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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Just When I Thought It Was Over

I started Friday's review blogpost with the happy announcement that Christian blogs have now moved on from how same-sex marriage is causing the sky of religious liberties to fall to talking about both Planned Parenthood's regard for the unborn and the issue of abortion (click here). And as soon that blogpost was published on this site I saw at least two prominent Christian blogs return back to the issue of how same-sex marriage is at war against my, and that of all my fellow religiously conservative Christians, religious liberties. And I continue to see articles that declare to me that we are in the midst of a culture war with those who wish to oppress us and force us to submit to them. Thus, we should note here that this conflict is being opportunistically portrayed by some Christian bloggers and leaders as a war.

Why the portrayal and terminology? After all, the only religious liberties being challenged are those that would allow us conservative Christians to discriminate against those from the LGBT community as some use to discriminate against Blacks during Jim Crow. We should note here that some of those who defended such discrimination used religion and the Bible to defend their beliefs and actions. So why are those who are advancing marriage equality or culture itself being described as being at war with us conservative Christians?

First, let's clear up any confusion for those reading this blog for the first time. The stance on same-sex marriage taken by this blog is that because the Church is suppose to use the Scriptures as its final authority for how it conducts itself and what it teaches, same-sex marriage should NOT be allowed in the Church. But when we are talking about same-sex marriage in society, we should note that the scope of concerns and rule of law widens significantly because society consists of both Christians and nonChristians. Plus, the idea of a democracy is that society is shared between equals despite the numbers. Finally, we should note how many from the LGBT community have significantly contributed both to our personal lives and to society. Thus, this blog fully supports marriage equality in society because the key issue when it comes to same-sex marriage and society revolves around how we will share society with others, especially those who are different from us. And the position of this blog has always been that because we should share society with others as equals, same-sex marriage must be legal in society and those of use religiously conservative Christians should defend this marriage equality.

So why the war talk about culture and same-sex marriage from my fellow religiously conservative Christians? Perhaps if we were to borrow a reason often used by governments that are pursuing military wars, we might get at least a partial answer. Perhaps one of the most often used reasons for stirring people up to support a war comes from a Herman Goering quote uttered at Nuremburg:
 Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.

Thus, from what we can gather from Goering is that leaders talk about war in ways that give reasons for their followers to become more loyal and obedient. For, as how wars are marketed by the leaders, it is only through that increased loyalty and obedience can these leaders gain the necessary power to provide the protection the people need.

Could it be that some Christian leaders are following the same formula that Goering spelled out at Nuremburg? The answer is definitely 'YES!' But does that mean every Christian leader who describes us religiously conservative Christians as being locked in a culture war doing so opportunistically? The answer is definitely 'NO!' Here, for those who are interested, we need to learn to distinguish those who are opportunistically looking to increase their power over others from those who perceive a culture war for other reasons? For some leaders, they're being too old school prevents them from interpreting the significant changes in culture in any other way than as a war. They are in cultural shock. There are other reasons why other Christian leaders are describing us as being in a culture war as well.

So, while we are looking out for those Christian leaders who would opportunistically use the cultural crisis Christians are now experiencing in order to solidify their hold on others, we cannot presume that that is the case for any Christian leader who describes our conflict with same-sex marriage and those in the LGBT community as being a war. Rather, we need to take the time and effort to carefully read and listen to these conservative Christian leaders before making a determination instead of rushing to judgment.



 

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