Sunday, August 26, 2012

Welcome, and prepare to have some cherished beliefs destroyed.

There has been no shortage of interesting events lately. Take the recent comments by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo) discussing rape, pregnancy, and abortion rights. Or take the not-as-recent remarks by President Obama that he personally thinks that homosexual couples should be permitted to marry. Or the half-gaffe that VP Joe Biden made, apparently to a mixed race crowd at a recent rally, in which he insinuated that the republican party wished to “put [them] back in chains.” Or take the several-weeks-old comments by Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy regarding homosexuality and gay marriage. These sorts of events are fodder for this blog. It seems to me that when controversial remarks are made by prominent figures concerning high-profile or significant ideological topics, immediately, like those magnetic kids’ games, all the little steel flakes get sucked off to either one side or the other. This seems to be a reflexive rather than a reflective movement, and the respective sides soon commence the spin cycle of justifying what was said, or of defending the person who said it, or of accusing the other side of politicizing it, or accusing the media of warping the facts and stirring up trouble by incessantly covering it. And it happens with reflexive wagon-circling, that the truth often takes the hindmost. But for me, the truth always must take the foremost position.

 I am an Evangelical Christian who identifies with no particular political party. I have voted for both liberals and conservatives. Part of my motivation for writing about sizzling issues like these is that it seems to me nationalism and “us-vs.-themism”  is creeping into the American church. And if it creeps into Church mentality and church practice, invariably it will infiltrate our theology, and subsequently our presentation of the Gospel. This should never be permitted to happen.  There are, however, pragmatic reasons for writing this blog as well, such as the belief that a quarrelling people are less productive, less protective of the weak among them, more self-centered than a people group the members of which seek to work together toward a common good. It is so easy to imbibe an ideology, to allow it to become bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh, and to forget or never to have known what reasons there were for accepting it in the first place. These ideologies and their pronouncements about social issues are icons of a sort, and as the name of this blog suggests, they deserve to be challenged and, if necessary, destroyed.