Civics 101

This week Americans have received an unintended civics lesson, courtesy of our secular elites. First came the story of how the Southern Baptists had decided to amend their statement of faith to say that wives should "submit graciously to the servant leadership" of their husbands. Of course, that's taken straight from Scripture. But the news media responded like sharks who smell blood. They attacked the Baptists viciously, calling them unenlightened and ignorant. And then came the attacks on Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Lott appeared on "The Armstrong Williams Show," and Williams asked him if he agreed with Reggie White that homosexual behavior was a sin. Lott replied, "Yes, it is." House Majority Leader Richard Armey backed him up, declaring that "The Bible is very clear on this [and] both myself and Senator Lott believe very strongly in the Bible." Well, everyone from Tom Brokaw to Peter Jennings to gay groups to White House spokesman Mike McCurry made it clear that as far as they were concerned, Biblical writers are nothing but a bunch of ignorant homophobes. Jennings devoted a big chunk of "ABC World News Tonight" trying to make Lott look like a complete fool. McCurry accused the majority leader of being "backward" in his thinking. People like Lott, McCurry said, are the reason why it's so difficult to do "rational work in Washington." By "rational work," I suppose he means passing gay rights laws and endorsing gay ambassadors. But in the midst of this week's media frenzy, Christians need to understand who our secular elites are really attacking. They aren't going after the Southern Baptists or Senator Lott. They're going after Scripture itself. You see, if you believe in the Scriptures, or even if you invoke Scriptural teaching in public discussion, you've committed the cardinal sin in a country which tolerates everything except moral absolutes. You can't talk about Christian teachings without being accused of being an oppressive bigot. All of this is evidence of elite America's growing bias against Christians. No other group would be viciously attacked for their beliefs. Feminists believe in abortion—nobody attacks them for expressing their convictions. It's a free country. But quote the Bible and the elites are furious. Why? Well, what really gets people like Peter Jennings is not specific Biblical teachings but, rather, the idea of any normative moral statements. Any idea of authority. Any idea of enduring truth. And even some Christians get sucked in. One news commentator who said he was a practicing Christian, said, "This is the twentieth century. Get with it. Besides, the Bible is about love." As America slips further and further from her Biblical moorings, we can expect more outbursts like the two we've witnessed this week. Paul tells us in Romans 1 that the fate of those who refuse to honor God is futile and misguided thinking. But you and I need to educate our neighbors and friends. Not only is Biblical teaching the form here for sound human relations, it's our right to say what we believe. And if we can't say what we believe, well, their right to their beliefs may someday be in danger as well.


Chuck Colson



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