Since becoming a believer in 1980, I’ve encountered oodles of religious oddballs… many of them within my own church. There’s no shortage of Weird Religions and Weird Religious Practices out there. In fact, some of the views Christians take for granted can seem awfully weird to the uninitiated.
Perhaps that’s why John McCain’s rejection of John Hagee’s endorsement surprised me so much.
McCain’s renunciation was based largely off of statements made by the Texas televangelist regarding the Catholic Church, Hitler and the Holocaust. Apparently, Hagee “once described Adolf Hitler as a divine agent sent to force the Jews back to Israel,” as well as portraying the Roman Catholic Church as “the great whore” of the Apocalypse, a “false cult system,” and an “apostate church.”
Um, and these views are surprising?
All the Reformers — Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, etc. — identified the Roman Catholic Church with the Whore of Babylon. Even the Westminster Confession of 1646 framed the Pope as the Antichrist. Likewise, the Church — both Catholic and Protestant — historically waffled in its views about the Jewish people. While some inevitably saw the Holocaust as retribution for Jewish disobedience, others were conflicted about God’s hand in the matter as well as the Church’s role. In a way, Hagee is just articulating views that have bounced around the Christian Church for the longest.
So why McCain’s — and the media’s — feigned disgust?
It’s pretty obvious that by associating McCain with a religious “extremist,” the media is hoping to take the edge off Jeremiah Wright’s inflammatory comments, and thus get their darling — errr, Barack Obama — off the hook.
Really, it’s just another opportunity for the liberal American media to portray religious conservatives as a bunch of wackos. I mean, in our relativistic, multicultural age, what could be more intolerant than labeling another religious group as a “false cult system” or an “apostate church”? Why the nerve! And then to suggest that God used something as horrific as the Holocaust. We all know that God doesn’t use evil. Right?
So in the spirit of full disclosure — and in the event other politicians might believe something this absurd — I hereby unfurl some
other “controversial” views of religious conservatives
- God created the heavens and the earth
- Human beings are not the product of chance
- Human beings are superior to animals
- Man was created before Woman
- Woman was created from Man
- The Devil is real
- All people are born sinners
- The Jews are God’s chosen people
- God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
- Jesus was born of a virgin
- Jesus is fully God and fully man
- Jesus is the only way to the Father
- Hell is real and many people will go there
- Homosexuality is wrong
- Adultery is wrong
- Good works cannot save someone
- Truth is absolute
And there’s many, many more where these come from. It’s just further proof that religious conservatives are nutjobs. So what if Pastor Wright believes that blacks learn differently than whites, have more groove, and the USA deserved 9/11. At least he doesn’t believe *gasp* that homosexuality is wrong.
Yeah, some of the views Christians take for granted are awfully weird to the uninitiated. And so what? If the Bible is God’s Word, we should believe them! Since when are we supposed to temper our beliefs for societal acceptance or political leverage. Sure, I don’t know if the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon. But Hell is real and Jesus is the only way to God, whether or not Jeremiah Wright, John McCain or the American media believes it.