The City #25

Well, it is coming to the end of August, and, well, the City is empty! I’ve spent 5 summers in New York City and it seems to be that this month is the emptiest of any I’ve experienced. Now, I well know that when I write, “empty,” that it is an exaggeration, but getting a seat on the subway, taxing around in slight traffic, quickly finding a parking place, walking along and not bumping into as many people makes it seem “empty.”
My doctor even said he has no idea to where all the people went.
In a couple of weeks, however, schools will have begun and most people will have returned from their vacations. Once again, New York life will return to “normal.”

Oh the hypocrisy of it all…

I’ve written about this before, but once again the hypocrisy and myopic vision and capitulation to the prevailing culture is so blatant that I just can’t help myself. The “politicized Religious Right” (which currently predominates American-Evangelical life and thought) loves to talk about their freedom to express their religious viewpoints within the culture and uphold their rights under the Constitution. They most certainly do have such a right, and I support their determination (as I would most groups) because I have witnessed first hand the discrimination and condescension that some so-called “progressives/liberals” engage in when it comes to Christian people of faith or conservatives.
That being said, while I will uphold the right of the politicized Religious Right to advocate for their positions and the right for their voice to be heard, they work against the same consideration for those who hold opinions and positions different than their own. They don’t immediately make apparent such determined thoughts or actions, but an undergirding goal is to squelch opposing viewpoints because they consider such viewpoints damning. After all, they believe they know absolutely God’s mind on things social and political and therefore have the divine right to squelch anything that “opposes God” (based on their sectarian and ideological opinion).
I don’t necessarily have a problem with them thinking such things (because all groups do to some extent), but I do have a problem with them presenting themselves as defenders of liberty and democracy and freedom when they know full well that is not their end-goal. Their end-goal is the imposition of their opinion upon everyone else, for everyone else’s own good since they alone know God’s will so completely. I was with the Evangelicals for a good part of my early adult life until I saw the writing on the wall concerning their drive for political power, so I know of their attitudes and their way of regarding and “handling” non-Christians within American culture. This is the working out of concepts informed by “Dominion Theology” or more broadly “Dominionism,” whether the principals involved ascribe to Dominion Theology or not.
In their quest to institute their presumed version of God’s Kingdom on earth, they have capitulated to the Kingdom of this World in ways they don’t realize – because in their quest for social and political dominance they succumb to very unChristian tactics, such as lying and spreading false information (bearing false witness). Sometimes, they do realize what they are doing, but the end justifies the means in their minds. The leadership is so sure of their presumed God-given mission to dominate and control the culture and social systems that their regard for the rights of others, if those others oppose their juggernaut, as dangerous or counter to God’s willing being done.
Take as an example the following warning that Focus-on-the-Family’s CitizenUpdate published yesterday in their daily e-mail message. It is about Hallmark greeting card company and the 1,000 or so newspapers that, in their opinion, disobey the will of The People and state Constitutions. The next step for them, if they could get away with it, is to attempt to pass laws that will forbid newspapers or private cooperations from making cards for or publish announcements for gay weddings or commitment ceremonies. It isn’t enough that by their efforts state consitutional amendments are passed denying same-sex couples equal protection under the law, but they must go further because these kinds of cards or announcements work against their vision for the country or their presumption of God’s will.
Here is the announcement:

Take Action: Hallmark, Newspapers Sidestep State Marriage Amendments
More than 1,000 daily newspapers in the U.S. now accept gay “wedding” announcements. And Hallmark now offers greeting cards for gay “weddings.”
While it’s not illegal for newspapers or Hallmark to cater to the homosexual community, they are disrespecting the law in 27 states — states that have defined marriage in their constitutions as between one man and one woman.

See here what they do – they will attempt to force private cooperations and generally law abiding citizens to bend to their will. It isn’t a matter of freedom of speech for all people, but freedom of speech only as long as it does not counter their “law.” Continuing on…

“It’s entirely possible that newspaper staff has not connected the dots between having a state constitutional amendment and requests to publish same-sex ‘marriage’ or commitment announcements,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of Issue Analysis at Focus on the Family Action. “Readers should give publishers the benefit of the doubt unless and until they determine that the newspaper is in fact disrespecting the vote of the people and publishing such counterfeit announcements.
“At that point, people need to hold the newspapers accountable.”
TAKE ACTION
Check this list to see which newspapers are sidestepping state law. If your state is not listed, there is no marriage amendment in place yet. Please call your local or regional newspaper. You can check our Action Center for contact information, or visit the newspaper’s Web site.
Ask to speak to the person who handles wedding announcements, then ask:
1) Are you aware the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation lists your newspaper as having a policy to publish same-sex “marriage” or commitment ceremony announcements? Is that correct?
2) If so, are you aware that our state has a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman?
3) If so, how do you reconcile publishing such announcements when such unions are illegal under state law?
If the answer you receive is unsatisfactory, ask to speak to the editor. You also may contact the publisher. Let us know how it goes.

I’m willing to bet that if a newspaper does not stop publishing wedding or marriage announcements for same-sex couples, these organizations will attempt to shame them into doing so, will attempt to boycott them into obeying, and will eventually sue the newspapers for “violating the state Constitution that defines a marriage as being between one woman and one man” by publishing same-sex wedding/marriage announcements. Whatever it takes to force their will upon the rest of the citizenry, in very undemocratic forms. (If Proposition 8 fails in California this fall – if The People vote to not define marriage as only between a man and a woman – these groups will certainly not abide by or uphold the Will of the People, because the People’s will in this case will be contrary to the Religious Right’s anti-gay agenda.)
Why do I give a rats-ass about this? Because currently the politicized Religious Right is the image of Christianity in American that most Americans see most often, particularly non-Christians. It is an image of Christianity that is so compromised by political aspirations and lying that they have sacrificed their witness to the secular world. Hypocrisy is too little of a word to convey the damage they continue to do to the cause of Christ, even as they see themselves of upholders and advocates of God’s very will.