The rhetoric is rising. Whether it is because the citizenry is becoming more polarized, or the elitists feel they hold the upper hand and the will of the people; or perhaps it is simply because the stakes are so high for everyone. Whatever the reason, it concerns me.
I hesitate to recommend the article, because it serves no purpose. Yet, I feel we should be forewarned that this hateful verbosity is freely spread across the internet, and in the supposed name of Jesus! In exposing this detestable diatribe, it is my hope that all who love this country and our Lord, will not react to such vitriol; that we can pray for cool heads and hearts aligned with God's purpose.
The author purports to write about a segment of America that he claims the MSM is too reticent to expose; namely, in his words, "the far right white mostly southern paranoid extremists, who are preparing for armed revolution and apocalypse." He goes on to describe the South as steeped in an ideology that is made up of equal parts racism, and an evangelical Christian fascination with the “end times,” among other things. He feels qualified to list the South's vices: ‘violence, intolerance, aversion and suspicion toward new ideas’.
He freely quotes the Southern Poverty Law Center (that should be a clue to his political leanings right off the bat), and maligns everyone from Judge Andrew Napolitano, to the NRA, to Ron Paul and his supporters. You get the picture. There are several disturbing aspects to his rant. He claims to know the mind of the "far right, rascist, gun-loving Southerner" and he almost gleefully promotes his opinion that anyone who supports their Second Amendment right to bear arms has fallen victim to "the delusional paranoia of people who really believe the world is out to get them because it’s changing from white to brown, from homophobic to tolerant, from exclusionary to inclusionary, from anti-woman to pro-woman."
This alone tells me that he doesn't have a clue as to who I am. But when he voices his thoughts that assassinations of elected officials could be an inevitable consequence of our "delusion", then he has gone too far. His obvious bias against gun ownership does not give him the right to declare my reasons for owning a gun; nor does his prejudice give him the liberty to speak for me. As a journalist, why didn't he attempt a dialogue with someone of the opposite opinion? But then that would mean that he had to really listen to what they had to say!
Further research into the writer's background revealed the crux of his tormented mind. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer, and has publicly denounced his fundamentalist evangelical upbringing, as well as his conservative roots. Now a member of the Orthodox Christian church, he writes for a website called patheos.com, which is self-described as "a religion website even an atheist could love." Indeed, any religion or variety of spiritual reasoning is welcomed. Articles on this website include such subjects as the virtues of the Emergent Church and the consideration that Jesus might have sinned in the desert. This false and blasphemous supposition compares his temptation in the desert by Satan with the Scripture of Matthew 5:28 that states anyone who lusts in their heart has already committed adultery. The so-called experts on this site then ask, so how (if at all) is lusting in one’s heart different than being tempted?
This is all too much for me! It was enough to read the libelous and slanderous depiction of Schaeffer's "Southerners"... but to have further research lead back to a website that promotes the Emerging Church and distorted commentaries on the Holy Scriptures is almost more than I can bear! As I posited at the beginning of this post, the rhetoric is rising. It is paramount that we do not react to it. That doesn't mean that we discontinue strengthening our faith, our families or our methods of survival. We must continue to live our lives by the example set forth by Christ. Do not fall for the traps set forth by those who would judge us. Keep our focus on God's kingdom and pray for our enemies. Be ready to declare evil when you see it, but turn the other cheek when evil tries to draw you into a confrontation. Rely on Jesus for your strength, as well as your peace. And never give substance or significance to the lies of those who would lead you down the path to destruction. Most importantly .... Speak God's truth.
Proverbs 28:5 "Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully."