The categories have changed.
Today I watched the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. Whatever one thinks of Rachel a few things are clear: she is smart, inquisitive, meticulous and perceptive. Though I often disagree with Rachel, her quips are catchy and thought provoking. Rachel is a known homosexual. I do not agree with her lifestyle, and yet I recognize that she should not be written off because of her sexual disorientation. Through her show, Rachel unabashedly promotes the agenda of Same-Sexness in America.
Today, Rachel did what so often unnerves me and I felt the need to respond in my own way. She linked the atrocities and mishaps of American Fundamentalists (now Evangelicals) during the American Civil Rights movement with the Christian opposition to Same-Sex ‘marriage’ today.
That’s not fair.
Any student of recent church history quickly observes the absence of White Evangelicals from the support and leadership of the American Civil Rights Movement. When America needed this bible-believing group to stand on the moral side of history, they were absent. One might say they were audibly silent. Even Billy Graham’s more gradual and hesitant embrace of Dr. King and SCLC is telling of the tense relationship between race and Christianity that impeded the rightful progress of the 60’s.
It is most unfortunate that the tenets of racial segregation were wrongfully upheld by misapplied biblical theology. What is worse is that the strange recurrence of biblical passages illegitimately used to justify bigotry and racial supremacy is woven through American history. We get that. They were wrong.
Several times in her commentary Rachel referred to the Bible as a document employed to disenfranchise marginal people. She quoted ill-intentioned, misinformed sectarians who denounced interracial marriages on the basis of Bible. She played a clip from George Wallace’s dreadful inauguration speech in which the Governor insisted that the bible upheld segregation. Then again she pointed out that the Bible was fuel for the leading racists in Alabama. Rachel went so far as to hold up what looked to be a pristine copy of the scriptures and named it an impediment to progress.
She thinks the bible and its adherents hate, malign and hurt people under the name of a loving God. To prove her point she highlighted Exhibit A: American Fundamentalists denouncing the Civil Rights Movement.
Here is the issue: One cannot help but wonder if White American Christians had but been on the right side of the American Civil Rights Movement, how much fodder could be taken away from the Same-Sex agenda today? It is the failure of an appropriate Christian witness then that has weakened the influence of those who speak truth today.
Rachel’s error is simple and clear. She espouses a basic dishonesty around an historic misappropriation of the Bible. She takes the failure of Bible-believing Christians then to indicate that Bible-believing Christians now are just as misinformed and malicious. She has it wrong.
The categories have changed. Rachel won’t recognize such in fairness to those who believe the Bible to be The Word of God.
Large segments of the church failed then. And yet the church is right to decry Same-Sex ‘marriage’ now. There is a marked difference between then and now. This isn’t about race. This isn’t about segregation. This is about God and His wonderful design for humanity.
Published on Friday, June 12, 2015 @ 7:55 PM CDT