Who is the Enemy in the "War on Christianity?"
By: Jeffrey Weiss
Thursday, March 9th, 2006
www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/nwsltr/religion/stories/031006dnrelnewsletter.c6b7ed6.html (An excerpt)
And now from my e-mail box, here's some of the latest from Texas's own Christian conservative, Rick Scarborough:
“The War on Christianity Rages Like...An Alabama Church Fire - Today is the day that America called burning nine churches a
college "prank." There were three arrests yesterday in the case of the string of church fires in Alabama. The law enforcement
officials should be thanked for what appears to be a job well done. Despite the arrests, there is something about this matter that
really concerns me. Everywhere I turn in the media I see attempts to turn this horrendous crime against Christianity into a mere
"prank." Every news outlet from Fox to CNN has reported this as a teenage "prank." Let's get something straight here: rolling a
house with toilet paper is a prank, torching nine churches is NOT a prank ...
Perhaps some are relieved that these fires were set by college students. I am not. What does it say about our culture when we
are relieved to learn that this crime against Christianity was committed by three boys that look like they could be our sons? I for
one want to know what possessed these boys to get into their SUV and drive at night to nine Christian churches, to kick in the
doors, to walk to the pulpit where the word of God is preached, to torch the place, to drive off, and to then go to another church
and do the same thing, again, and again, and again, nine times.
This is not a prank and we should not be relieved. Instead, we should examine ourselves, our culture, and our Nation and we
should ask God why our college boys are torching our churches. The War against Christianity is raging across this nation like
an Alabama Church Fire…”
I'll offer a bit of comment on this one: I had some of the same reaction as he did when I heard the arsons described as
"pranks." But to claim this is evidence of a "War on Christianity" seems equally odd.
Based only on geography and the law of averages, I'd bet my keyboard that these arsonists were raised Southern
Baptist. But the school two of them attended is associated with the United Methodists. More details surely to come.
The much touted "clash of civilizations" between Muslims and Christians stacks up statistically more like a clash within
Islam. Add up all the deaths and casualties over the past decade involving people who claim to be fighting in the name
of Islam. The vast majority of the casualties have been other Muslims.
In something of the same way, the putative War on Christianity looks a lot more like disagreements between Christians.
Yeah, we have the odd lawsuit from a committed atheist or person of a non-Christian faith.
But let's run the numbers: About 80 percent of Americans self-identify as some flavor of Christian - including the vast,
vast majority of our political leaders. Only 5 percent of us say we are any other religion. And of the remaining 15
percent, less than 3 percent claim to be atheists or agnostics.
So if there's a significant War on Christianity, who is the opposing army? It's mostly an argument among self-identified
Christians about who represents the "true" faith.
I'll be very interested in what we learn about the family histories of the three arsonists. I'll go out on a limb and predict
we will learn about parents and former neighbors who say they are horrified and embarrassed - and Christian. .....
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