Friday, April 17, 2009

America’s ‘Religious Right’ concedes defeat

It seems the Gates of Hell have prevailed. Marriage between a man and a woman is in terminal decline while ‘gay marriage’ abounds, homosexuality is rife, drugs are easy, prayer is still illegal in schools, mass shootings are becoming more commonplace, abortions are flourishing, and Jesus is not coming back.

If God is not dead, he has certainly lost.

After 30 years of evangelical jihad against the spirit of the power of the air, some of America’s leading Evangelicals have admitted that their quest for a new JerUSAalem built on God’s laws (ie social conservatism) is as elusive as ever it was. The ‘Moral Majority’ have failed, and God himself cannot wash them clean of the stench of being associated with George W Bush – ‘the most unpopular president in living memory’ – who ‘hurt the cause’ to such an extent that the demons of secularism and permissiveness have become not only ubiquitous but omnipotent.

James Dobson is one of the giants of US Evangelicalism. Until recently he was CEO of Focus on the Family which he has led for over thirty years, but at his resignation he made the following observations:

“We tried to defend the unborn child, the dignity of the family, but it was a holding action. We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles.”

Mr Dobson is obviously disappointed that the Antichrist is enthroned in The White House (the President is ‘at best a die-hard, pro-abortion liberal and at worst a Marxist’). But it could be worse. Ray Moore, president of Exodus Mandate, a South Carolina-based group which organises home-schooling for Christian children, said: “We will end up like England, where the church has utterly lost its way.”

God forbid that the USA might end up like England (why England? Would not Wales be worse?)

There is a concern that church attendance in the United States ‘is heading the way of Britain, where no more than ten per cent worship every week’. As far as Evangelicals are concerned, the United States of America was founded ‘purely as a Christian country’, which President Obama refutes. Recently in Turkey he said quite emphatically: "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation."

Really? Did the Mayflower Compact proclaim the Pilgrims were establishing their colony for ‘the advancement of the Islamic faith’? Does the dollar proclaim ‘In Allah We Trust’? Do patriotic Americans join in the refrain of ‘Allah Bless America’?

America was founded unequivocally upon the Christian ethic, and it permeates the cultural fabric of the nation. God has blessed America with Protestantism and Enlightenment, but now follows the counter-reformation couched as postmodernism to move the nation into the ‘post-Christian’ era. Recent surveys on religious adherence all indicate a significant shift in the American religious landscape: ‘A study by Trinity College in Connecticut found that 11 per cent fewer Americans identify themselves as Christian than 20 years ago. Those stating no religious affiliation or declaring themselves agnostic has risen from 8.2 per cent in 1990 to 15 per cent in 2008’.

But Cranmer is intrigued by the divergent diagnoses of the cause. One view holds that ‘Conservatives became so obsessed with the political process we have forgotten the gospel’, while another believes that the Christian movement failed ‘not because its views were unpalatable for moderates and liberals, but because it was not Christian enough’.

Christians may indeed have been corrupted by politics. But politics corrupts, and absolute politics corrupts absolutely. Evangelicals identified their movement with the culture war and political conservatism. They are apparently persuaded that their failure to transform culture and the mass rejection of political conservatism means that Christianity is dead.

This is fatuous reasoning.

The Founding Fathers choose the Christian ethic and the First Continental Congress made its first act a prayer. They had a ‘firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence’ which has guided and inspired Americans to spread abroad ‘freedom’s holy light’. The Founders of the United States of America were steeped in religion – and that religion was not Judaism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism or Jedi Knightianity: it was religion of the Protestant Christian variety.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, said: “The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it.”

And George Washington, the Father of the Nation, said: “And now, Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavours to fear and obey Thee.”

Those who created the United States did so after meditating upon the divine precepts and laws of the Christian God. This foundation was their virtue; from this virtue came their liberty; and from this liberty came stability and prosperity.

President Obama is neither the Messiah nor the Antichrist: he is just another man to occupy another political office, and, like all Democrats, he seeks to make the United States more statist, Socialist and amoral.

The Christian response is not to curse God and die, but to repent, believe and trust; indeed, to rejoice in suffering, because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Hope that the Forces of Conservatism shall soon be on the ascendancy, and that government shall once again soon be concerned with whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable.


Anonymous len said...

This world never could be a heaven on earth.This world is fallen, corrupt and dying( like so many of the professed 'religions'
However in times past God has always saved a remnant who are true to God despite suffering persecution(mostly from the religious)and God fulfills His purposes through this remnant.
This world will be wound up and there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth (Rev 21)
He who was seated on the throne said" I am making every thing new" Rev (21:5)
Look up!

17 April 2009 at 08:11  
Anonymous Rodney said...

Dying of professed religions?
Mark Twain:'News of my death....' (for the last 2000 years) I would add.

The ethicist, Dennis Hollinger in Choosing the Good: 'Though we live in a broken and fallen world and often fail to live up to God’s designs, the brokenness and falleness are not normative for Christians. We will certainly take account of the world and our human situation in our moral analyses, but ultimately we will look to God’s character and actions and the specific moral implications that flow from the Christian worldview.

17 April 2009 at 09:20  
Blogger Gnostic said...

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17 April 2009 at 09:39  
Blogger Gnostic said...

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17 April 2009 at 09:44  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Here's what the British Forces of Conservatism have in store for us:

True? Noble? Or just deja flaming vu?

The bulk of the comments reflect my feelings on this matter, Your Grace. Perhaps Mr. Osborne would serve us better is he read this book written by a fellow Conservative:

Or paid occasional visits to this site:

Conserve energy by all means but not to the point of absolute idiocy. Until the Tories come to their political senses I'm afraid I'm just going to have to remain disenfranchised and use my vote elsewhere.

Sorry for the lack of hyperlinks. I've tried twice and the links failed. :0/

17 April 2009 at 09:47  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

He could have said something like: 'although the United States has a large Christian population, people of all religions - christians, jews, muslims, and those of no faith all work together. The world can see that as a fact. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens, whatever our creed'.

But, in attempting to be all things to all men, St Obama has managed to traduce the Christian heritage of the USA.

17 April 2009 at 11:05  
Blogger Alfred the Ordinary said...

I wonder if Tyndale thought that he had failed?

I like to think that he understood the words "Good and Faithful servant". Have we replaced them with "High achieving and workaholic servant"?

17 April 2009 at 11:43  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Quite possibly the most important article you have ever produced your Grace.

The Obama Deception

17 April 2009 at 11:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very encouraging to hear US is becoming less religious. The form of deeply conservative christianity has done untold damage there.

However, why the review of history? What does it matter if the US was founded by christians? What is important is what is believed now. With the effect of conservative christian poltics and Bush - it finally seems number are on the decline.

Heres hopeing it continues.

17 April 2009 at 11:59  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

I don't know what to say really. You have painted the scene quite remarkably bringing out the natural colours and all.

In the last paragraph you describe a circuit of hopes. Can you ask Dave to flick the switch and light up the LED's, even if its only on stand-by, at least it glows in the dark.

But I imagine the whole situation like and elastic band. We have stretched the parameters of political correctness to the limit and beyond. We have gone through all the phases of novelty, fascination, tolerance and now complete boredom. What's about to happen now, I believe/hope, is that like the elastic band, when let go, things are going to fly backwards aggressively at a much fierce velocity than it took to get where we are now. And, like the elastic band, its going to sting like a son-of-a-bitch.

17 April 2009 at 11:59  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Read into this question what you will.

Q. What happened to Neanderthal Man?

A. We did.

The two species where not compatible on the same planet. Mother nature took care of the rest.

17 April 2009 at 12:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are watching the final phase of the two hundred year old 'humanist' attempt to control humanity. It will fail, but not without a last big fight. All over the world we see the governing elite increasingly detached and intolerant of their own people, their freedoms and aspirations.
This new drive, symbolized at the G20, has to create crises of financial insecurity and global security issues to justify its stripping of fundamental rights in the west.
Faith, real faith, is a barrier to the humanist goal, but it cannot be boxed-up and coerced. Hence the attempt by the Blair 'Faith' foundation that aims to do precisely that.
Humanist, socialist, corporatists are losing the game, the first step is to see it for what it is, forgive them and prey for its downfall.
We cannot beat them at their game, presumably the mistake of the so-called 'Christian right'.

17 April 2009 at 13:10  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Thank you Your Grace for a clear look at the challenge that faces all true believers today. Despite the strength of the adversary I feel excited & challenged, excited because God always waits for the moment when all seems lost to produce His greatest miracles, challenged because He calls His true church to stand,to be revealed & used for His glory, the death & then the ressurection of the Lord is a perfect example of this, the dejected disciples, lost & alone on the Friday, scared, hiding, but then, on the third day, Faith, Joy & Victory, all that He had promised proved true, & the start of 2000 years of Christianity. Surely we must be on the brink of the most exciting times since the first disciples went boldly out to a lost, heathen world to make disciples of all nations.

17 April 2009 at 14:48  
Anonymous Rodney said...

Preacher: Amen to that!
Whenever I am prone to despair at the enormity of the task that faces us, I take heart from the words of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero:

It helps now and then, to step back and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals or objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water the seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide the yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.
This enables us to do something, and do it very well.
It may be incomplete, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are the workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future, not our own.

17 April 2009 at 16:04  
Blogger Demetrius said...

Like many matters, marriage was once an investment, and often for life. Somehow we have turned it into just another consumption activity. Perhaps this particular form of mass consumption is in decline. For those who believe in marriage as investment, broadly defined, it can and will continue.

17 April 2009 at 16:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article referenced left out part of Dr. Dobson's statement, leaving the impression that he has conceded defeat. That is not the case, however. His quote actually ended with "Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?"

17 April 2009 at 16:48  
Anonymous no nonny said...

"However, why the review of history? What does it matter if the US was founded by christians? What is important is what is believed now."

Anonymous 11:59 the 17th-----
Are you serious?

You don't think it matters how the US became a great country?
You don't think it matters why it's not looking or feeling too great, just now?

Do you not see that Christian principles - which informed the people who developed the US - would help to get the country back on track?

Or do you just believe in the brute force, ignorance, and corruption that have put us all where we are now?

17 April 2009 at 18:09  
Blogger Microcosm said...

The sooner the bible belt collapses, the better. Hell fire preachers who embraced mammon need to be seen as the enemy.

The kingdom of heaven is alive and well, the US needs a time of reflection, to look within.

Presidents have no powers when the kingdom within is allowed to rule, only beware the bible thumping pastors with no other purpose than filling their own bank accounts.

17 April 2009 at 18:26  
Anonymous not a machine said...

a good article your grace

post christain era ?? how could such a thing come about , i could draw upon revelation "being like god but denying its power" , however promoting the end times has foiled many who pick out the immediacey only.

however there are number of references in the bible as to how a godless society would look and they are compelling , in that we see a society descending into its basic desires the end result of which is a society in fear as it has lost its order.

the rev nasir alli is leaving is bishops position to concentrate on the persecuted church , at first i didnt quite understand his calling , but the church has been persecuted , its media presence has been dominated by perversions and scandel , forming into a mere poor mans branch of physcology in comparison to the more more logical proofs of the self help books "7 habits of highly effective people" "a road less travelled " all new age consumerist thinking much comming from America.

the USA has lost the battle , just as soviet communism lost its battle , the two warriors seeming to anhialte each other in a sort of matter anit matter collison. russia was left to re form the USA did not see that it too had to change.

there politics has become corrupt and stale as it has talked to its self for too long about its success , little realising culturally it was degrading by its over belief in ecnomic success alone and its symbiotic dark commercial and political franchises.

In case i am sounding unfair , there is much i admire about the USA , much i am gratefull for even , but it appears that the celebration band has gone off down one street whilst its people went down a media led other.

for example i visited epcot in disney and the feature on power was an audio visual feast , sponsored by exxon , it was baised and niave.

the democrats success is due to the new configurations of media and spin , it has switched its belief to the grand presentation, none accountable , beliefs and understandings , as we found under this labour goverment it is a very thin meal indeed , when you just meet and program economic aspirations disguised as modernity.

president obama may well have somthing to offer , but as the tide is on the turn for soft socialism , he will be the leader of a disproven ideaology based on mass media controll.

until we learn that we have made a sociological mistake and theological one , we will not be able to put the lid on pandoras box and the relative liberals that conviced us all it was safe to open it.

your grace asks a good question , but alas the voices have not appeared yet , to grapple it .

"what should fill and act upon the mind" , has been a long running battle , and very well expensed charlatans have had a good run, in some ways completeing the tree of knowledge.

The divine , distinguishes its self in that , it grows within us and at the same time informs us to tend to it. The godless grows its own desires and then you have to pay for it.

17 April 2009 at 18:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Bush the worst US president?-since the last republican one! How come every republican president is a stupid,lying swivel eyed megelomaniac?-Because theprdominantly left wing media all around the world portray them as that from the day they are nominated until long after they leave office. Every mistake seized upon-Hoow many times have I seen George Bush on TV trying to get out of the door?-and how many times have I seen Obama get into the whitehouse through the locked window.Answer-hundreds- and none (once in a newspaper)I have seenbush speeches which were quite good live edited down to a soundbite which made him look stupid- especially when he had used a bit of self deprecating humour.Obama makes mistakes too,and says stupid things, but his soundbites are edited to make him look clever.
Bush takesthe fight to people who have actually attackked theUS in their own backyard- hes a liiars annd Clinton threaten to-and actually start bombing the serbs-in support of thhe muslim colonisatiion of the balkans and they are cheered to the rafters.
It just goes to show if the media keep shouting it long enough and lowd enough even your own supportes will beleive it.
I don't know the truth about how good or bad a president GB was.I havn't been given enough unbiassed information-buutIknow this-he wasn't as bad as the BBC CNN et al have portrayed him.

17 April 2009 at 18:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's comment that the US is not a Christian country sent a chill up my spine. Like so much else that this idiot says and does, I am increasingly convinced that there is a clear-minded agenda being served. His comment effectively "disowns" the vast number of Americans who are practising Christians -- many of whom were lulled into a media-induced insensibility before they cast their ballots for Obama. There was not even any real outrage when the White House demanded that the Catholic symbols at Georgetown University be covered up before Obama spoke.

The danger is not the US will end up like Britain, but that Obama will split his country into two violently opposed halves. Perhaps enough serious-minded people in the US will act before that time to put an end to the Obama agenda being implemented, but I would not hold my breath. Political courage seems to be in short supply these days.

17 April 2009 at 22:08  
Blogger Andrew said...

Surely the problem is that America WAS founded as a Protestant nation. Had the first pilgrims or the Founding Fathers been Catholic then Christianity would not have declined and given way to liberal secularism. Just look at South America which remains staunchly Christian.

17 April 2009 at 22:28  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

Be of good courage.

Obama has run out of other people's money, having spent more in three months than EVERY other President combined. He is booking his place as worst President ever and will be a 4 year President.

Apart from stealing Joe Public's money, his values are gradually being exposed though his recent aparent greater quesiness about outing aspider in a terrorist' a cell than the
Partial Birth Abortion of America's children.

The USA is full of good people who will use the (Protestant) Constitution as Your Grace would wish.

17 April 2009 at 22:56  
Anonymous nonmouse said...

"The danger is not the US will end up like Britain, but that Obama will split his country into two violently opposed halves." [Anon the 17th @ 22:08]
Interesting point. I believe one technique favoured by the marxist Enemy IS "Divide and Conquer." That's how the euros have approached Britain - indeed the Normans did it too. So a Diss-United States? Well, well....

And Andrew - I say there's Christian and christian (within both Prot and RC)!!! But---- 'look at South America'???? No thanks.

[An example of why: Just heard about a Mexican drug cartel who've left a sack full of ten human heads by a roadside - to warn off opposition... legal, military, or otherwise]

wv 'inglys'

17 April 2009 at 23:19  
Blogger John MacLeod said...

I'm not convinced, Cranmer. You are quite right to point out the broadly Christian ethos of the Founding Fathers, but my confidence is not bolstered by your entire failure to mention the only one who was an ordained clergyman - Rev. John Witherspoon, a Scottish Presbyterian minister (born in East Lothian) and head of Princeton.

It would also be fairer to characterise the dominant religion of these men as Deism, rather than Christianity proper; and Freemasonry was also an influence.

The so-called 'Christian Right' - with their unfortunate obsession with sex, minorities and guns - has in my view brought the Gospel into global disrepute. They have shown signal disregard for the perspective and emphases of Scripture - which has far more to say about oppression of the poor, not least of immigrants, than about homosexuality - and they espouse a dumbed-down 'Mere Christianity' of minimal doctrine: generally Charismatic in worship, Arminian in character, Antinomian in ethics, Congregationalist in ecclesiology and Premillenial Dispensationalist in its obsessions.

Its most damning indictment is the entire failure of the 'Christian Right' to make any stand for (or even interest in) the observance of the Lord's Day, confirmation of its entire disregard for the poor and how cosily it sat in the pocket of a pleasure-seeking age and an untrammeled free-market capitalism.

17 April 2009 at 23:31  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

George Bush was not a Christian, he was a gnostic.


The gnostic attitude:

1. dissatisfaction

2. belief that the world is poorly organized (as opposed to believing that the world is good but that human beings are inadequate).

3. belief that salvation from the evil of the world is possible

4. belief that therefore the order of being will have to be changed (as opposed to the Christian belief that the world will remain as is and salvation is in grace through death)

5. belief that changing the order of being is within human ability

6. belief that the task is to seek out the method of altering reality. The gnostic is the prophet proclaiming this knowledge.

George Bush's proclaiming of "Regime Change" as the solution to Iraq's problems ("Freedom is God's gift to all) is predicated on the idea that man ( or "the common people") is basically good when given a chance to thrive in the right environment, in the right Regime, nourished with the right constitution.

18 April 2009 at 01:57  
Blogger ZZMike said...

Our Mr Dobson might well take a line from your Mr Churchill, who said, "Never give up". I think he may have put it a bit more strongly.

"Recently in Turkey [Obama] said quite emphatically: "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation."

There's an old running joke here in the US, which at that point would have someone say, "What do you mean, we, paleface?" But somehow it doesn't seem to fit.

I still insist that when he said "we" he didn't mean "us".

Martin Sewell: "Obama has run out of other people's money, having spent more in three months..."

Who was it that said that about Socialism - that eventually you run out of other people's money? Mrs Thatcher?

A much smarter man than the ones Dobson complains of - Nietzsche - figured that God was dead, but that announcement was a bit premature.

John MacLeod: "It would also be fairer to characterise the dominant religion of these men as Deism, rather than Christianity proper; ..."

More than a few were Deists - Jefferson, Franklin, &c., but many were professing Christians of one variety or another. The majority were Episcopalian.

One thing they were in agreement on is that though the People were religious (just read Tocqueville for a look at the country in the 1830s), religion should play no part in government.

18 April 2009 at 06:57  
Anonymous mini mouse said...

ZZ - I thought Nietzsche said that 'people say' God is dead... which isn't greatly to their advantage?

18 April 2009 at 07:16  
Blogger BrianSJ said...

Wonderful piece by Spengler (about himself) at

18 April 2009 at 07:37  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

It all came to me in the lucid moments of waking this morning Cranmer. God isn't dead, we are.

The wages of sin is death.

18 April 2009 at 08:12  
Anonymous len said...

Hi mac, spot on,
We are all walking dead men until born again.

18 April 2009 at 10:30  
Anonymous Fran said...

An astute article, Your Grace.

The times, they are a-changing, just as Our Lord and St Paul said they would. Our Lord Himself warned us that 'in the world we would have trouble.' That the US is part of the world is patently obvious, and I'm not entirely sure that some American Evangelicals have clicked on to that, convinced as they are by the American particularism shakily built on the Protestant Christian foundation which you outline.

Other US evangelicals persist in the doctrine that the Almighty holds His Church responsible for the advancement in wickedness the pornography industry for example. The Church, so their reasoning tells them, has been given 'all authority in heaven and earth' and Christian failure to dominate it stems from luke-warmness.

They forget that world domination through empire was an option for Our Lord - but one which He explicitly rejected. The Church's mission is to be steadfast in their devotion to truth and loving to their neighbour, be they friendly or hostile, in a rebellious world.

The fact is that we are strangers in a strange land. At present our true home is elsewhere. And we should take comfort from the rise in opposition to the truths we proclaim, for such opposition confirm the authority of our earliest teachers, whose voices, resounding through the centuries, accurately predict the vicious hatred endured by many of our brothers and sisters for the Name of Jesus.

We in the privileged west have only recently begun to experience that hatred; but more is promised. The question is, will we, as you advise 'repent, believe and trust; indeed ...rejoice in suffering, because suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. '

Or will we despair, believing that the cause is lost because we do not succeed in spreading the Kingdom in ways which Our Lord Himself rejected?

18 April 2009 at 12:15  
Blogger tammyswofford said...

"God himself cannot wash them clean of the stench of being associated with George W Bush – ‘the most unpopular president in living memory’ – who ‘hurt the cause’ to such an extent that the demons of secularism and permissiveness have become not only ubiquitous but omnipotent."

Not quite sure I "agree with God" on this issue.

LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC

18 April 2009 at 18:29  
Blogger Theresa said...

What Nietzsche said was,

'God is dead and you have killed him'

Food for thought.

18 April 2009 at 21:36  
Anonymous non mouse said...

With all due respect to Tammy Swofford - I'm not clear on what we should presume God to have said, on this issue. I read Cranmer to have suggested that God can do ANYTHING: whatever proclamations emanate from the 'Evangelical Right'; [either of the GBs; Osama] or Obama, etc.

If some who are falling to secularism etc. eventually reject the demons for what they are, then I assume that will be part of His plan.

Meanwhile, I'd rather count as wheat or sheep than chaff or goats! I reckon my best chance lies in the Word of the One who is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent; the Alpha (the Beginning and Divine) and the Omega (the End and Human).

In short, I'm with Cranmer and the Fathers he cites.

19 April 2009 at 04:21  
Anonymous mini mouse said...

Theresa and anyone interested in this perpetually problematical quotation from Nietzsche. I finally went and pulled that section of "The Gay Science" out of the filing cabinet.** Seems different when put into its context -- and I'm reading that context as running parallel to Cranmer's post. So here we are.

The famed bit is in Section 125 of an argument that has been building up through all the preceding sections. Of Section 124, Walter Kauffman remarks: "The attempt to vanquish the shadow of God, heralded in Section 108, is felt to be awesome--and in the next section the terror is spelled out more fully" (footnote 19). Here, the people have left the safety of land and are all at sea... gazing at 'The Horizon of the Infinite.'

Section 125 follows: it is a Parable about a MADMAN. He "lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"."
Naturally, the atheists and secularists scoffed, saying things like "Has he gone on a voyage? Emigrated?"

Then: "The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him--you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him."

The nutter goes on to ask how 'we' can be cleansed of this monstrous accomplishment, including: "What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? ... Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed: and whoever is born after us--for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Having stunned his audience, Whacko then throws his lantern away; it shatters and goes out.
He pronounces himself ahead of his time, saying that the news hasn't traversed outer space yet, through the light years. "This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves."

After that Loony rampages through the local churches, repeating his "requiem aeternam deo" and justifying himself with: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God."

Not quite as simplistic as the 'half-readers' tell us, is it?
So... I'm interpreting 'God is Dead' as an allusion to the whole; and as a comment on the 'Religious Right' and its defeatism ....

**Nietzsche, Friedrich. "The Gay Science." Trans. Walter Kauffman. NY: Vintage Books, 1974; 181-182.

19 April 2009 at 06:17  
Anonymous len said...

If God were dead we would be in big trouble, because that would leave satan with a free hand.
God obviously is not dead and he has plans for this earth and the people in it( see revelation in the bible )
As I mentioned earlier this earth will eventually be wound up and a new heaven and a new earth is planned for the future.
The American far right have been possibly pursuing their own agenda rather than Gods.( there is a time and a season etc)

19 April 2009 at 20:30  
Blogger ZZMike said...

The quote about Mr Bush being ‘the most unpopular president in living memory’ is attributed to one Michael Spencer, whose identity seems to have been mainly overlooked by web search engines. I didn't find him until I added "christian" to his name.

But I can only conclude that the writers at the Telegraph are still afflicted by Bush Derangement Syndrome, in which every issue, no matter how remote, must include a condemnation of Mr Bush.

Adding "in living memory" is a nice little rhetorical trick. Out of a total of 44 Presidents (we are, after all a much younger country than Great Britain or the Vatican), that leaves between 6 and 13.

Besides that, our Presidency is not a popularity contest, is not the culmination of a TV reality show.

Except, of course, for the present President.

20 April 2009 at 17:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know whether I should laugh at this nonsense, or cry that people believe it.

13 September 2009 at 01:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the most uplifting piece of work I've read in some time. Perhaps in my lifetime we will put religion behind us. It's a bright future ahead of us. A day will come when all the world is educated and informed. Knowledge will finally conquer superstition. I smile at the very thought. Your concession encourages me to continue to denounce and vilify the religious right, and I know that one day we will claim final victory.

13 September 2009 at 01:34  

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