Praying for ObamaNovember 10, 2008 — Deacon Duncan
Chuck Colson believes that President-Elect Obama needs our prayers.
[T]he new President will surely need our prayers because he and his administration face huge, serious challenges to the health of our nation and to peace in the world—challenges that, in my opinion, neither he nor any government on earth will have the power to overcome without divine aid.
How has America come to this point? Why is our economy on the brink of disaster? Why is our culture so utterly depraved?
He forgot to add, “And why has it become this way after eight years of leadership by a conservative Christian administration and unprecedented Christian control over laws and constitutions at the state and local level?” But perhaps that question would have ended up being rhetorical.
Colson, of course, wants to blame all this on the atheists.
I can only think of what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said about the catastrophic consequences of the Russian revolution. “I recall,” he said, “hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
Solzhenitsyn was right. Indeed, I can’t find any better explanation for why we Americans find ourselves in the state we are in. We have forgotten God.
That’s true, if by “forgetting God” you mean “electing someone just because he claims to be a conservative Christian, and launching unconstitutional faith-based initiatives to divert taxpayer dollars into private ministries, and amending state constitutions to deny marriage rights to gays just because you’re afraid God won’t approve of something that’s none of your business, and suppressing any research that might be deemed ‘offensive’ to God, and letting your government trample the rights of both foreign and domestic citizens in the name of fighting Islamic terrorism, and so on and so on.”
Christians have been pretty much running the show for the past two presidential terms, and they’re not too happy with how God has “blessed” the results of their efforts. Naturally it’s going to be the atheists’ fault (and never mind that atheists can’t even get elected to office in most cases, let alone run the government).
One of the problems with letting Christians run government is that they always expect God to work with them somehow to produce positive results, and then are shocked and disappointed when He turns out to be unwilling or unable to contribute anything more than what an imaginary friend would. That in itself is a bad pattern, but then to make matters worse, they don’t acknowledge that there’s anything wrong with their approach, or that God has let them down in any way. They blame men for God’s failure to act AND they pretend that they are the real victims here.
The attacks on Christianity these days are only going to intensify in the months ahead. But we must press on all the more to make a winsome witness. Those who would banish Christianity from American life are risking the very survival of American society.
Three-fifths of the states in the US have passed amendments to ban gay marriage. NONE have passed, or even proposed, any amendments, laws, executive orders, or official memos, advocating that Christianity be abolished. There have been those who have recommended that we begin obeying the First Amendment prohibition against using government to establish religion, but that’s a clause that applies equally to all religions, and is not by any means an attempt to “banish Christianity from American life.”
If anything, Christianity has had too much influence on American life, and has enabled our leaders, emboldened by God’s grace and forgiveness, to lead us into torturing our illegally-detained prisoners, and conducting illegal, unwarranted wiretaps on innocent citizens, and paying churches to promote the RNC and its candidates, and suppressing important research that God might not approve of, and denying that God would allow man to so pollute the earth that global warming would be a significant problem, and so on. What we need right now more than anything is a bit more accountability and realism and a bit less self-bestowed divine forgiveness and “inspiration.”
Not that I’m recommending censoring Christianity in any way. In fact I think it would be healthy to let Christians tell us exactly what they believe. If you listen to what they’re saying, and contrast it with what we actually find in the real world, they dig their own graves. Give ’em all the rope they want, sez I.
But what we need most right now is a bit of truth, honesty, liberty, and justice. Those are the qualities that will get us out of the mess we’re in, if they’re exercised by real people instead of being shuffled off onto some imaginary being to take care of. We’re responsible, individually and collectively, for the quality of our lives, and it’s time we started taking that responsibility and exercising it.