Thursday, October 30, 2008

The politics of moral indifference

Jason Stelleman has a peculiar post. Among other things, he says the following:

To hear the latest prognostications, we need look no further than Focus on the Family's "Letter From 2012 in Obama's America." If the Illinois senator is elected, we are told, we have the following events to look forward to: (1) The Boy Scouts will disband rather than being forced to let gay scout masters sleep in the same tents with young boys; (2) Not only "government schools" but private Christian schools will be forced to teach homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle; (3) In 2011 there will cease to be any Protestant or Catholic adoption agencies in the U.S. because they will refuse to place children in homosexual homes; (4) In 2009 Obama will force the military to recruit gays; (5) Public schools will be forced to disallow praying during, before, or after school; (6) Schools will be forced to stop allowing churches to use their facilities; (7) In 2011 all FCC restrictions will be lifted allowing pornography to be shown on all TV channels at every hour of the day; (8) In May of 2010 Al-Qaeda will recapture Iraq because of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country; (9) Beginning in 2009 terrorists will detonate bombs in two small and two large U.S. cities, due in part to President Obama stopping the wiretapping of our phone lines; and (10) Nationalized health care will result in long lines for surgery and no access to hospitals for people over 80.

So there you have it, America: Vote Obama and, to tweak Pedro Sanchez's campaign slogan, "all your wildest nightmares will come true."

My point is not to contest the likelihood, the goodness, or the badness of any of these predictions. My only observation concerns just how frantic and nervous American evangelicals become when threatened with a diminishment of their power.

Employing such scare tactics may indeed rally the troops, we'll have to wait and see. But more serious than what these tactics communicate to the faithful is the message they send to the world, namely, that Christians are so in love with and invested in earth that we will not sit passively by and accept such a demonic agenda as one that offers free health care for everyone and tarnishes the nobility of all of our wars by letting openly gay soldiers fight in them.

Several issues:

i) Why does he impute the worldly motives to men like Dobson? Dobson is not a prosperity preacher, is he?

ii) Why equate a concern for the wellbeing of children with a deep investment in the earth?

Put another way, why assume that Dobson’s concern is selfish? This is not about Dobson’s personal stake in the world. Rather, this is about Dobson’s concern for the wellbeing of others. Dobson is a pediatrician and child psychologist by training.

iii) Why is Stellman so smug and cavalier about the harmful effects of gov’t policies? Is he indifferent to child rape? Or abortion? Infanticide? Euthanasia?

What’s the least bit pious about his callous attitude toward the innocent victims of ungodly public policies?

Men like Stellman deserve Obama. But it would be nice to see him exhibit a more merciful attitude towards those who don’t.

No comments:

Post a Comment