A Bad Case of Christophobia

Among those phenomena most dreaded in liberal-progressive orthodoxy is "Islamophobia."  Because the left continues to shape the boundaries of public discourse, any question regarding Islamic doctrine or the conduct of Muslims that might suggest that Islam is not a religion of peace is routinely labeled as Islamophobic.  Despite voluminous evidence supporting a rational interpretation of Islam as a warrior ideology with a religious veneer, concerned non-Muslims are slandered as irrational xenophobes by the media, Hollywood, and academia.  As these cultural grandees ignore the medieval brutality of ISIS; the screams of "Allahu akbar" by jihadists at places like Fort Hood, San Bernardino, and Orlando; and the anti-Western provocations of imams and mullahs around the globe, they show themselves to be engaged in a toxic romance with anything Islamic.  


While leftists have a slobbering love affair with Islam – "Islamophilia," we might call it – they concurrently suffer from a raving hysteria of what could be termed "Christophobia."  The left smears those concerned about the dangers of Islam as "Islamophobes" – a moniker that essentially accuses the latter of mental instability.  The right can quite adequately counter-argue that the term "Christophobia" should be assigned to the radical elements of the left-wing polity as a diagnosis of the way they regularly lose their minds over anything in the public square resembling America's Christian heritage.  Overwhelmed with panic that puritanical lynch mobs are ready to pour out of America's churches to jail unbelievers and execute heretics, leftists are filled with hyperactive terror at any sign of Christianity in our culture and law.  Blinded by hatred of the morality for which Christianity stands, the left goes thermonuclear over pro-life arguments, opposition to the redefinition of marriage, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.  When a conservative or Republican announces his friendly sentiments toward Christianity and then proposes that it is a bad idea for government to mandate transgender bathrooms in all of America's public buildings or that limitless federal spending on social welfare programs is neither effective nor the proper role of government, Christophobia is triggered in the die-hard leftist.  Somehow, the promotion of federalism, national security, and the science of human biology is considered by leftists to be persecution in the vein of the colonial authorities' pursuit of the women accused of demonic activity during the 1692 Salem witch trials.

What else but Christophobia could accurately describe the wild-eyed outburst that occurred at GOP senator Bill Cassidy's town hall meeting?  Consider Todd Starnes's report:

A group of enraged protesters exploded in anger after a chaplain prayed in the name of Jesus at a town hall meeting in Louisiana hosted by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.  The verbally-abusive crowd also heckled a Vietnam War veteran who attempted to lead the group in the pledge of allegiance[.] ...

The Feb. 22 town hall meeting in Metairie, was quickly overrun by the angry mob – much like other town hall meetings hosted by Republican lawmakers across the country[.] ... Chaplain Sprague had barely invoked the name of the Almighty when the heckling began.  "Pray on your own time. This is our time," someone shouted[.] ... Others chanted, "Separation of church and state" and so on and so forth[.] ...

[W]ords do not do justice to the amount of hate directed at the chaplain. "I've never been shouted down throughout a time of prayer like that," Chaplain Sprague told me. "I've never been in a situation like that. It's sad there wasn't honor and respect for God." But they became absolutely unhinged when he concluded his prayer in the name of Jesus.  "Wow, they booed the name of Jesus," Cassidy said in remarks reported by the Times Picayune.

The 2016 election produced a victorious trifecta for the GOP: the presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.  This Republican sweep has catalyzed the current wave of Christophobia, but Christophobic behavior is nothing new.  Let us remember that the 2012 Democratic National Convention featured a Christophobe chorus, booing the event chairman, Antonio Villaraigosa, over a floor vote to mention God and support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – ideas that evangelical Christians espouse – in the Democratic Party platform.  Roll back time to the 2008 campaign: then-candidate Barack Obama dismissively suggested that rural Americans turn to religion as a means of coping with decades of job loss.  In referring to Rust Belt Americans who "get bitter" and "cling to guns or religion" during difficult economic circumstances, Mr. Obama was conveying a supercilious attitude toward Bible-believing Christians.  Coupling that admonition with his later proclamation at the United Nations that the future should not belong to "those who slander the prophet of Islam," the 44th president clearly exhibited symptoms of comorbid diagnoses of Islamophilia and Christophobia.

How scandalized Christophobes must be in the knowledge that two of liberalism's greatest icons – FDR (who asked the nation to join him in prayer on behalf of the troops whom he would be sending into battle to liberate France on D-Day) and JFK (whose undelivered remarks on the fateful day in November 1963 when he was killed concluded with a quote from Psalm 127) – invoked God on the nation's behalf!   

In evangelical circles, it is common to hear an argument in favor of belief in God based on the idea that each human being has a God-shaped hole in his heart.  The great apologist C.S. Lewis said it this way:

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.

Essentially, we bitter clingers choose a Judeo-Christian lens for viewing everything in the material world, including human government, because we believe that ultimate authority is transcendental.  Thus, our policy solutions mirror New Testament theology in the thirteenth chapter of the book of Romans, wherein the Apostle Paul indicates that the nature of civil government is limited to that of a divinely delegated authority for the specific purpose of punishing wrongdoers.  We also believe from numerous New Testament passages that that social welfare in the forms of caring for the poor, curing of the sick, and looking after the needy is best addressed in the domains of personal charity and ecclesiastical benevolent ministry.

Conversely, today's liberalism has made politics its religion, ordained liberal politicians as its priests, christened government edifices as houses of worship, imposed taxes for its tithes, and retooled the progressive-era Social Gospel of nominally Christian reformers like Walter Rauschenbusch into an incessant demand for the approval of immoral conduct that the biblical Gospel rejects.

The modern left, having grown increasingly atheistic and embarrassingly sympathetic to Islam, eschews biblical boundaries for government and is in a rage because it is currently unable to use government at will to force its policies on the nation as a whole.  Because limited government, personal responsibility, heterosexuality, and American traditions are once again being advanced as a result of the electorate's recent choices, one can clearly see the left suffering a bad case of Christophobia, indeed.

John Steinreich has an M.A. in church history from Colorado Theological Seminary.  He has authored two Christian-themed non-fiction books: The Words of God? – the Bible, the Qur'an and How They Are Lived in the Post-9/11 World and A Great Cloud of Witnesses.  His works are available on Lulu Press and on Kindle.