Thursday, November 11, 2004

"Why Don't People Love Us?" Part 1

Your man is in the White House, you own the House of Representatives and the Senate and you can almost smell dry cleaning fumes coming off the robes of the new Supreme Court Justices you are about to appoint. You now run the most powerful economic, political and military power in known human history. So, how do you feel? Christians feel persecuted. I am not talking about Christians living in the Sudan or Saudi Arabia or Iran, I'm talking about Christians right here in Red State Jesus Land. I have spoken with the people I go to Church with and Evangelical family members and they all feel very put upon. Why does the media portray us in such a bad light? I had a comment on the first posting I made to this blog lamenting how badly Christians come off in the media. There seems to be some genuine confusion. Maybe I can help clear this up.

In this posting, the first of a three part series, we will take a look at some Evangelical web sites. These sites are cutting edge, Red State, Jesus Land, Evangelical fare. Now, if you are an Evangelical this will seem like pretty mundane stuff. You know, images of life that are so obvious they go by unnoticed like green grass and pretty roses.

First on the menu is Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is headed up by Dr. James Dobson and has an annual budget estimated at approximately $130 million (1). Focus is probably the most prominent and powerful unifying force in American Political Evangelicalism (2). These are just a bunch of nice people who love Jesus, love children and who want to help you find ways to make your family stronger:

Good stuff, games and videos for the kids, cool reading for teens and oodles of advice for mom and dad. Then you scroll down the left side and see under the innocuous heading of "Public Policy" and link to "Family News in Focus" (an ironic title to be sure) which leads to these happy headlines:

- Groups Issue Call to Action on Specter
- Gays Launch Post-Election Marriage Assault
- Liberal Clergy Say Don't Vote Your Values
- Evolution Sticker on Trial
- Kerry's Faith Still Questioned
- Catholics Question Kerry's Faith

Welcome to the world of Culture War. Nice. Even if you are a red state conservatives you may find yourself gagging just a little. Perhaps Dr. Dobson should focus on his own family. It's hard enough shielding my children from soft core porn on conservative friendly Fox Television (home of Fox News) without having to worry about my web surfing kiddies stumbling on "Focus on the Family" or "Dr. D's Den of Disinformation" as we call it.

Perhaps what is most disturbing (this week anyway) is that taking total control of the United States has not satisfied the good Dr. Dobson. Focus on the Family is now lobbying for the removing of moderate Republican Senator Arlen Specter. Seems that Senator Specter, heir apparent to the Senate Judiciary committee chairmanship is pro-choice. Red State America its not even safe being for Republicans anymore. You know the revolution has turned bad when the coup members start shooting their own.

As for media portrayals, no amount of makeup can cover the black eye Focus on the family has given Christianity.

(1) Estimate taken from "Christianity Today."

(2) Hence forth we will be using the term Political Evangelicalism rather than simply Christian Evangelical or Conservative Christians. This change is language reflects the decidedly ambiguous nature of the American Evangelical movement. It is no longer clear whether the primary goal of American Evangelicalism is furthering the Kingdom or God or Furthering the agenda of the Republican National Committee; two decidedly different objectives.


Post a Comment

<< Home