Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Christian activist making mischief while re-writing history

David Lane
Anti-LGBT Christian Supremacist David Lane
Saturday, David Lane is busy muddying the historical record to serve his purposes. The sanctimonious Lane is no stranger to dishonesty. In Lane's view anything is acceptable if done for Jesus. The post is titled God's Champion. Perhaps Lane is referring to himself.

In the way of background. David Lane is a determined political operative and theocrat. His goal is to propel Protestant pastors into elective office. Lane's American Renewal Project is sponsored by American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group. Lane also has the support of people like Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. 

As Lane explained just last Tuesday (original emphasis):
Pastor, you may also want to consider attending an Issachar Training event. By simple arithmetic, if the Lord called 1,000 pastors to run in 2016 and if they averaged 300 volunteers per campaign, then that would mean 300,000 ground-level Evangelicals working within their local precincts. When California pastor, Rob McCoy, ran for office this fall, he saw 625 volunteers join in his campaign. A similar grassroots, Evangelical movement-from coast-to-coast-would change America for good.
It is David Lane who is calling pastors to run for political office, not his “Lord.” The agenda is to use these elected pastors to further the infliction of biblical values on America. For example, he has previously said:
Let’s make it crystal clear: Those who embrace homosexual marriage and homosexual Scouting – or homosexuality in general – know little and practice nothing of Christianity.
And;
Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved, it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country
You can forget the “Judeo” part of the culture. It is just the usual window dressing. Aside from being anti-LGBT these folks are supremely anti-Semitic, a fact that they try to disguise with support for Israel which serves a biblical purpose.

So what is Lane up to today, Saturday?
Protestant Christendom is about to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on October 31st. This grand celebration will occur at a time when the church faces a crisis every bit as serious as that which confronted the reformers in the 16th Century.

The biblical values which have provided the foundation for western culture, and specifically that of America, are under unprecedented assault. The passive silence of the church and her pastors in the face of this attack had been a key component in its success.
It is an important part of Lane's shtick to claim that Christianity is under attack and needs to be saved while claiming that America was founded on biblical values. Funny how the word “god” does not appear even one time in the Constitution. Nor do Jesus or Satan. In the original document, religion is mentioned only once, in Article Six:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
People like David Lane have tried to amend the Constitution several times to make it a fundamentalist Christian document. In 1954 Vermont Senator Ralph Flanders proposed adding:
This nation devoutly recognizes the authority and law of Jesus Christ, Savior and Ruler of nations, through whom are bestowed the blessings of Almighty God.
That didn't go anywhere. Yet, according to Mr. Lane (again from today):
It is sadly ironic that in their crusade to banish people of faith from the public square the radical secularists of our day regularly assert that the great reformers shared their dedication to the absolute separation of church and state. With their characteristic disregard for truth or factual accuracy this contention is endlessly repeated by the secularists.

As Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of Propaganda cynically noted, “Truth is nothing more than a lie repeated a thousand times.” Contemporary secularists recognize that they must silence the voices of faithful pastors if their godless religion is to prevail in America.
It is fiction. It is not even good fiction. I don't know who first spouted the line about banishing religious people from the public square but it sure does have some heavy mileage. It also has no basis in fact. Rather it is just another version of “poor us persecuted Christian victims.” Baseless hyperbole. Then there are those “radical” secularists who merely want institutional respect for the Constitution including that pesky Establishment Clause. Lane, of course, tries to convince people that the Establishment Clause doesn't say precisely what it says.

Lane has also mixed up history by a few centuries. The “great reformers” that he mentions would seem to be the 15th century Protestants who broke away from the Catholic Church. That is how he opened his essay. Calls for separation of church and state would refer to events 300 years after the Reformation. Moreover, it is a historical fact (no matter how inconvenient for Lane) that our founders were not terribly religious and that they were committed to the separation of church and state. The phrase, separation of church and state, dates back to a January, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson written to the Danbury (CT) Baptist Association. Therein Jefferson quotes the First Amendment's Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses, part of the Bill of Rights which had been ratified 11 years earlier.

In other words, David Lane is full of crap. His BS is not reserved for polemics. They constitute the core of his numerous seminars for Christian pastors around the country and they embrace it as if it was the word of their god. They, in turn, pass it along to their congregations who believe every syllable because it represents what they want to hear.

Lane earns a Godwin award for his reference to Joseph Goebbels. By the way, no reliable source exists attributing that quote to Goebbels and it has many variants. Nevertheless, Lane is, in effect, calling his critics Nazis. And this passes for a Baptist intellectual? Or is that oxymoronic?

Lane's agenda becomes very clear:
Politics and the morality or immorality inherent in our country’s political choices cannot be separated from the life of every citizen, both those who sit in the pews of our churches, and those who don’t. Authentic Christian faith cannot be isolated from real life. Politics never occurs in a vacuum. If we don’t participate in the process as Christians, then the other religion, the religion of godless secularism wins by default.

That other religion despises and scorns everything that we, in the name of Christ, profess to cherish. Only one of these two religions is going to prevail. The other will be cast aside as impotent and irrelevant. The discernment to recognize the nature of this conflict and the courage to speak out on the basis of God’s Word is the fundamental challenge which confronts God’s faithful pastors at this critical moment. The same was true at the time of the Reformation.
Actually, “authentic Christian faith” is very much isolated from real life unless one has a firm belief in the supernatural. I do not. It lacks evidence. Note how Lane lands on us vs. them. He finds it important to emphasize strife over harmony. In point of fact, people of faith can live quite harmoniously with people of no faith under one condition: They must not attempt to impose their religious values on people who do not believe in religion. That summarizes the effect of the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause and Establishment Clause. Divisiveness is an important tool for Lane to motivate others. In the world of sales training Lane would be called a “piss pumper.”

Mr. Lane does not consider the negative effects of pitting Americans against Americans because he subscribes to the doctrine of Christian supremacy. Because the construct is inherently dishonest as a reflection of American values it becomes necessary for Lane to vilify anyone who does not agree with him. Lane's only power comes from turning pastors into politicians. We can take that power away from Lane. We do so by registering to vote and then casting our ballot. It is the antidote to Christian sharia.

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