Thursday, August 30, 2007

God's Warriors and Pink Elephants

Nathaniel Peters at First Things comments on CNN's recent three part series titled God's Warriors hosted by Christiane Amanpour. The hype for the series suggested that the three monotheistic religions, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity shared a common desire to impose a theocracy by whatever means necessary, but if that was their intent the producers must have been at a loss as to what to do with footage like this described by Peters:

Toward the end of the final segment of God's Warriors, Christiane Amanpour speaks to Mindy Peterson, a teenage organizer for Teen Mania, the evangelical organization that hosted the BattleCry rally against which the San Francisco protestors railed [see the opening paragraph of Peter's essay]. Peterson is, she says, the product of an affair between her mother and an abortionist who wanted to have her aborted. Arguments over abortion, therefore, are more than political theory for Mindy Peterson.

After the San Francisco protest, Peterson told Amanpour, "These people think that our war is against other people. They think that our war is against man. And our war isn't. Our war's against . . . the pain in teenagers' hearts, like depression, alcoholism. Those things that-that are, like, tearing our teenagers apart."

Mindy Peterson's words suggest that it means something very different to be God's warrior for Christians in the United States. In the Middle East, the war is against flesh and blood; in America, the war is against principalities and powers.

Indeed. Despite the stereotype promoted by the left of militant, violent Christians it's amazingly hard to actually find a specimen of one. Most Christians believe that the best way to change society is through changing people's hearts, not by lopping off their heads.

Someday, perhaps, the secular media will realize that they have been duped by their own propaganda and that the ubiquitous theocratic Christian boogeymen of their imaginations are in fact about as common as pink elephants.


Scandalous Deviancy

The New York Times is calling Republican Senator Larry Craig's foot-tapping and hand waving solicitations in an airport rest room a sex "scandal," and liberal talk host Chris Matthews, perhaps inadvertently letting his true feelings rise to the fore, labeled the Senator a "sexual deviant."

Now I agree with both of these assessments, Craig's behavior is both scandalous and deviant. What I can't figure out, though, is why liberal papers like the Times and liberal commentators like Matthews would use such descriptors. According to the liberal catechism the only sexual acts that are out of bounds or scandalous are those which are nonconsensual and Craig's clearly didn't meet that criterion.

Moreover, liberals like Matthews aren't supposed to be so narrow-minded, intolerant and judgmental as to think that gay sexual behavior is deviant. It's enough to make one think that perhaps the attitudes of at least some liberals concerning homosexual beahvior are really just a hypocritical pose.

Of course, Craig is a Republican so perhaps that makes his behavior "deviant" even though it wouldn't be deviant if it were engaged in by someone like, say, Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank. One has to keep in mind that much depends upon whether there is an R or a D after a politician's name in deciding these matters.

At any rate, I wonder if Matthews will stand by his assessment that common homosexual practice is deviant after he gets the memo instructing him to reread the catechism and to recant his heresy.


Atheism's Top Five

John Wilson at Christianity Today offers up his top five books on atheism. Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and the rest aren't on it.