Sunday, August 29, 2010

A History Lesson on America's Spiritual Yearnings

Watching Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” Rally yesterday on C-Span, it wasn’t hard to guess ahead of time what the dependable MSM denigrations would be:

1. Downsizing the total numbers of people in attendance.
2. Mocking the religious themes Beck presented.
3. Questioning Beck’s sincerity in stressing a non-political rally.
4. Demanding we believe the Rev. Huckster Sharpton’s rally had the same significance.

Glenn Beck rally

Sure enough, when I opened up Google News to see who said what, the headlines were obvious and predictable. What was a surprise, however, was finding this event to be the lead story; currently it’s at the top of the heap when you access the main page. One presumes this means that the event is currently drawing the most hits? Isn’t that how Google ranks its stories in the news section?

You can scroll through the headlines at Google and see those four predictions borne out in the attitudes toward the story by members of that entity Larwyn calls the Lamestream Media.

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Because Americans generally aren’t taught their own history, and often don’t know how to go about learning it from original sources, they’re stuck with what the media says, and often was the media says is full of bias while being studiously empty of real content.

Beck’s rally could only have deeply embarrassed and angered them. He trampled their boundaries: talked about religion, shed some tears, got personal about his own failings, and sermonized about — gasp! — looking for the good in ourselves and in one another.

Robert Costa called it Beck’s Revival. His report is straightforward yet it captures the spirit of this event:
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Beck’s opening theme, calling the assembled to embrace God and remember the traditional, foundational values of the country, was carried on by the ensuing speakers. Calls for unity and inspiration were ubiquitous, interspersed with history lessons, personal testimonials, sermons, and a bit of country music — John Rich and others performed.

“For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Beck said, gazing out toward the reflecting pool. “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished, and the things that we can do tomorrow.”

Beck’s healing message also included numerous citations of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the site 47 years ago to the day. Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the civil-rights activist, was a featured speaker. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, also addressed King’s legacy. “You have the same steel spine and moral courage as Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King,” she told the crowd. “It will sustain you, as it sustained them.”

[…]

Ultimately, however, it was Beck’s call for a religious rebirth that dominated. He urged the throngs to “recognize your place to the Creator” and to “realize that He is our king.”

“He is the one who guides and directs our life and protects us,” Beck said, his voice rising. “I ask, not only if you would pray on your knees, but pray on your knees with your door open for your children to see.”

So. An unabashed religious message. A sermon. No wonder the Left loathes him. How dare he mention such subjects in front of the children!

How dare they be so sadly ignorant of what was transpiring yesterday in Washington, D.C. Do “J” schools teach no history at all?? The only other explanation is deliberate obfuscation. But they wouldn't do that, would they?

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To understand the context and to place Glenn Beck in his proper historical perspective, one has to know something about the periods of religious Awakenings that have interspersed American history.

What follows is brief, at least in terms of the subject. The links are to Wikipedia sites because they have the most succinct information in one place, plus extensive bibliographies about each of the periods covered. The overview page explains these phenomena:

The Great Awakening was a religious revival in American religious history. There were three--some say four--such periods of fervor, each characterized by widespread revivals led by evangelical Protestant ministers, a sharp increase of interest in religion, a profound sense of conviction and redemption on the part of those affected, a jump in evangelical church membership, and the formation of new religious movements and denominations. After a generation or so, the fervor calmed and faded away.

  • The First Great Awakening originated in England and spread here. You can see the parallels in the opening explanation. Here’s a snip (without the links which appear in the original:

    The First Great Awakening (or The Great Awakening) was a religious revitalization movement that swept the Atlantic world, and especially the American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving a permanent impact on American religion. It resulted from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of personal guilt and of their need of salvation by Christ. Pulling away from ritual and ceremony, the Great Awakening made religion intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual guilt and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality. It brought Christianity to African-American slaves and was an apocalyptic event in New England that challenged established authority. It incited rancor and division between old traditionalists who insisted on the continuing importance of ritual and doctrine, and the new revivalists, who encouraged emotional involvement and personal commitment.
    Most of the experts in ecclesiology and in American religious history say that these “enthusiasms” must, of necessity, be short-lived. This is inherent in the nature of any fervor, religious, political, or personal. Eventually, things return to a routine (unless you’re Italian, of course).

  • The Second Great Awakening

    …was a religious revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States, which expressed Arminian theology by which every person could be saved through revivals. It enrolled millions of new members, and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…
    Ah, those millennial hopes and fears came early. When our turn came, it was about Y2K. For them it was about reviving something lost. Notice the theme of Glenn Beck's "Restoring"?

    That page is worth perusing just to see the many new American Protestant denominations that resulted from the Second Awakening. Scroll down the page past the colorful illustration of a Methodist revival meeting.

  • The Third Great Awakening

    …was a period of religious activism in American history from the late 1850s to the 1900s. It affected pietistic Protestant denominations and had a strong sense of social activism. It gathered strength from the postmillennial theology that the Second Coming of Christ would come after mankind had reformed the entire earth. The Social Gospel Movement gained its force from the Awakening, as did the worldwide missionary movement. New groupings emerged, such as the Holiness movement and Nazarene movements, and Christian Science.
It was so much more than that. Here was formed “muscular Christianity” — the practical, hands-on sense of mission which has remained a vital force in American culture. That page also deserves a look.

As a personal example -- people we know -- our family dentist traveled for many years to India where he helped repair children’s cleft palates. As he’s gotten older, Dr. R goes to less strenuous places where he teaches new techniques to up-and-coming dental students. Here at home, he charges other dentists handsomely for sharing this expertise. In turn, those funds are used to underwrite his work with students in Eastern Europe. In the same way, my family doctor just returned from Africa where she spent three weeks. All year, her group collects free medicines to distribute there. They both do these things without fanfare, year in and year out. You have to dig a little to find out what has inspired these trips. You won't get a religious message from either of them, but since we've known them so long, we know the context.

These two people are just the tip of a large iceberg that goes unnoticed by the press as it searches for the trivial and the ugly and tries to convince us that these aberrations they unearth are the sum of our reality. No wonder people are depressed and worried.

Glen Beck’s “Revival” is simply part of a long tradition, the same tradition that inspired Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream speech and eventually led to his early death.

If Beck’s rally is viewed merely as a one-off, a quirk of the Tea Party drones, etc., ad nauseam, this will be directly due to the intellectual poverty of our commentariat. Their ignorance of important parts of American history, their refusal to accept as valid anything which lies beyond their personal belief system, and their overweening hubris prevents them from studying the past in order to understand the present.

Is there a more intellectually bankrupt or morally impoverished group than those who people our Left-dominated institutions -- and of whom the media are only the most obvious cu;prits? Can they be reformed and awakened?

We’ll see, won’t we?


Image borrowed from Liberty Pundits.

26 comments:

Zenster said...

Despite Obama's misbegotten claims to the contrary, America continues to be a Christian nation. Glenn Beck is certainly within his rights to rally people of faith so as to reawaken a sense of patriotic nationalism in this country's people.

There is even some merit in his seeking to increase awareness among Christians regarding outward threats posed to America by its biased Liberal media, Multicultural Politically Correct politicians and Islamic infiltrators.

That said and speaking as an agnostic, it bears repeating a concern I have voiced at this forum several times before.

Defeating Islam will require more than just a reawakening of Christian faith, here in America or anywhere else for that matter. The Muslim threat is across the board and targets every other form of belief and non-belief on earth.

For that reason, admirable as it may be, Christian unity is not the answer for anyone but Christians − and, truth be told, not even for them − when considering the wider scope of what will be required to thwart global jihad.

There is an increasingly desperate need for all non-Muslims to unite in opposition to Islam. This broader unity must not be faith-based but, instead, rooted in the more fundamental issues of freedom, liberty and human rights, all of which Islam denies wherever it gains dominance.

From freedom, liberty and human rights there automatically extends the protection of religious practice. The converse is not entirely true, not even among Christians, although there is no equivalency with respect to Islam's vicious curtailment of religious or individual freedoms.

Again, the defeat of Islam is not a religious issue. Framing it as such a thing in any way both empowers arguments that Islam merits the protections accorded other genuine religions and improperly narrows the scope of what needs to be a much wider focus upon shari'a law's overall incompatibility with Western civilization.

Islam intentionally cloaks its political ideology in religious garb for the explicit purpose of unfairly being awarded the considerations give to authentically benevolent faiths. Swaddling the counter-jihad movement in similarly religious trappings is dangerously self-defeating with respect to forming a much broader and more functional alliance with all non-Muslims.

This is no small matter as Islam is a past master at exploiting internal divisions in ways far more damaging to its opponents than internecine Muslim sectarianism will ever threaten Islam.

Let there be no doubt that one day Islam too shall succumb to its own internal divisions but that in no way releases its intended prey from the immense dangers posed by Muslims so long as they are not opposed universally in dar al harb.

I have not listened to all of the speeches made at that rally and, therefore, do not know if any message was delivered about overarching unity against Islam. It would be a welcome relief to know that such a topic was broached at that gathering.

To date, I have yet to see any truly functional inter-faith coalition much less the international politically-based alliance of all free people that must necessarily be formed in order to have any hope of defeating Islam.

Stop The Rape of High Kingsdown! said...

I am in a quandary. I have decided that this is good news. I have decided that as an expression of my tribe, the ethnically Christian, a renewall of Christianity would serve as a rallying theme in the resistance of Islamification. BUT, I have long deeply held religious convictions that barr me from participation. I cannot partake of an endorsement of The Creator. Like John Stuart Mill, who expressed it so forcefully, I belive, and feel in my bones, that the Creator is an abomination and his creation is Hell. Moreover, part of what moves me to abhorr Islam is this very sense and the recognition that the ardent Muslim is the ultimate slave of God.

So, I take pleasure in seeing my tribe rallying, quite literally, about its common symbolism in shared religious identity. But I cannot contribute, for I believe, ultimately, that an ardent Chritian has more in common with a Muslim than he ever can with me.

Zenster said...

In the absence of such broad-based unity against Islam, certain prospects emerge that are exceedingly grim. Not only is there the potentially hideous outcome of a global caliphate looming in such an oppositional vacuum but an almost equally horrific possibility that Islam's ultimate defeat will be obtained through bulk nuclear extermination of the global Muslim population.

Simple economic necessity predicts this latter and dire outcome. Current conventional military efforts in just two of the fifty Muslim-majority nations have seen an expenditure of some one trillion dollars. Not even the non-Muslim world’s combined financial resources could sustain an additional outlay of another 24 trillion dollars to pacify the remaining forty-eight other Islamic countries.

What’s more, current efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq have in no way demonstrated any success whatsoever with respect to eliminating shari’a-based theocracy. Ergo, any effective and affordable military strategy almost mandatorily requires the broad application of nuclear weapons that would trigger a Muslim holocaust.

For this reason, it is imperative to create a worldwide and non-religious consortium of those who insist upon freedom and liberty as their most basic human rights. This is one of the only viable alternatives to wholesale genocide, be it inflicted by Islam or those who intend to permanently defeat Muslim jihadist aggression.

To date, such an effort still has yet to solidify and time is running out for the commencement of this vital enterprise. Iran’s pending accession to nuclear weapons has the promise of triggering a regional arms race that will see dozens, if not hundreds, of these devices held in Muslim hands. It is literally guaranteed that beyond a certain unspecified number of Islamic nuclear weapons there emerges a non-zero probability that one or more of them will be diverted into the possession of terrorists for the purpose of jihad.

The notion of nuclear terrorism is so abhorrent and promises such a devastating loss of Western cultural heritage that even pre-emptive nuclear attacks become attractive. Indeed such a strategy has already been discussed at the highest military levels of Western military powers. Again, any functional military resolution with regard to ending Islamic jihad bears with it such catastrophic loss of life that it is incumbent upon the free world to search out and enact some better alternative.

That alternative is a unified resistance to and dismantling of global jihad by the non-Muslim international community. It is an effort that cannot be initiated too soon nor can it be given too high of a priority. So much needless loss of human life and avoidable misery hangs in the balance that it is incumbent upon all free people to rise up in order to defend their freedom from those who would just as cheerfully banish it forever.

EscapeVelocity said...
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EscapeVelocity said...
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Dymphna said...

Zenster--

Not evrything on this blog is about Islam. Nor will it ever be.

The point of this post was never intended to be about Islam. It's about AMERICAN HISTORY, specifically the tradition of the Great Awakenings.

The motive was to provide a larger historical understanding, both for Americans who know so little of their own tradiditons, and for Europeans, who often think they know us (as we *think* we know them).

This post was not meant to be normative, Zenster. It is descriptive in nature. Surely you remember the GoV history on trying to explain the difference between those two?

Back to Islam bashing tomorrow maybe. But for the moment, give it a rest. In the name of a heaven you don't believe in, please have a little mercy...

Dymphna said...

Kingsdown--

No one is asking you to violate your principles and participate in something you find beneath you.

This post is to provide some historical context about an event that drew possibly 300,000 people. You aren't required to agree or disagree with the participants.

Can we find some folks who are willing to make this NOT about themselves??

Please?

Zenster said...

Dymphna: Not everything on this blog is about Islam. Nor will it ever be.

However, Glenn Beck has played a central role in helping to increase public awareness about Islamic jihad. The magnitude of his role is demonstrated by the attendance numbers for that D.C. event.

Simultaneously, Christianity is one of the few religions (besides Hinduism), that has shown some serious historic pushback against Islam.

Both of these issues converge in Glenn Beck and it is well within his power to help facilitate the sort of international coalition that I posit.

Furthermore, America and its Christian character are under direct threat from Islam and a more unified nation is one key ingredient with respect to alleviating that danger.

If this thread is about Christianity in America, then it is well within this topic's scope to mention how vital it is for Christians to begin making room in the tent for, not just people of other faiths, but even agnostics and [gasp!] atheists as well.

It is in Christianity's best interest to do so and there has not been a lot of evidence that anything of the sort is happening. Closer to home, one indication of this is how even Gates of Vienna is perceived as being hostile to atheists. Personally, I do not find this to be true but it is still significant that this Christian website is seen as being so.

Yet, even the perception of this is something that should give pause because of how important it is to present Islam with a gloabally unified front.

I'm sure all of us had high hopes when Pope Benedict showed some actual spine in his Regensburg address. His subsequent backdown and, even, conciliation with regard to Islam represents the exact opposite of what I was commenting about.

If the Pope is incapable of guarding his flock then more able individuals will have to step into the breach. Similarly, if Christian America wishes to fulfill its duty to this nation, it has an obligation to help protect, not just people of their own faith, but all freedom-loving individuals.

Part of that mission now includes rallying all peaceable Americans to the cause of defeating Islam's assault upon this entire world's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Towards that end, this thread represents a perfect venue for discussion of such an important goal.

EscapeVelocity said...

If this thread is about Christianity in America, then it is well within this topic's scope to mention how vital it is for "Christians to begin making room in the tent for, not just people of other faiths, but even agnostics and [gasp!] atheists as well.

It is in Christianity's best interest to do so and there has not been a lot of evidence that anything of the sort is happening. "


Where to begin?!

[smacks forehead]

Dymphna said...

@ Zenster--

...Glenn Beck has played a central role in helping to increase public awareness about Islamic jihad. The magnitude of his role is demonstrated by the attendance numbers for that D.C. event.

The only reference to Islam in the 3+ plus hours was in a plea to people asking them to ... "attend the church, synagogue...and, oh yes, the mosque, of your choice". That last one was definitely an afterthought.

That was it Zenster. No Islam, no mention of jihad. The only danger Beck saw was from the media, which is aligned against him. He spoke about the danger we face from only looking at what is wrong with us. "Looking at our scars" was his phrase. He pleaded with his listeners to find the good in themselves and each other.

=================

If this thread is about Christianity in America, then it is well within this topic's scope to mention how vital it is for Christians to begin making room in the tent for, not just people of other faiths, but even agnostics and [gasp!] atheists as well

Please cut out the sarcasm, Zenster.

Several distinctions need to be made re your assertions:

1. The post was about thinking how this event may fit into the larger context of American Protestant Christian history. Beck himself is a Mormon, iirc. That’s not considered "Christian" by other denominations, because their Scripture comes from a guy named Smith (??)...I'm not sure of the creedal particulars, but Mormonism, despite being peculiarly American, is an outlier – partly due to its animus toward blacks and its belief in polygamy.

2. Christianity is not a big tent in America. It's a bajillion little tents. A lot of those tents have one person in 'em.

3. Glenn Beck's "altar call" told people to go home, go to church (and clean it up if necessary), and to be kind to one another. Get involved in their communities and especially in their families. Did you actually watch the program?
========

Gates of Vienna is perceived as being hostile to atheists. Personally, I do not find this to be true but it is still significant that this Christian website is seen as being so.

That perception is not a significant factor in what we post. We never expected to be all things to all people. Communication is always the act of the recipient, thus we can't and don't expect to be understood the same way by everyone.

We get grief for all our views: we're Zionist lovers; we're too Christian; we're not Christian enough; we're racists; we're nigger-lovers; we're xenophobes, Islamophobes, and homophobes; we use big words; we're simplistic; we're boring; all we do is report bad news; we don't cover American stories enough and besides Europe is boring, too, etc., ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

There are scads of atheist sites out there where the perceivers of our purported "hostility" can find comfort far from the eeevil Christer dogmatists who run this blog.
=============
Islam comments on this thread are OT. The post is about one fellow who stood up in front of 300,000 people & asked them to be kind to one another.

Comments on Mr. Beck, his message, or his audience are welcome. Guesses as to what his future is would be of interest. Many on the Left see this event as his grab for political power...

EscapeVelocity said...

Ill try to explain the way I see it Zenster, which is going to take quite a it of typing, tommorrow.

Dymphna said...

@Escape Velocity--

Explanations welcome, as long as they deal with the "Restoring the Honor" rally. That's the topic of the post.

Thanks.

Zenster said...

Dymphna: Islam comments on this thread are OT. The post is about one fellow who stood up in front of 300,000 people & asked them to be kind to one another.

As mentioned earlier, I did not watch the event. Therefore, it was unknown to me whether Beck touched upon the topic of counter-jihad which, otherwise, is a dominant theme in his broadcast work.

Having read more than a little about Mormonism, I have some serious difficulties with calling it a legitimate religion. Like Scientology and Wiccanism, far too much of it is contrived if not manufactured out of whole cloth.

Some overall unity would certainly do this nation a lot of good. I firmly believe that Gates of Vienna serves towards that end and have always applauded your efforts.

My mention of GoV being perceived as hostile to atheists was only to demonstrate the difficulties that lay ahead of us in bringing much needed unity to the counter-jihad movement. Those "bajillion little tents" are in dire need of cozying up to each other if there is to be any success in thwarting Islam. The modicum of sarcasm I employed was not directed at this website but at a few of its readers who have, on occasion, exhibited some pretty serious dislike for atheists. That is all.

Sorting out legitimately benign faiths from theocratic ones is a Hell of a good place to start in terms of where, when and how we should "be kind to one another". The vast majority of what I read at this website tells me that Islam does not qualify as one of those benign faiths. Ergo, my concern.

Zenster said...

As an aside but well on topic, I'd sure enjoy hearing someone explain how Al Sharpton's counter-demonstration in Washington D.C. dovetails with recent Republican (i.e., Newt Gingrich), efforts to form some sort of alliance with this professional victimologist.

I also will definitely second any mention of media duplicity regarding coverage of this event. My local paper splashed the rally on page seven of the first section and ran it under the very confusing title of, "Beck, Sharpton lead flocks on anniversary of MLK speech".

I was obliged to read further just to be sure that Beck had not made Gingrich's same blunder of having anything to do with race baiting wannabe warlord poverty pimp Al Sharpton.

Again, if anyone can delineate what sort of positive outcome there is for conservative politics with regard to even giving Sharpton the time of day, please go right ahead.

aileen said...

This Jew sides with Dymphna on the signficance of religious awakenings in U.S. history, their influence on public policy, and their relevance to our current situation.

As for the Social Gospel movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, unfortunately it helped give us the Progressivism of Wilson (New Freedom) and Theodore Roosevelt (New Nationalism). So the religious appeal can work to our detriment as well as to our benefit. What the historical episodes show is how central Christianity is in the American ethos.

Leftists have long known this, and that's why we have assorted race hustlers who put "Rev." in front of their names, to give their activities a respectability that they don't deserve (Jesse Jackson was never even ordained).

The Tea Party movement would do well to take a lesson from yesterday's outpouring of support for what amounted to a religious rally, for that support implies that those TPers who want the movement to eschew the "social issues" are mistaken.

Site of The Kings Arms. said...

Excuse me, I dont think I said it was about myself. Nor did I say anything was "beneath" me. I think you'll find I said I endorsed the purported revival in the Christan fervours of "my tribe" but that I am in a quandary because I cannot participate...implying by that remark that I would otherwise like to participate!

How is that not both about the topic of the piece AND something bigger thn me?

Robert said...
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EscapeVelocity said...

Guess I wont be following up with Zenster, unless he would like to suggest a place to take our discussion elsewhere.

But, kudos to Beck. Christian Revival is exactly what the West needs.

goethechosemercy said...

Christian revival will not come from mass meetings, nor from pageantry, nor from rhetoric, nor from symbols.
Christian revival comes from the study of scripture, from accepting the sacraments, and from the awareness of sin and redemption.
Glenn Beck rejected Christianity in favor of a bastardized form of belief known as Mormonism.
I have little sympathy with Beck's rhetoric or with his religion because I am a Christian.
The only thing I can stomach of him is his challenge to the militancy of Islam.

Beach Girl said...

Okay, this is all about "me" well not exactly. I believe we must start with education and so I have made a reading list of posts and bloggers available to some folks I know through my Christian church. Some want to know and read with avid interest - about the tenets of Islam and Sharia or Sharia Law to be redundant.It was one of those throw your hands up days yesterday when a few folks just passed the bucket of sweetness and light and hoped that their meat loaf was hot, the mashed potatoes hot, and the wine chilled - the wine they are not supposed to drink. And the general consensus was to pray for the "infidels". Talk about forming a cohesive group of Christians aware of the threat and it makes one marvel at those who continue on day in and day out fighting the counter-jihad. To those who keep the good fight, thank you but unless Americans generally speaking come home from church and find the pot-roast cold and the potatoes uncooked, forget about a cohesive group. Usually I am more upbeat but yesterday would have made the jihadists proud 'cause they would have seen they have absolutely nothing to "fear" from such an unconcerned group of prayers praying for their, the jihadists, salvation.

Good for Glenn Beck and for the 300,000 who showed up. We need more than a Christian Revival; we need a kick in the pants.

I don't know what it will take to "wake up" Americans to the Islamist threat but it certainly will take more than the Twin Towers going down.

I was unable to watch Beck's gathering at the mall. A turn-out of 300,000 people is a good start and they will share their experiences with friends and family. Excuse me but I think it will take a "come to Jesus" moment for Americans to make the effort to learn and to become informed so that they can recognize the insidious threat that Islam brings to them on a personal level like oh say no crosses on tops of churches because the crosses are offensive to the ever so sensitive Islamists.

Zenster said...

Robert: The last few decades have not precisely shown what that ideology is, but they have forcefully demonstrated what it is not, namely, besides Islam, agnosticism, atheism and other forms of materialism. Those fighting diseases of all kinds cannot just fight malaria while welcoming dysentery, the bubonic plague and typhoid fever into the "big tent".

You do a major injustice by lumping agnosticism with "Islam, … atheism and other forms of materialism". At least agnostics have the common decency to appreciate the role of religion in human spirituality and not denigrate it like so many atheists do. Islam's peculiar and profound abasement of humanity goes light years beyond even atheism's traditional view of religion as mere superstition.

Comparing respectful agnosticism with "dysentery, the bubonic plague and typhoid fever" is exactly the sort of religious bigotry that causes so many people to, fairly or unfairly, dismiss Christianity. Furthermore, I think it is hardly an attitude that Jesus Christ would himself have held or encouraged others to adopt.

I hold no truck with "Islam, … atheism and other forms of materialism". All of them promise nothing but human misery and − just as often − a spiritual barrenness which has beset our world with malignancies such as Communism, terrorism, "Social Justice", Black Liberation Theology and a host of other sanctimonious self-serving doctrines.

You do Christianity no favor by being exclusionary of those who manage to demonstrate a sincere respect for it. Fortunately, that is a hypocrisy which Gates of Vienna avoids like your selfsame "bubonic plague" and it is to their immense credit as a powerful force in the counter-jihad that they do so.

Zenster said...
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Dymphna said...

@goethechosemercy--

May you, too, someday choose that very same virtue.

How does the song go?

"Blessed are the merciful for they get tell everyone else where Christian revival comes from"...?

Ouch.

Dymphna said...

If I see the word ISLAM again on this thread, I will go back and delete every single instance of it.

Stop it. Right now.

goethechosemercy said...

The chief effect of GA1 and GA2 was a "democratization" of American Christianity according to Nathaniel O. Hatch.
That means I have every right to say anything I please about Mormonism, Christian revival, or anything else.
I'm with Hitchens on Beck and the significance of the rally.
If I need someone to represent my views on the "revival" of this country or Christianity, Dinesh D'Souza is more competent than Beck any day and you know it.

aileen said...

One can applaud Beck's inclusion of a call for religious revival without endorsing him as leader or his Mormonism or various tenets in his preachings. Tea Partiers have shown a healthy refusal to accept anyone as their Designated Thinker. The people at the rally weren't demonstrating for Beck; they were demonstrating for a moral renewal in America. Complaints about his flawed conservatism or unreliability on the immigration issue, etc., are irrelevant and therefore potentially harmful at this point.