A Marriage Made In Hell
The motivation behind my website, Dave Black Online, is very simple. It is an outgrowth of a deep concern on my part about the health of evangelical Christianity. In my view, evangelicals have become the handmaidens of the New Right, and this development, rather than being healthy for the church, has crippled orthodox Christianity.
The eager advocates of a right-wing politico-economic line have been allowed almost exclusive claim to the evangelical church's identity. But to equate Christianity with a political party, as many have done with the GOP, is to be guilty of idolatry. It is, simply put, a violation of the Second Commandment.
It is amazing to me to see how those who are so outspoken in support of the inerrancy, inspiration, and authority of the Bible should have fallen for this deception. "Evangelical discernment" has become an oxymoron. New Testament scholar Dr. Harold O. J. Brown utters this warning:
I agree. The church's preoccupation with the world is a disaster of the first order. Our nation's evangelical leaders overwhelmingly urged Christians to vote for Bush, which they did in overwhelming numbers. The result is a new era of unilateralism in the fight against "terrorism" that is sure to advance the totalitarian agenda of those who believe in Big Brother-style government.
Speaking in Halifax, Canada, on Wednesday Mr. Bush challenged international leaders to create a New World Order, reiterating his policy of preemption and declaring pre-September 11 multilateralism outmoded. In his first major foreign policy speech since his reelection, the president restated his administration's goals: to reform multilateral institutions, to prosecute the war on terrorism, and to spread democracy in the Middle east. "Defense alone is not a sufficient strategy," he said. "There is only one way to deal with enemies who plot in secret and set out to murder the innocent and the unsuspecting: We must take the fight to them."
Bush claims his victory in November has given him a mandate to pursue this bellicose foreign policy. And he is partly right. He has been handed imperial prerogatives on a silver platter, and woe to anyone who dares question the status quo. It is astonishing to note how many Bush followers can exclaim with a straight face that God is on our side. The Bush foreign policy is nothing less than a dangerous mixture of self-interest, ruthlessness, and utopian idealism. Are these hallmarks of a Christian nation?
We cannot sow the wind of militarism without reaping the whirlwind of disaster in the form of a second Vietnam. "By their fruits ye shall know them," said our Lord. And what have been the fruits of our policies? The erosion of our civil liberties. Grossly perverted national priorities. Intense human suffering and misery. And all of this will almost certainly lead to eventual bankruptcy.
The union of evangelical Christianity and Christian Americanism is a marriage made in hell. It gives me no joy to say it, but this unequal yoke between Christ and Caesar, if not addressed and reversed, will spell disaster for the church of the twenty-first century.
December 4, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. He is the author of Why I Stopped Listening to Rush and numerous other books.