Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why Don't Christians Care?

Power Line blog takes Christians to task for their overwhelming silence on the issue of violent religious persecution against their fellow Christians around the world. While I may not agree with all of their analysis, I am glad they asked the question:

In a number of places around the world, it is open season on Christians. We read of Christians burned out of their homes and slaughtered in Pakistan. Most recently, at least 500 Christians were murdered in Nigeria... So where is the outrage?

Not only should Christians care more, speak out more vocally on this issue, and take more action to make the world a safer place for Christians and for all persecuted minority groups, libertarians should consider religious persecution a main priority for focused activism. This is something people on all sides of the political debate can come together to accomplish.

We can all come together and oppose the intolerant, vicious behavior of the Chinese government toward Tibet, and its spiritual and temporal leader, the Dalai Lama; the violent persecution of Christians around the world for their beliefs; and the resurgent antisemitism (that is, hatred for all Semite people, Jew and Muslim alike) that we are seeing in secular Europe of late.

For libertarians, religious freedom has traditionally been a major priority. It inspired many of the original American colonists to leave Europe and start a new society. It was a primary talking point of the great libertarian philosopher, John Locke. Let's bring this issue back to the forefront. Libertarians of all people, should defend religious liberty zealously.

8 comments:

Donald Borsch Jr. said...

THL,

Normally I would be reticent to engage in "religious-speak", but as a committed Covenant Christian I would welcome this opportunity to opine regarding the title of this posting.

Obviously I cannot and do not speak for the whole of The Invisible Church. I am just one guy this side of Heaven who follows after, believes, worships, fears, and has a covenant with Jesus of Nazareth, my King and Savior.

So, having revealed who and what I am, here's my analysis:

Wes, I do care. I really do. There is not one fiber in me that does not want to deal swift and decisive justice against any who would seek to slaughter or harm my brothers and sisters. It would be easy to cry for blood and raise my hand in violence to right this wrong. It would be easy and expected and rightly justified to spill blood for blood spilled.

However....

As a Covenant Christian, I walk under the aegis of The Living God. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is my Father, my Lord, my Master, and my God. He is very well aware of what is happening to His Bride, and is even now dealing, in His own way, with those who have killed or harmed His children because of their relationships with Him.

In other words, He has this situation well within His control, although we do not see it or discern it.

As uncomfortable as it may sound, Jesus told His followers that people would hate them because of Him, and this is just how it will be. He also told me to love those who persecute me. Yikes! How can He instruct me to be so? He can because of Who He is, and because of who and what I am.

This is surely not to say that I, as a Mathetes/Disciple of Christ, am some sort of wussy or doormat. Far from it, indeed. But there is nothing that I can really do for my family in Christ except ask the Lord for His mercy on their killers.

Personally I would love to exact my form of justice on them, which would be both painful and bloody, and I would wish it to be carried out in a public forum, over many long hours. But see, this is why I'm not God. His ways are not mine.

The Bride was never meant to be an exclusive or isolated society far from the wickedness of the World. We will face hardships. We will lose everything. We will even be killed. These things will happen. Yet I find no fear or anxiety when faced with these possibilities as a Covenant Christian. I cannot explain it, sorry.

The prayers of the Bride are stronger than money, the military, and the desire to enact justice as we would see fit.

Unless a person has a relationship with Jesus, they can only question and complain about the Bride's supposed inaction. The Bride being killed and persecuted is a sign of the End that is coming. Simple as that. And while it sounds "fanatical", I can honestly say that anyone killed because of their covenant with Jesus is going to be with Him. And that's not so bad.

Not bad at all.

W. E. Messamore said...

Hey Donald, I appreciate your thoughts, and I am also a Christian myself, if that will help to bring any clarity to my point of view in this discussion.

Please don't misunderstand my post- I am not calling for violent reprisals against religious groups whose members attack other religious groups. I am calling for political activism and pressure on foreign governments to crack down on this sort of behavior and work to build a free, open, tolerant, and politically secular society.

The average Christian in the world today is not white, does not speak English, and is not necessarily the religious majority in his or her country. Violent discrimination against Christians is one of the biggest news stories we never hear about.

And PS: Thanks so much for knowing and caring. My post is not a blanket indictment of all Christians, libertarians, or people in general. I know there are many people who do care.

Donald Borsch Jr. said...

Wes,

I suppose this is where we both clarify that our "speech" on the Internet is hard to decipher due to the fact neither of us can hear the other's inflections! Such as it is when being forced to read someones words and not hear them as they are truly spoken.

You said:
"I am calling for political activism and pressure on foreign governments to crack down on this sort of behavior and work to build a free, open, tolerant, and politically secular society."

I would opine:

Impossible.

You would have better luck trying to urinate up a rope during a hurricane.

I'm not saying that to be a smart-mouth. I simply disagree with your words there.

Political activism and "religion" should never walk together. Politics is tainted. Politics is what we have right now, in DC, raping our Nation's Liberty. Political activism is not the solution.

Much like I believe that the Federal Government should not tend to the homeless, the hungry, the widows and the orphans, because that is the responsibility of the Bride, this same Bride needs to take care of those being persecuted.

Government is never the solution to any problem, in my opinion. Certainly not a problem that can easily be tended to by those who are in covenant with Christ Jesus.

I agree that persecution and killing of Christians worldwide is indeed one of the biggest news stories we never hear about. Perhaps this is because unlike other "religions" that claim martyrship and weakness and the cliched victim mentality, Christianity has no call to be vindicated thusly. Please refer back to my first posting on this comment thread.

Now, as to other "religions" and their being persecuted and killed and harassed....hmm. Let their god(s) defend them.

Yes, this sounds harsh to say aloud.

But in the world I walk in, your god(s) need to be real to have any kind of effect on your life and the lives around you. I cannot peak for the buddhist, the hindu, the muslim, etc, for I do not know their god(s). However, since they follow after them on their own, then let their god(s) rescue them.

Nice topic, by the way! I am enjoying the brain food!

Lagwolf said...

What I see from the major religious groupings of the Protestant variety in both the US & US is sycophancy towards Islamists. They are far more prone to blame their ole' fave whippin' horse the Jews than they are the murderous Islamists all over the world (even when they are killing Christians).

I am not a Christian, but have always wondered about the subject of this post.

W. E. Messamore said...

Thanks for your reply, Donald. Let me ask, are you an anarchist, or do you believe that the government has a legitimate role in a proper human society? If so, what role should government play?

As far as I am concerned, government's one and only purpose is to maintain a civil (read: peaceful) society, which is to say, a society where all individuals are free to live and work and pursue their separate interests free from violent or forcible interference into their lives by others. So the answer to violent persecution of religious minorities is, as far as my view of government goes, definitely a political answer.(That includes all religious minorities- even the ones who believe differently than you or me.)

Lagwolf- You are right to have observed a sort of sycophancy toward militant Islam (the kind that allowed the Ft. Hood shooting to occur, when it should have and could have easily been prevented). On the other hand, there is also a deep mistrust and usually undeserved hatred of Islam from many Westerners. If my understanding is correct, they face a lot of hatred and discrimination in France and other European countries, which are reacting to the radically changing demographics in our times.

Donald Borsch Jr. said...

Wes,

You said:
"Thanks for your reply, Donald. Let me ask, are you an anarchist, or do you believe that the government has a legitimate role in a proper human society? If so, what role should government play?

As far as I am concerned, government's one and only purpose is to maintain a civil (read: peaceful) society, which is to say, a society where all individuals are free to live and work and pursue their separate interests free from violent or forcible interference into their lives by others. So the answer to violent persecution of religious minorities is, as far as my view of government goes, definitely a political answer.(That includes all religious minorities- even the ones who believe differently than you or me.)"
--------------------------------------

From what I can gather, you need the government, no, you believe the government is essentially to be some sort of Police Force, maintaining peace for everyone to pretty much do as they please and be kept safe from others beating them up or harming them. (takes a breath) Is that a correct evaluation of what you said?

Hmm.

And no, Wes, I am not an anarchist. I haven't even really heard that word since high school in the early 80's! (I hated Reagan when I was a teen. Go figure.)

I want the Government to stay the hell outta my personal, moral, and social life this side of Heaven. I want the Government to protect our borders, deliver the mail, and let the States make their own decisions regarding pretty much everything. A friend called me a Statist, meaning I am a Tenther (Tenth Amendment kinda guy), and I wavered between if I should smack him for calling me a "Statist" or laugh along with him. I did both. It was classic.

Government needs to govern. That's all.

Like with, oh, abortion. The SCOTUS was completely out of line in showing such arrogance in even thinking they could rule on such an issue. Abortion should not even be an issue in a civilized society, but our reality is that it is a political issue now, used by both The Big Two to inspire or infuriate the masses. Anyhoos, it is not a political or governance issue. It is OUR issue as Americans.

I will gladly admit that I am staunchly pro-Life. So in the sphere of influence I have, I do what I can to speak about pro-Life issues. For folks that are pro-Abortion, they should do the same. Abortion is an issue that should be debated in the public forum, and at the State or even County levels, and then let the folks at those levels vote on it one way or the other. This means that, say, CT where I live might become a State wherein free abortions are available to everyone, while, say, Alabama may, as a Sovereign State, decide that abortions are totally outlawed in the State of Alabama. If I hate it so much, I can always move to Alabama, now can't I? The same can be said for ALL social or moral issues. Put it to the States to decide.

Wow. It took me way too many words to lay that out there for you. I apologize.

Federal Government=mail, borders, national security.
State Governments=everything else.

There. That's about as simply as I can put it.

Thanks, Wes, for the fun dialogue!

Andrew33 said...

Funny thing is that libertarianism is the only political ideology within the American spectrum that does not go against Christian Theology. The whole notion of the "Christian Right" is utter hypocrisy. For example, if you believe in treating others as you would have them treat you, (which Christians supposedly do), How can a Christian be perfectly fine with police breaking down their neighbors' door and hauling them off to jail for _____ (pick one, whether it be smoking pot or any other so-called vice), but a Christian doesn't want his or her door broken down by the police because they are sitting in the house reading a Bible. Neither action caused harm to anyone else, but supposed Christians are the first to want to make everything illegal because it doesn't agree with their religious philosophy. I have debated many fellow Christians on this subject and get nothing but angry replies.

W. E. Messamore said...

Donald, why on earth should government deliver the mail? Setting that aside, let's draw a distinction between government in general and "the U.S. Federal government." I'm not asking for a parochial statement regarding the properly defined role of a specific government in its charter, I'm asking for a philosophical definition of government. What is government? What kind of thing is government? What does it exist to do? I would be interested to hear a definition of government that leaves out its proper role and responsibility as a protector of people from violent criminals.

Andrew- you are absolutely right. The sad thing is these Christians who give government more and more power to get those... (terrorists, druggies, etc.) might be sowing the seeds of their own future suffering if government ever decides to turn its coercion on them.

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