is they stand in American society. Banished from mainstream culture in science, entertainment, education, the judicial system and government, it is indeed a dark future unless Christians stand up and start fighting back in those arenas.

It is time to become humble before God again, and get back to Him, instead of trying to fight the secularists on their terms and conditions. It is time for Christians to wake up from their slumber, and to stop wasting time with insipid prosperity and pop-psychology preaching. There are more important issues at hand, such as the very survival of our Christian society.
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7 comments:

  1. Sword,

    I hope you'll take these words as words of comfort.

    This election isn't about the culture war or about Christianity. It's about reaction to manipulation, intimidation, and deception by the Republican Party. It's a reaction to the corruption and destruction that have resulted from the philosophy that the love of money is the root of all good.

    If the Democrats win and take the attitude that this is a "mandate" for them to run roughshod over conservatives, they will have made the same mistakes the Republicans have made for the past sixteen years. They won't last long if they make that mistake.

    You said: "The default position has become that of the secular left, and those with conservative Christian values are now being labelled the radicals."

    I don't see this at all. The only part of the Republican philosophy that I see being raked over the coals is the idea that we can trust the markets to regulate themselves.

    BTW, you're in much less danger of persecution than I am as a non-Christian. Very few politicians can get elected if they aren't religious. Furthermore, it is in no one's interest to marginalize conservative Christians. What *is* in everyone's interest is for Evangelicals to come to the table and recognize that civilizations are built on shared power, not absolute control by one group of people, no matter the source of their inspiration.

    I can only speak for myself, but if the Dems win (and it's certainly not a given), and they act as arrogant as the Republicans have acted, I'm going to be raising hell. No matter who's in charge, if we don't start treating each other with more respect than we have recently, we're all going down together.

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  2. skeptimal,

    Thanks for weighing in.

    First, (a minor clarification), this was August's post, not mine.

    Second, on one level, I hope you're right that this is not so much about the culture war or Christianity, but rather response to political parties, etc.; however August makes a good point when he draws attention to the lack of "values" discussion in this political conversation.

    Perhaps, it's more simply the desire for change (even though it should concern us there's either no regard, or concern or approval of some of the changes being advocated) issues of race (on a good level- that is, the nation stating race should "not" keep one from office) and issues of the economy driving this election. If so, this would be good news in regard to the culture war.

    The difficulty is that it's hard to discern why people choose the candidate they do. Are they doing so because of "principles" (though they may be a "different set of principles" ... or are they doing so just for the sake of change though because they are "not principle motivated" they do so with no regard or little concern or even approval for the change being advocated. This issue is a huge one, and though it may take some time to figure out, the culture war is and will be affected by it. The extent to which individuals still list themselves as "undecided" in this election is concerning (especially given the differences in positions among these candidates).

    You stated: "BTW, you're in much less danger of persecution than I am as a non-Christian. Very few politicians can get elected if they aren't religious." I differ with you on this. If Christianity is the prevailing worldview, you may not get elected, but you won't be silenced or sent to jail. While you may not have interest in marginalizing Christians, others do (and your own thinking might even change if Christian influence begins to be diminished, a shift in attitude toward it is effected, and views of other worldviews are espoused and adopted.)

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  3. "The only part of the Republican philosophy that I see being raked over the coals is the idea that we can trust the markets to regulate themselves."

    As opposed to having Government regulate the markets?

    Do you really think that the current financial crisis is the result of free market economics. It is the direct result of Democratic corruption, no more and no less. Unfortunately, our "compassionate conservative", bipartisan Candidate is afraid to say that for some reason.

    Money in the hands of the market = good.

    Money in the hands of government = gone.

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  4. First let me say that I'm sorry, August...I failed to notice it was your subject and not Sword's.

    Puritan Lad said: "As opposed to having Government regulate the markets?"

    PL,

    I understand that you have a very rigid view of...well...everything. I'm not a fan of the Democratic Party, but probably not for the same reasons as you. What is your reason for blaming the Dems?

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  5. "I differ with you on this. If Christianity is the prevailing worldview, you may not get elected, but you won't be silenced or sent to jail."

    It never starts with jail or overt silencing. It starts when those in power imply that you're not fully American unless you're a Bible-believing Christian.

    I understand and agree with your assertion that the election will affect the culture war, but August's question was whether the election was a referendum on the culture war, and it just isn't.

    People are focused on Wall Street corruption and arrogance, not the culture war. The only way American Christianity is going to be adversely affected by this is if Evangelicals continue to behave as if wealth is any indication of whether someone is righteous. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with rich people; I hope to be one some day. We have behaved as a country, however, as if greed were a virtue. Leading the charge have been the health and wealth gospel crooks.

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  6. Let me get back on the subject then.

    All I can tell you is that from the other side of the fence, no one that I know and respect is looking at this as a referendum on the "culture war."

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  7. Here is a prophesy from kim clement, i assume a well known christian who regularly receives prophetic words and visions. He said this on 6/17/2007, almost a full year and a half before the election;
    "God says, "A President that I will bring into the White House--they will say he is ungodly--he does not know God. Even as Jesus disguised Himself for the great feasts, so I've disguised this man's heart. When he comes to the White House, not only shall he be Mine, but he shall pray as a man that has never prayed in the White House. That same man shall put his feet onto this platform. They will say, how did this take place? Laws shall change. Young men and young women will have access into the Kingdom and with authority into politics and with authority into the industries that now have been controlled by darkness because of this man that shall rule for two terms. Do not fear; there will be no unnecessary stuff. There will be things that men shall question. Fear not, for he shall sit in that seat, and suddenly My Spirit shall come upon him and baptize him with a fire and with anointing,&q uot; says the Spirit of the Lord. "No more war. The time for war has gone. The time for Peace has come. The House that you call White shall receive a man, a knight, who fought for you in your nights."

    So the lesson here is that although Pres-elect Obama looks like the most un-Christian like candidate on the outside, God has everything under control. Be reminded that it says in the Bible that no one who is in power in the world today or at any point in history got there without God allowing them.

    may the peace of God be with you all.

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