imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

A Christian Persecution Complex

by Richard Mouw Thursday, Jan. 01, 2004 at 1:23 AM
http://www.beliefnet.com/about/feedback_general.asp

I'm most bothered by Limbaugh’s biased use of history. The fact is that our secularist fellow citizens have good reasons to worry about those of us who defend the "good old days" when our kind of belief system dominated public life.



Beliefnet.com, December 2003

We Christians--particularly those of us who adhere to traditional beliefs and values--are under sustained attack in America these days. The secular establishment has declared war on us, the public schools are attempting to brainwash our children with a thorough-going evolutionistic philosophy, while also using sex education classes to recruit them for the sexual revolution. And if those administrators and teachers don’t fully succeed in their efforts, they will eventually turn our kids over to the Christianity-bashing professors at our colleges and universities to finish the job. In the larger society, every effort is being made to eliminate from our public life all references to God and the Bible, a campaign that is being undergirded by an extensive rewriting of our national history so as to hide from view the biblical principles that our Founding Fathers cherished.

Not that those who have declared war on us are against religion as such. On the contrary, they are quite willing to encourage the growing influence of New Age thinking, occult practices, and the teachings of Eastern religions. Just about anything is acceptable these days--except, of course, traditonal Judeo-Christian beliefs and values.

So goes the case that David Limbaugh sets forth in his Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity (Regnery Publishing, 2003). And given its place on the best-seller lists, it is safe to assume that many people agree with his assessment, or are at least willing to pay sympathetic attention to what he has to say.

Let me say right off that I too have some sympathy for the case that he makes. As an evangelical Protestant, I have some horror stories of my own to tell about anti-Christian bias. And I could add further anecdotal evidence from what I am told by many of my Catholic and Jewish friends. We are indeed living in a time in the United States where hostility toward traditional religious convictions runs rampant.

But for all of that, I still wish that David Limbaugh and his kind would lighten up a bit. It is a little difficult to accept the picture of traditonal Christians as a beleagured minority when the beliefs that are taken to be under attack are shared openly by some of the most prominent leaders in public life. And the irony is that you can sell a lot of books these days by presenting yourself as a lonely voice crying in the wilderness.

What bothers me most about Limbaugh’s case, though, is its own biased reading of the past. The fact is that our secularist fellow citizens have some good reasons to worry about the influence of those of us who defend those "good old days" when our kind of belief system dominated public life. For example, I am as conservative as David Limbaugh on matters of sexual morality, but I also know that traditional Christians have been inexcusably cruel in the past to homosexuals and others who do not conform to the values that I hold dear. And, while I can make a good case for the view that it was Christianity that introduced respect for the rights of women into Western culture, I really can’t blame today’s feminists for being upset with the ways Christians have often kept women from exercising their leadership gifts.

I happen to believe that solid religious values can contribute much to societal health. But I also have to acknowledge that there are good reasons for our secular counterparts to worry about what we people of strong traditional beliefs would do if we were to reshape contemporary America to conform to our desires. Intense religious convictions are not responsible for all the problems in the world, but they certainly have made a contribution to the turmoil in Northern Ireland, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

David Limbaugh’s complaints about hostility toward Christianity need to be heard. It would be helpful, though, if he would also admit that we believers have some important lessons learn about how to behave well in the public arena. Our record is not a stellar one. We have often acted like our only options are either to give up on the larger society or to try to take it over. There is another alternative: to recognize that in our increasingly pluralistic culture we are called to make our way in--to borrow wonderful phrase from the Mennonites--"the time of God’s patience."

God is not calling us to win the cultural wars. What is required is that we remain faithful to our deepest convictions while also showing, as the Apostle puts it, "gentleness and respect" toward those who challenge us to make a case for what we believe (I Peter 3: 15). Obviously, when it comes to matters of public policy we must also ask others to respect our convictions as well--especially our right to raise our children in the fear of the Lord without having the deck stacked against us by educators and the shapers of popular culture.

But we must resign ourselves to the fact that it will never be easy for us to make our way through the dangerous landscapes of contemporary life. Things are bad these days. Indeed, there are many parallels between our own time and the days when the early church was surrounded by an overtly hostile culture.

But that is also good news in a way: it was under conditions of severe persecution that the early Christian flourished and grew strong in the faith---a pattern that has been repeated in more recent times in situations where the church has survived under oppressive conditions.

The truth of the matter is that the New Testament does not give much hope to Christians who expect to be well-treated by the dominant culture. Readers of David Limbaugh’s book would do well to remember that Jesus seemed to take the fact of continuing persecution of his followers for granted. "Blessed are you," he told his disciples, "when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you becaue of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5: 11).

This does not justify our cultivating a persecution complex. But it is a good reminder that the time for Christians really to start worrying is when we find ourselves winning too many popularity contests.

ABOUT BELIEFNET

Beliefnet is a multi-faith e-community designed to help you meet your own religious and spiritual needs -- in an interesting, captivating and engaging way. We are independent and not affiliated with a particular religion or spiritual movement. We are not out to convert you to a particular approach, but rather to help you find your own. Fundamental to our mission is a deep respect for a wide variety of faiths and traditions.
Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
David Limbaugh? OK Thursday, Jan. 01, 2004 at 5:24 AM
Soon 2004, Precision Thursday, Jan. 01, 2004 at 5:49 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy