The Religious Left’s 2011 Meltdown

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Emblematic of the Religious Left’s melt-down is a recently vandalized “gay” Nativity scene at a Claremont, California United Methodist Church.  This scene on the avant garde church lawn, under a star of Bethlehem, included an opposite sex couple, and two same-sex couples, with a sign declaring “Christ is Born.”

Naturally a protest against the vandalism was scheduled in what one indignant community member described as an otherwise “progressive college town.”  According to The Los Angeles Times, Claremont United Methodist Church’s previous Nativity displays have not “shied away from controversial topics, including a scene of war in the Middle East, a mother and baby in prison and a depiction of the U.S./Mexico border fence.”  Another Nativity scene portrayed a homeless family.

“Christ’s birth in a stable had a lot to do with poverty and being marginalized,” Pastor Sharon Rhodes-Wickett explained to The Times. “What this church has tried to do through these scenes is say, ‘What would that look like today?'”

Deconstructing the founding historical event of Christianity, at Christmas time no less, to advocate for various multiculturalist political causes is typical of today’s Religious Left.  For it, the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is insufficient.  So the significance must be amplified by an anti-war statement or a blast against U.S. immigration policy.

United Methodism in Claremont, California and throughout the West Coast, so faithfully progressive, has been imploding for over 40 years.  All the radical inclusivity apparently got too boring even for true leftist believers. More significantly, the Religious Left has evinced a national melt-down over this last year that potentially bodes well for the future of American religion.

The rush to embrace Occupy Wall Street was ultimately discrediting to the Religious Left.  Actual Occupiers nationally probably never numbered beyond the thousands or perhaps low ten thousands.  It was primarily a fad for recent college graduates in between jobs, heralded by aging baby boomers in the media nostalgic over the now ancient protest movements of the 1960s.  Protesters of 45 years ago at least had grand causes.  The Occupiers offered only ennui and resentment.  Ultimately, few Americans, especially church-going ones, identified with whiney complaints from bedraggled campers despoiling parks and disrupting traffic. But Religious Left elites, from Sojourners chief Jim Wallis to Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, could not help themselves from spiritually blessing the Occupation as a virtual Second Coming.

The equally fervid embrace by religious elites of Big Government and the entitlement Welfare State during the Summer 2011 federal debt ceiling crisis will also prove discrediting.  In July, representatives of the National Association of Evangelicals, National Council of Churches, Jim Wallis’ Sojourners and U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops formed a “Circle of Protection” ostensibly around the needy but actually around the engorged federal bureaucracy.  They decried in the name of most American church members any limits on spending for social welfare or entitlement programs, by implication backing higher taxes and military cuts as the only morally acceptable remedy for burgeoning debt.  Their meeting with President Obama clearly aligned them with the White House and against Congressional Republicans.  Such partisanship aside, no realistic American believes the debt crisis can be addressed without serious limits on growth by entitlement and social welfare spending.   Equating true faith with unlimited Big Government will be remembered unfavorably by history and by American church goers.

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  • Marty Kay Zee

    Very rich – religious left. Wrong. Atheists. That's who we are. We have been oppressed by fundamentalists, both free-market and god-fearing for far too long. It's backlash time. Once the kids have been disabused of the god mythology they say, "I could have had a V8." We atheists are the ultimate in self-reliant, conscientious, caring people. What have we got to lose?

    • Western Canadian

      For starters, how about your incredible level of ignorance, not to mention a degree of delusional self-love that would embaress anyone with more than two functioning brain cells??

      • Marty Kay Zee

        You see, folks? That's the kind of ad hominum attacks we have learned to expect from you Christians. A Canadian one in this case, no less. May I hear from a Muslim or a Jew as to what a seriously bad person I am? Come on, pile on…

        • intrcptr2

          Um, Marty; first, it's ad hominem.
          Second, it's not an attack if it's accurate, and germaine to the discussion; your intellectual abandonment of 2000 years of cultural growth, combined with poorly executed hubris, makes the judgment of your intelligence central to this argument.

          And how is it you know that Western Canadian is a Christian? It may be he too is an atheist who happens to be embarrassed, either by you or for you.

    • Loupdegarre

      Dr. Ard Louis, a young physicist teaching at the University of Oxford, recalls his first encounter with Dirac’s equation. “How can mathematics demand something so fantastical from nature? I was sure it couldn’t be true and spent many hours trying to find a way out. When I finally gave up and saw that there was no way around Dirac’s result, it gave me goose bumps. I remember thinking that even if I never used my years of physics training again, it would have been worth it just to see something so spectacularly beautiful.”
      Louis describes a cumulative case for wonder. Not only does the universe unexpectedly correspond to mathematical theories, it is self-organizing — from biology to astrophysics — in unlikely ways. The physical constants of the universe seem finely tuned for the emergence of complexity and life. Slightly modify the strength of gravity, or the chemistry of carbon, or the ratio of the mass of protons and electrons, and biological systems become impossible. The universe-ending Big Crunch comes too soon, or carbon isn’t produced, or suns explode.

      • Loupdegarre

        The wild improbability of a universe that allows us to be aware of it seems to demand some explanation. This does not require theism. Some physicists favor the theory of the multiverse, in which every possible universe exists simultaneously. If everything happens, it is not surprising that anything happens. But this is not a theory that can be scientifically tested. Other universes, by definition, are not accessible. The multiverse is metaphysics — just as subject to the scientific method as the existence of heaven.
        One reasonable alternative — the one advocated by Louis — is theism. It explains a universe finely tuned for life and accessible to human reason. It accounts for the cosmic coincidences. And a theistic universe, unlike the alternatives, also makes sense of free will and moral responsibility

        • Loupdegarre

          This is not proof for the existence of God. But the conflict here is not between faith and science; it is between the competing faiths of theism and materialism, neither of which can claim to be proved by science. Modern physics has accelerated smack into the limits of the scientific method. It raises questions it cannot answer but that human beings cannot avoid — matters of meaning and purpose. This is not a failure of science, just a recognition that measurement is not the only source of meaning.
          Our response to nature’s astounding symmetries is not only rational but aesthetic. Some, like Louis, feel goose bumps and thankfulness. Others are angered by such sentimentalism. Yet this would be a sad epitaph for modern science: It revealed wonders but was numb to wonder.

    • Asher

      People who deliberately destroy other peoples lives are not conscientious-caring people. You hate humanity and want no part of peace, prosperity, or civility.

    • johnnywoods

      What do you have to loose? How about your eternal soul?

    • dan

      Hey Marty you're an atheist right? I have been looking for an answer to this from a thoughtful atheist. What in your view was the "First Cause" of life? Where did it come from? How & why did nothing create something?

  • JoeBananas

    Marty is Kerrect!! Jesus was Merely a BasterdChild born out of Wedlock!! Joseph is NOT the Father!! hehehe!! Nevertheless…..the Angels sang HappyBirthdayTewJesus from the Hillsides!! Frightening those Shepherds nearly to Death because of the silliness of Aliens singing HappyBirthday….and….Jesus REAL Daddy, Godfather, fergot tew even make HotelReservations in Bethlehem!!!!! ……uh…igotmore…wannahear?!!!!!

    • dan

      Hey Joe, why the angst? Obviously some history with Christianity, you seem to know the story well enough to make fun of it. Hey how about another question Joe, in your view what was the "First Cause"? How did life get here? Did nothing create something and for what reason if it was not intelligent? How many miracles does your view need? How much faith?

  • JoeBananas

    Uh…howcome…Posting: "InGodsWeTrustie" on AmericanDollars did NOT Pertect American Economy?? GODFAILEDAGAIN!! Also…webeensendingmoniesfaithfully tew GoodLuckCharm..Israel?!! Why have SoMuchUnemployment?!! GODEPICFAILED!!

  • JoeBananas

    OhYeah!! Preyers ARE Answered!! Answer is………….NONONO!! Buahahahaheheh!!

  • daniel rotter

    "Their meeting with President Obama clearly aligned them with the White House and against Congressional Republicans."

    The horror! The Religious Right, would, of course, NEVER "align themselves against the (Obama) White House and with Congressional Republicans." Such a thing would represent (gasp!) "partisanship" which the RR never, ever engages in.

    "…newer Evangelical leftists like Brian McLaren almost mourned bin Laden's death as egregiously unjust."

    Where's the link/citation for this supposed "almost mourning (the link on McLaren's name doesn't mention anything about bin Laden)?

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The so called religious left, left the scriptures and are on a secularist high which
    does not lead to nor satisfy the longing of the human sould for a relationship with
    God. I see the remarks of fools above and see that they are more a product of
    leftist ideation which has ruined many of todays Churches which in fact are fallen
    away from Christianity and are mere social circles of Socialist delusion. It is
    and undeniable fact in the Christian World that America has been undermined
    by the Communist/Socialist in government and in Churches as a way of destroying
    the Nation. The Communist play book is on parade in leftist Churches who do
    not deserve and should not call themselves Christian…………………..William

  • scum

    Someone seems to have conveniently forgotten a few simple facts: The Occupy movement had over ten thousand in both Oakland and NYC alone. Furthermore, the movement went global. On top of that, FPM just can't seem to get the story straight. Do you not remember Horowitz's own story with a headline something like: "YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T HAPPEN HERE." Horowitz was implying that the occupy movement could overthrow the American Govt. So which is it? A marginal group, or a true revolution? When you guys get your story straight, and stop trying to simply chalk up debating points, let me know.

    • Loupdegarre

      The occupy movement was organised by George Soros over a 3 year period and was funded with money from the equity in the American Home Owners homes that Soros and Goldman Sachs stole through the use of the Abbacus Fund. Soros Quantum Fund and it's investors (ACORN and the SEIU?) made 14 Billion dollars to use as a war chewst to destroy Democracy and set up a socialist utopia.

    • daBMan

      Except they didn't.

  • Lisa_H

    The religious left types I've met over the years are not spiritually mature. Hopefully this article is correct and this "fad" fades away.

    • johnnywoods

      The "religious left" are a group of people who are so stupid that their teeth itch.