America’s ‘Religious Right’ concedes defeat
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.