No matter what "conventional wisdom" purports to tell us about the dominance of the Christian worldview in our culture, recent headlines illustrate the formidable challenges confronting Christian conservatives from inside and outside the church.
On ABC's "The View," Whoopie Goldberg dressed down the program's lone conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, for daring to air her pro-life views. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appeared at a megachurch in South Carolina calling for the creation of an earthly kingdom. And President Bush reportedly said, "All religions pray to the same God." Let's consider each story.
On "The View," Hasselbeck spoke favorably of a proposal of Hillary Clinton's that "might help reduce abortions." Goldberg -- apparently feeling assaulted over the innocuous remark -- told Hasselbeck to "back off a little bit" since Hasselbeck admitted to never having been in a position to abort a child. "Very few people want to have abortions," said Goldberg, who reportedly has had a number of them. "Americans," said Goldberg, ought to "revere" women who have had abortions. "It's the hardest decision that a woman ever has to make."
This densely packaged example of wrong-headedness illuminates the depth and intensity of the cultural divide in this country. Goldberg's position is so patently illogical that it wouldn't require refutation but for the lamentable fact that it is shared by a frightful percentage of social liberals.
The first self-evident fallacy is that only those who have been in a position to have an abortion have the moral authority to address the issue, which, right off the bat, excludes all men. This follows the same pattern of liberal illogic holding that only those who have been in combat have the moral standing to advocate the combat deployment of our troops.
Further, Goldberg's assertion that few women want to have an abortion flies in the face of the reality that nearly 50 million children have been aborted since the Roe decision in 1973.
But Goldberg's self-serving declaration that women who choose to have an abortion deserve our reverence takes the cake. Abortion champions have never been able to explain why they believe abortions should be rare if the unborn is not a human life, or even a "potential" life. If we're dealing merely with an unviable tissue mass, why is the decision to remove it "the hardest decision that a woman ever has to make"?
Either it isn't a life or potential life, which renders the decision no more difficult than that to remove a suspicious mole, or it is, which makes abortion absolutely unpraiseworthy and worse. But in our upside culture, we are not only forbidden to condemn such actions in willful blindness to their moral content but exhorted to celebrate those who engage in them. The unreasonableness of the liberal position is further exposed by reference to singer Barry Manilow's recent cancellation of an appearance on "The View" when the producers wouldn't accede to his demand to remove Hasselbeck from the set because he found her views "dangerous" and "offensive." What possible danger do Hasselbeck's views -- as opposed to Goldberg's and Manilow's -- represent to anyone? Once again, we see liberal "tolerance" on display.
As for Obama's call for an earthly kingdom, one might reasonably conclude he's referring to a Christian kingdom, or one dominated by its values, since he was talking to some 4,000 Christians. If a Republican had made the statement, can you imagine the shrieks of horror coming from the mainstream media (MSM) about an imminent Christian theocracy? Could it be the MSM doubt Obama's sincerity on this? Also, no mainstream Christian churches I'm aware of talk about the ushering in of a Godly kingdom short of Christ's return, which is obviously not what Obama had in mind since he told the congregation, "We" -- not Jesus Christ -- "can create a kingdom right here on earth." Bizarre.
Finally, President Bush's regrettable statement that all religions pray to the same God is emblematic of the inglorious triumph in our culture of pluralism and relativism, which tell us that all ideas, no matter how inconsistent, can be reconciled and that truth itself is a social construct.
Without getting into the question of whether Christianity is the one true religion, it is hard to understand how people, even our Christian president, can think that those who don't believe in the Triune God of the Bible or the deity of Jesus Christ worship the same God as Christians do. The idea flatly contradicts Christ's assertion, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," and removes any incentive to evangelize.
No matter what our sterile demographic statistics might tell us, it's difficult to believe that Christian ideas and values are dominant in this nation anymore.