Friday, October 22, 2010

The Radical Theology of Erick Erickson

I know that I already talked about this, but I have a few more things to say. 

RedState's Erick Erickson found a way to make the following remarks in a post about Juan Williams:
The most significant truth is that had Juan Williams made his comments about Christians or Jews he would still have his job. The world is at war with Christ and, more generally, the Judeo-Christian God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Islam, derived from a man of this world, and the world are in supernatural alliance against Christ. This is the moment non-believers laugh and believers nod knowingly.

The secular world hates the real God of the Bible and those who follow Christ. Any group that is not of Christ or allied with Christ is spared by the world because it is of the world. Any group of Christ or allied with Christ is fair game for attack and ridicule.

Christians are aliens in this world and ultimately, on the last day, win. But until then, the world hates them.
In the same post, Erickson provides a laundry list of unkind words uttered by present and former NPR staffers about certain Christians. He then writes:
NPR would never, nor would any other network, say anything similar about Islam or any group perceived to be a victim group. Superficially, this is because the left has unyielding sympathy for victim groups, whether or not they actually are real victims. It is how the left can embrace tolerance for both gays and muslims though many of the latter would gladly see all of the former put the death.
One of the myths promulgated by conservatives these days is that liberals like me kowtow to Muslims and to any group conservatives perceive as being hostile to Christians and Christianity. Let's set the record straight, shall we? Christians are not a "victim group" in this country. Christians are doing just fine. I know a lot of you Christians might find that shocking, but it's true. When was the last time someone told you that you'll just have to build your church somewhere else, out of sympathy for the feelings of those who dare not be Christian? When was the last time you were prohibited from reading your Bible, or going to church, or watching religious programming on television? The left has sympathy for "victim groups" because the left, unlike the right, actually takes rights seriously. Christians don't have to worry about threats to their right to worship; Muslims do. If anyone has a right to worship, everyone does, including Muslims. (Obviously, this does not mean that religious people can do whatever they want, so anyone out there itching to interpret my words in the least charitable way should forget about it.) I find Islam just as annoying and ridiculous as Christianity or any other religion. But I believe in everyone's right to self-determination, and that extends to religious matters.

What is most disturbing about Erickson's comments is the extremism inherent in them. In Erickson's world, there are only Christians and those who are at war with them. You're either with the Christians or you're with their enemies. Since I am not a Christian, I have entered into a "supernatural alliance against Christ." (I don't recall doing that, actually.) And since the religious right speaks for Christians, either I accept everything they say, or I am their mortal enemy. There is no middle ground: if I argue for the religious freedom of anyone who isn't a Christian, then I am at war with Christ. This is just the kind of extremist thinking that gets holy wars going. Let me say that again: this is just the kind of extremist thinking that gets holy wars going. People like Erickson pose a far greater threat to this world than atheists do.

Erickson thinks of himself as a Christian. I think of him as a lunatic.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson