Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Liberal self-image vs. reality

American liberals are desperate to feel bold, edgy, brave, daring, rebellious. What "Well done, good and faithful servant" is to a believer, "Bad boy!" is to a liberal.

This holds true in any sphere, whether politics or religion. Aging has-been Brian McLaren loves to position his books as daring and edgy, and himself as a beleagured outcast. It's likelier that Fosdick and others from the 1920's would sue for plagiarism.

Liberals in the media regularly show their Mommies how bad and naughty they are by filthy language, sexual crudity, and attacks on Christianity. I say "media" loosely by design. It's all over the internet, of course. I can't tell you how many times I've found a clever picture, video, or essay, begun to plan to share it with you — then little Johnny has to show Mommy what a bad boy he is by some verbal or visual obscenity or blasphemy.

A chief perp is Comedy Central, land of many big, bad mouths, and of South Park. In this, I confess not to being cool. I've tried it a few times, it's very clever... and it always gratuitously offends me, grosses me out, gives me an image or association that I don't need to add to the sewage I'm already having to pump out of the basement. So I pass.

They were in the news last month because Comedy Central censored an episode in which Islamists detected disrespect done to Mohammed (Muhammed, Muhammad, Mohammad, whatever). There was a threat, Comedy Central caved and censored.

Surreal flash-forward: the same network, however, is considering a blasphemous cartoon about Jesus.

So: if it is about the values of Christians — who insofar as they practice their faith do not express their disapproval by setting things on fire, beheading, threatening death and murder, and the like — liberals are all about being bold and brave and bad and edgy.

But Muslims? Ooh, now.

Must be sensitive and respectful. Mustn't offend anyone.

So we have a president who, with his party, shows sneering contempt for every distinctively Christian tenet and value, and who systematically pushes for oppression and marginalization of Christians. Obama himself can't even talk straight about Daniel Pearl, murdered on camera by Islamic extremists, standing right in front of his surviving family. Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder won't say that radical Islam motivated a radical Islamist to an act of terrorism. Yet at the same time, they pussy-foot in their language about Islamic extremists, won't speak of Islamic terrorism or extremism.

Yet at the same time, Christians are regularly depicted as if we're all in our basements planning how to murder the next baby-killer or bomb a federal building. Why?

Simply because we won't be assimilated.


Anonymous said...

What? You were expecting liberals to be bold and brave with someone who might actually physically stand up to them?

The bullies always pick on those they perceive to be weak. Their "punch in the nose" will come in time. God will not be mocked.

Gabby said...

They call evil good and good evil. On American Idol, Randy says the good ones are 'dope' or 'bad'. Huh? Dope is excellent? Bad is worthy? It's just as the Book says - they call evil good and good evil.

DJP said...

That is an odd turn of phrase, isn't it? Like saying something is "sinfully delicious."

Sir Aaron said...

Posted at 4:37AM. Must be Pacific time because I was at airport at 5AM and your post wasn't up yet much to my disappointment.

Sinfully delicious, much like the forbidden fruit which I'm quite sure tasted as good as it looked. I find it interesting in how people delight in certain sins then think it's unfair if they can't get into heaven for being less sinful than Hitler.

mikeb said...

Pray tell, what do you do with a "Liberal Christian" then?!

DJP said...

What do I do?

Well, one way or another, I whack on them just about every day, 5-7 days a week, on two blogs.


Lynda O said...

Yes, the world proves how upside down it is, calling good evil and evil good. We shouldn't be surprised at the extremes to which lost people go, since they hate the truth and so God in judgment gives them over to their own depravity. Even years ago it was interesting to observe how frightened people were at ... the Bible. Any other book was acceptable in the public school classroom and in a teacher's possession -- even the Koran or books on Native American religion, but oh no, we can't have the Bible, got to sue and fire that teacher... because deep down, they know the truth and know that that book is different from all the other religious books out there.

zostay said...

There's another side to the liberal psyche as well. This is the busy-body liberal who wants everyone to be "good," i.e., "good" as defined by the liberal. The sins to a liberal are the wildly strange sins of political incorrectness.

If you profess the right outward beliefs about redistribution, certain kinds of diversity, and faux sympathy for the lazy and downtrodden, you have achieved sainthood.

OTOH, if you insist on property rights (what you earn is your own to choose to give or keep), or suggest real diversity by equality (not giving some groups more equality than others), or express real sympathy for the lazy and downtrodden by helping these folks find something to do, you are a cruel, heartless jerk deserving whatever you get.

Solameanie said...

I really have trouble with the term "liberal Christian" anyway. Someone being liberal theologically (and socially) out of ignorance is one thing, but there are plenty out there who do know the Bible and ought to know better. I jangle regularly with a couple who are in positions of some influence, and their evolution to a lefty view of politics and even theology begins to make me wonder if they're even regenerate.

VcdeChagn said...

Pray tell, what do you do with a "Liberal Christian" then?!

Give them the Gospel? Perhaps burn this to a CD and give it to them?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Some Liberal "Christians" are wolves in sheep's clothing.

When a genuine undershepherd identifies them, whether in his flock or not, oftentimes the genuine undershepherd is vilified and the wolf in sheep's clothing is sympathized with by those who praise civility, charity, tolerance, pluralism, inclusivism, progressive love, and whatnot.

The genuine undershepherd is then fighting an uphill battle in a rather lonely position, contending against the liberal wolf in sheep's clothing, but the conflict-avoiding "moderate" who wonders why such "extreme" measures are being taken by the genuine undershepherd.

Mark Patton said...

"What do I do?

Well, one way or another, I whack on them just about every day, 5-7 days a week, on two blogs."

Fell on floor laughing.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

They hate us because they hate Him.

Matt 10:22
Matt 24:9
Mark 13:13
Luke 6:22
Luke 21:17
John 15.... yah, etc.

Halcyon said...


Don't forget the other-other part of the liberal psyche, a common mantra that they use against their opponents:

Adapt or Perish!

Oddly enough, the best comment on that article was by an atheist (code named "cplum72") who points out the inherent contradiction of God "adapting" and still being God.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Well, one way or another, I whack on them just about every day, 5-7 days a week, on two blogs."

That's a regular and frequent spanking.

Are some Liberal "Christians" functioning as the enemy within? Whether knowingly or unknowingly?

Rupert said...

Hi DJP, I understand your position and maybe even the cause of your anger.

This whole scenario is rather messy. As Dawkins himself has said, he doesn't slam dunk muslims because he has a self-preservation instinct. The fact that Christians don't respond in such a volatile manner is to be applauded.

Personally, I am disappointed that South Park caved on this. Given the nature of certain groups statements and behaviors, my concern is that if we continue to be careful not to offend these people, their ultimate demand will in fact be that we all live fully under their beliefs or face the type of threats which are currently only made against cartoonists, Salman Rushdie etc. Ergo, we'd better push back now or it will be too late in the future.

So yes, the 'liberals' are displaying hypocrisy. I would rather we 'take the bull by the horns'. Otherwise your Christianity will fare no better than my atheism. We will find ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder in the trench of execution unless we don the appropriate garb and follow the demanded practices.

In regard to South Park in general, my observation has been that they have ridiculed many groups to the same extent; Scientology, 'liberals', 'greenies' etc. Even many individuals of note or celebrity.

The image/story/news I have taken from the media is not that it's Christians who are planning how to murder the next 'baby-killer' or bomb a federal building; rather it's some extreme fringe groups with specific causes who may just happen to also declare themselves devout Christians. I certainly don't take the message that Christianity is the root cause. Not at all.

Rachael Starke said...

Well, it's been a long day and I'm really tired and punchy, so that's the perfect time to say that I'm a little uncomfortable with putting aaaaall the believers in one corner, and aaaaaaaaallll the (political) liberals in the other.

I learned this in earnest a few years ago with a new friend who became a believer in the middle of one my husband's church history classes. She'd had a rougher than rough life, lots of sin, lots to change. Very, very politically liberal. And so are many of the friends she's been fearlessly dragging to the super-conservative (theologically and politically) church that she decided to go to. One I can think of is practically a card-carrying member of La Rasa.

My friendf has been so transformed by Jesus that she spends her weekends knocking on doors in her neighborhood seeing if she can help anyone, and to invite them to church. Her sacrificial love for strangers totally convicts me. So, with her, my sister in Christ, when she says something kinda kooky, I just smile, shake my head, and maybe ask her a question about whether she's sure that's what Jesus meant. And with her friends, whent they rant on Facebook about Christians and tea [crude word] ers, I say nothing. I take the hits. I ask how they are and let them know I've been praying for them when something important has been happening. Because I care so much more about their soul than which chad they punch on a voting card.

Now, that's people I know personally. With the South Park guys? (Or my favorite, the writers of ER?) Of course. The hypocrisy is tiresomely obvious. It's also a perfect example of what Jesus told us was coming (Matthew 5). Doesn't mean it doesn't sting and make me mad. Doesn't mean I don't love me some good ol' conservative smackdowns by guys like Steyn or Krauthammer or my dear brother DJP. (Yes, all in one sentence, because I usually read all three on Saturday. :) )

But we just finished studying Esther in our womens' Bible study, and if there's one theme that really stuck with me, it's this:

Jesus always wins. Always.

The second-most powerful man in an occupying nation made it his personal mission to obliterate God's people from the face of the earth. And he failed, spectacularly.

So that's a long, wordy way of saying that I care about whether they're believers first. Everything else is just how many laughs we have at the dinner table, and over what. :)

Rachael Starke said...

But this is certainly not to say that I don't also pray for the utter political demise of the Unholy Trinity of Boxer, Feinstein and Pelosi, not to mention practically the entire Democratic party, and a good chunk of the Republicans too, as a means of praying for the prosperity of the city in which I am in exile, ala Jeremiah 29. :)

David said...

I thunk on this all day, and my basic response is that unitarians of any stripe will hold back on their criticism of any other unitarians, because they all believe that the strongest god wins. It's all about absolute power.

But if you have a Creator God, who has begotten (and by the begotten One has carried out creation and redemption), and even goes so far as to indwell people by His Spirit, with all of these persons carrying out a drama of exaltation, submission, and love, well, that's going to cause some problems for absloute power relationships.

Susan said...

1. Dan, I was reading this on my cell phone at work when I came to the "bomb a federal building" part and didn't quite know what to think. (For those of you who don't know, I currently work for a fed. agency that shall remain nameless.)

2. Rachael says: "Jesus always wins. Always."

Brava, Rachael. Best news I've heard all day!! :)

Rachael Starke said...


Glad to be able to be encouraging.

Best news I've heard all day!!

In your line of work, I don't have any trouble believing that. God bless your work. No doubt it's a mission field. And a battlefield, too. :)