I recently read an Amazon book review penned by a fairly well-known Christian leader recommending a book by a former card-carrying member of the "Christian Right" who has made an about-face and is now trashing his former movement. This sort of thing is becoming more common as evangelicalism continues to unravel and Emergent hipsterism and left-wing progressivism becomes more cool and sophisticated.
The complaint generally appears to be that the Christian Right is populated by a bunch of narrow minded, uneducated, unsophisticated rubes who want to forcibly remake America into a Puritan--excuse me--Taliban-run theocracy, punish idolatry, execute abortionists, stone homosexuals, and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Oh, sorry. Fell asleep. (Yawn.)
Here I am, having just published a book that can fairly be characterized as a manifesto for conservative Christian political activism. (And for more on why the caricature I just outlined isn't accurate, you can click on the link to the right and order the book.) Am I not embarrassed to join the likes of Sarah Palin, Tony Perkins, and/or any number of perceived Village Idiots? What is wrong with me?
Well, first off: I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the power of God for salvation for all who believe. That's in the Bible. You can look it up. Christianity is about the restoration of humanity's place in the universe, bringing us back into alignment with the God who designed us and made the world for human flourishing. I don't see anything to be embarrassed about in that. If I want to advocate for truth, goodness, and beauty, I don't see any alternative for the Christian than to advocate for the Christian Faith. There does seem to be a lot of Christians wavering on the question of whether truth, goodness, and beauty really are to be found in Christianity. I have to draw that conclusion because they keep telling me to stop advocating for Christian virtues in the public square. That, it seems to me, really is embarrassing. And they should be embarrassed.
Second, the progressive left, rooted in Enlightenment secularism, makes it a top priority to make Christians feel embarrassed about their faith, their churches, and their fellow believers. It is part of the game plan. Why should I acquiesce? It is pretty (dare I say?) narrow-minded, uneducated, and unsophisticated for Christian leaders to fall for the most obvious trap designed by enemies of the gospel to silence Christian voices in public. That, it seems to me, is embarrassing. And they should be embarrassed at being such rubes.
Third, for all the fear-mongering about how horrible the world would look if Christian virtues and principles were culturally applied, I am unaware of a single example of a "progressive" society that brought about prosperity and flourishing. On the contrary, the landscape of Hegelian, progressive attempts at building the utopian society of peace and prosperity is littered with both bankruptcy and body bags. That, it seems to me, should be embarrassing. And Christians who train their ire at the "Christian Right" while ignoring the grotesque track record of progressivism ought to be embarrassed.
Fourth, everybody loves to talk about what a blithering idiot Sarah Palin is, but they never mention the likes of Rachael Maddow, gals from"The View," or Barbra Streisand (whose singing voice is lovely, but her intellect is incapable of spelling the word "cat"). The Christian Right does not have a monopoly on idiocy. And yet I am the one who is supposed to be embarrassed?
Finally, let's just say for the sake of argument that, say, Sarah Palin is the idiot everyone claims (having read her autobiography, this is something I strongly doubt). Here are a couple of things I do know about her.
1. She can balance a checkbook.
2. She is not interested in picking your pocket to ensure you pay "your fair share," which is then earmarked to pay for massive government waste, ineffective social welfare programs, or failed "green energy" companies.
This is more than can be said for the Platonic Philosopher-Kings now macro-managing things.
So-called "sophisticated" Christians lured in by progressivism's elitist illusions of erudition, nuance, and complexity are the ones who should be embarrassed.
I, for one, am not ashamed.