It all seemed innocuous enough; I was scrolling down the Face book page and came across a photo of a young woman holding an AR-15 and a Bible. I didn’t pay much attention to the caption below but I knew who such a photo would irritate, liberals [sic]. Perhaps to irritate someone is not a good motivation to share something on Face book but generally irritating a liberal seems to be a worthy endeavor, there is an off chance it might get them to think. I should have known better or at least thought about it before clicking on “share” as someone rightly called me out on it by sharing with me a photo of a Muslim woman holding a AK-47 and a Koran. Now look who is irritated, The Contrarian. I started to consider arguments about moral equivalency, the differences between Islam and Christianity. However, knowing from past experiences, such conversations get bogged down in minutia and never advance very far. Modern mainstream media news/entertainment and academia for the most part is secular and has been effective in convincing many that much of the evil in the world is brought on by “religion”.
“The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.”
― Frédéric Bastiat
Skillfully attacked? Let us consider the characteristics of modern mainstream media and academia: Liberal, in the modern sense, an active roll by a central government to bring about “positive” change socially and economically. Secular, an open hostility to organized religion with a specific disdain for Christianity. Left, sympathetic view of socialism or communism. JBS Haldane said, “I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy. That is the reason why I have no philosophy myself, and must be my excuse for dreaming.” Is it possible for one to not have a philosophy? More than likely a person may not have a consistent or systematic philosophy but nonetheless everyone has a philosophy. It is unfortunate that many who expose themselves to academia and the media believe they are being educated and entertained with a fully diverse dose of ideas, fairly presented. Many may not be well versed in the economic ideas of John Maynard Keynes, or know the philosophy of existentialism or the doctrine of relativism, but most either directly or indirectly have been constantly barraged with many of these ideas along with many other ideas of “liberalism”. Do you think, considering the nature of academia and the mainstream media, any contrary ideas or philosophies would get a fair hearing? It appears that from the modern liberal point of view The Voodoo Doctor, The West Virginia Snake Handler, The Muslim Cleric, The Catholic Priest and Reformed Theologian are on the same plane. One of the most powerful things academia and the media have is the power of omission. I note the absence of theologians versed in Apologetics or economists versed in Austrian Economics, just to mention a couple of truly diverse ideas/philosophies. Not only diverse but very compelling, and perhaps that is the explanation for their absence, because they have such compelling arguments. Considering the time most people are exposed to modern academia, through forced government schools, and the media, through voluntary ignorance, what kind of philosophy or worldview might be prevalent?
Ineptly defended? I have often complained of the Right’s never ending railing against government’s big welfare state and its never ending lauding of the most violent aspects of the state, it’s military and police. “No matter which way you see it, this Army mom’s photo with an American flag, gun and Bible has set off a Twitter firestorm” was the captions under the photo of the woman with the AR 15 and the Bible. I can be convinced if there must be a state its role should be to protect life, liberty and property. In that same vane a legitimate role would also be national “defense.” It is quite obvious, to people on the Religions Right, the scope and reach of the United States Central government has become too vast and oppressive. Yet there seems to be no empathy for people in foreign lands expressing anger over global intervention of the United States Central Government especially militarily. What did the “terrorist” do on 9-11? Does one dare ask why? Actually they have told us. I find it quite sad when engaging in a debate about the United States military intervention in the world when a choice between leaving them alone or “killing them all” it is the latter. What did the United States Central Government do when it bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Perhaps the United States Central Government’s national defense has become quite offensive to many in the world. I would ask many “Christians” that have rapped themselves in nationalism to reconsider their positions on certain issues and delve a little deeper into The Book. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. Nationalism seems to be a powerful force that pulls many in. I see the destruction, countries thrown into chaos, civilians killed or left destitute, and commercial after commercial of “Wounded Warriors” and I am saddened, it needn’t be this way. “We destroy arguments,” sounds more like an intellectual pursuit.
If I were still a right wing conservative, the response to an equivocation between the two women would be: The woman with the American flag, AR-15 and the Bible represents a Christian’s willingness to defend his/her country’s freedoms. Rings pretty hollow doesn’t it, at least to me. Seems to be a nice lady in the photo, I would ask her to put the rifle down and open The Book in her hands. Read the words of the Apostles, it seems pretty clear the government of their day was similar to ours, something to be endured not lauded. I did not read the passages where the Apostles were lobbying Roman Senators for certain laws to be enacted to help further their cause. I do recall Paul at Mars Hill in Athens, making the case for Christianity. Why Athens? It was the academic hot bed of its day. He went making intellectual arguments for his faith. In many ways the Liberal Left and the Religious Right are equally ignorant of Christianity. Considering the state of ignorance it is all to easy to trot out a picture of a woman with a Koran and an AK-47 and say there is no difference, just another dogmatic religion that foments violence.