Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The End of American Days?

Louisville, Kentucky was the home of "Justice Sunday" a few weeks ago. It is also the home of a friend of mine, a fellow pastor, who sent me this article from the Louisville Eccentric Observer (look for John Yarmuth's column, "The End of American Days"). Lest you think all of Louisville agreed with "Just-Us Sunday," or that all the complaining is confined to the blogosphere, Mr. Yarmuth's concluding paragraphs:

The culture war is misnamed, because it understates what is at stake. Our society is engaged in a death struggle for the preservation of individual freedom, and everyone will be drafted. You cannot remain neutral, because if you’re not with them, you’re the enemy. The old adage holds that your freedom ends at my nose. It doesn’t make a matzo ball’s difference to me, as a Jewish American, what anyone believes until those beliefs restrict my personal liberty, and the †’ ambitions extend way past my nose. They involve my eyes, my ears, what I do with my body and the fate of my soul. They want to control what I can watch and hear, what my descendants can learn and whom they can love. In short, they have utter contempt for the American spirit.

As Lewis Lapham wrote in Harper’s, “The delusional is no longer marginal, and we err on the side of folly if we continue to grant the boon of tolerance to people who mean to do us harm in the conviction that they receive from Genesis the command ‘to take dominion over the Earth,’ to build the Kingdom of God, to create the Christian nation. The proposition is as murderous as it is absurd ...”
It's worth noting, too, that the Rev. Albert Mohler of Louisville Theological Seminary was the only clergy to speak at that "service." And Seminary Presidents seldom represent any one in any congregation. This is not at all, in other words, a "grassroots movement."

But the Harpers' article mentioned in the column is undoubtedly worth reading. And something other than a "it can't happen to us" attitude is going to have to be cultivated, and among more than the denizens and audience of the blogosphere.

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