The Christian Left Has Become Unhinged
Michelle Obama says she can “feel the difference” since the election. She claims that with her husband leaving the White House the nation is entering a “period of hopelessness.” With the election of Donald Trump, the Left in general is reacting in unhinged ways, with one news outlet claiming, “The Left has lost its collective mind.”
Ironically, the Left is attacking Trump for the actions that they indulged in to the extreme over the past 8 years. They are doing a lot of “projection” –– a term psychologists use to describe the practice of attributing to others your own flaws.
For the past 8 years, Americans have seen unprecedented attacks on religious liberty and other basic freedoms through politically correctness and growing intolerance of anything conservative. The Left, according to the Daily Mail, has called people racist and stoked racial unrest, including riots in major cities. Now, the Left is ramping up those arguments saying Trump and Conservatives will engage in exactly those actions – racism and intolerance for anyone who doesn’t agree politically or religiously. They’ve added homophobia and created an atmosphere of fear for the vulnerable.
The left, who used every possible means at their disposal to curtail religious liberty (believers must bake cakes or take pictures at LGBT “weddings,” etc.), project onto Conservatives the tactics that they employed when they were in power. They appear to have no comprehension of the fear many Americans felt under President Obama’s threats to “fundamentally transform America.” They were very happy to lump Evangelical Christians into a “basket of deplorables.” In their eyes, it was perfectly legitimate to portray mainstream Evangelicals as “alt-right” to be feared and hated because of their “extremism” and punished for living out their faith in everyday life.
The Christian Left is particularly good at hiding their real agenda with pious sounding, but very misleading words and phrases. The Left does not lack for chutzpah and they are champion distorters. The distortion-du-jour is to make opposition to Trump a “holy” endeavor, required of all “real” Christians.
For instance, Sojourners magazine. The most recent issue is devoted to essays detailing the Evangelical Left’s fears regarding a Trump Administration. The editor, Jim Wallis, wrote, “In the wake of this election, the role of faith communities is imperative.” This was followed by the call for Christians to “stand in solidarity with the vulnerable.” Now every Christian I know is concerned about the vulnerable. In fact, America is founded on principles that protect the weak and vulnerable. For Christians, the Bible is clear that a primary responsibility of believers is to protect and care for the “widows and orphans” (James 1:27). Wallis and his followers, however, mean something entirely different. They are referring to so-called “social justice” issues, meaning endorsing leftist policies in order to equalize outcomes rather than provide equal opportunity. He is not calling for Christians to care for the vulnerable; he is calling for government programs to do the work of husbands, fathers and the church faithful.
Joe Roos’ article, “A Pledge of Resistance” encapsulates the tone and thesis of the whole issue. We are supposed, I guess, to excuse him for being judgmental, because he really thinks the Evangelical Left are the “real” followers of Jesus (they seek the path of inclusion, justice, peacemaking, and love) while the Right embodies everything evil (Trump’s campaign and those who voted for him advocate exclusion, inequality, the use of violence, and hatred of the other). Roos accused Trump and all Conservatives of promoting: “the supremacy of white people over people of color, the literal and figurative creation of walls of division and hostility between people and nations, a misogynistic attitude and practice toward women, disdain for the poor, disabled, and marginalized, disregard for and ignorance about the environment, and encouragement of the use of violence toward those who disagree.”
Brittany Packnett, writing in Sojourners, “Resistance is Holy Work,” declares that opposition to President-Elect Trump is based on “truth.” She writes,
“We must tell the truth that the entire world is not white, straight, Christian, cis-gendered, American-born, male, or able-bodied, and that those of us who aren’t matter just as much as those of us who are. We must tell the truth that rhetoric and policies that encourage violence against those same people is not of God and not of the freedom we espouse. We must tell the truth that if all of us were truly created equal, then the cancer of xenophobia makes all of us sick -- and that none of us are truly free until we are all free.”
“We did not lose an election as much as we validated and normalized a way of life that is beneath our humanity -- and, therefore, which requires our resistance. The Christ I serve did not sit idly by in times like these -- for in eras like this one, inaction is a sin. Inaction perpetuates this latest wave of hate just as much as if you painted a swastika yourself. Hate should never be welcome in our homes, at our tables, in our worship, or in our country.”
She and others in the Sojourners movement believe that they are fulfilling a “holy” calling to not only oppose Trump, but to withhold “tithes and membership from those places that will not be safe havens and sanctuaries for those persecuted under potential new rules of law…” [Italics added]
Suddenly, labeling people who don’t embrace your beliefs and stigmatizing them in derogatory terms is not hatred and bigotry; it’s “holy work.” Brittany put it very plainly, “Christians must . . . conscientiously object to hatred, division, racism, and sexism as unashamedly as we claim Christ. The call to be in the world and not of it was for such a time as this -- we must be the light that shines on injustice and calls out our humanity to replace the evil we see.” Almost nobody would object to such a call to holiness, except that she is referring to fellow believers and by implication calling conservative Christians haters, racists, and sexists who commit acts of injustice and evil, and thus must be feared, stigmatized and destroyed.
Where Brittany was relatively benign, Nadia Bolz-Weber in “The Strong Heart of God’s People” was more alarmist. According to her, the election of Trump brought on (in capital letters, no less) APOCALYPTIC times. According to Bolz-Weber, in these “challenging times” she chooses loftily to be “swept up into the radical reconciliation and mercy of a crucified and risen God” rather than in “the results of an election.”
Using the language of devout preachers, but, sadly, placing their faith in so-called “social justice,” the other columnists equate social justice efforts with doing “the work of the Gospel here in earth.
For the left, data trends, statistical facts and objective reality don’t matter; their perception of reality is all that counts. The high profile police brutality cases that were proven to be based on lies and distortions don’t keep leftists like José Humphreys, “Connecting the Disinherited” from talking about “punitive policing,” even though the Obama/Holder justice department could not find grounds to charge the Ferguson policeman, and the Baltimore police were exonerated in the Freddie Gray case. The objective reality of poverty programs and social trends such as fatherless families contributing to poverty doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter that 8 years of the leftist policies of President Obama contributed to the “diminishment of the middle class.” No proven truth makes a whit of difference to their way of thinking.
People like Kathy Khang, “Resistance Takes Action,” still cannot say Trump’s name and advocate letting everyone, especially Muslims, people of color, etc., have “plenty of space to grieve, heal, and recharge.” She also urges those of the left to “make sure people know you’re not in the 81 percent of white evangelicals who voted for he-whose-name-I-still-cannot-utter-without-swearing.” She actually said that! Funny how, for the left, the Golden Rule doesn’t apply to anyone from the right. Besides, we “need to give” her, her husband, daughter and sons “space to grieve.” She also encourages attendance at local government meetings, “wearing a shirt that proclaims, ‘Black Lives Matter’ or ‘Nasty Woman’ or ‘Lord, Give Me the Confidence of a Mediocre White Man.” According to Kathy, no one should be quiet about his or her rebellion against Trump.
“When we hear something that stinks of racism, privilege, white supremacy, white nationalism, or misogyny, we need to stop it and correct it, whether it’s something we hear on the playground or in church. We need to have the courage and the conviction to step in when we see or hear something and stop being silent observers. We need to ask and then demand that our pastors preach about the sin of racism. We need to recognize this is not politics as usual.”
The left wants preachers to preach about social issues? Remember their horror at the idea of ministers preaching about life, sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman and against sexual sins?
These Evangelical Leftists can sound pious by using the right words and citing the Bible, but, listen closely, the Sojourner columnists equate their social justice efforts with doing “the work of the Gospel here in earth.” Sadly, they create an “us” against “them” kind of faith where their piety is better than anyone else’s; where their self-righteousness entitles them not only to differ, but to stereotype any conservative as racist, homophobic, sexist haters who should be silenced and kept out of the public square.