Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Godwin's Law

A member of the HoBD listserv today offered up this snippet from the Wall Street Journal:

But what is it about the evangelical "product" that makes it so desirable? Any number of scholars have noted that, in recent years, it has been the churches that demand the most of people--tithing, bowing to firm doctrines, observing strict rules of conduct--that have grown the fastest. There seems to be something in our nature that requires from religion not just feel-good spirituality but strong moral direction. We are willing to make sacrifices to live by the dictates of a religiously grounded truth.
I know I'll have to invoke Godwin's Law on myself for saying this, but I can't help it.

I see a parallel in our nation and in our church to the rise of Nazism in Germany. The desire for black vs. white, good vs. evil. The desperate need of a group to have a scapegoat they can blame. In Germany, it was the Jews. In the U.S., gay men and lesbians are being blamed for everything from Hurricane Katrina to the attacks on New York City.

Interestingly, the HoBD poster did not reveal that the WSJ piece is a book review, nor did he quote the lines from the WSJ that reveal the mega-churches are selling a product in ways that would do Wall Street proud and that they're basically fighting among themselves like Coke and Pepsi fight in the marketplace.

Others have observed that the fastest-growing segment of our society is "No Religious Preference." And the recent Barna study suggests that many young people are declaring a pox upon all our so-called Christian houses because the radical right has claimed the "Christian" patent. Those are lines of fruitful contemplation.

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