How Will People of Faith Live Now?

 

We knew when the incoherent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage came down last year that judges would ignore the law and impose gender-neutral marriage on the nation, as is now happening in several states. Our country will reap the whirlwind. So, my friends of faith, how are we now going to live?  

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. We’re going to be walking a tightrope, but we must stick to our beliefs and build communities that are as impervious as possible to the whirlwind of terrible things that are coming: polygamy, polyamory, children bought and sold, recruitment to homosexuality, pressure to ignore gender differences, a changed understanding of fidelity and so on. In other words, we will have to build a religious view of marriage that is entirely different than the secular view and the communities that revolve around it. A religious view of marriage has existed in the past, but it was not wholly different than the secular one. Now it will have to be. We are going to have to resist state efforts to crush even this. Our whole lives are going to have to change.  

We are going to have to build our own schools. There are lots of ways to implement the left’s agenda. For example, Minnesota is doing this through an “anti-bullying” law they recently passed. Expect children to be punished for behavior that suggests differences between boys and girls. Expect public schools to encourage children to be confused about whether they are a boy or a girl and to use whatever bathroom suits them, even if it makes other children uncomfortable. Expect schools to hammer home the idea that family is whatever anyone wants it to be. Expect them to denigrate the roles of mother and father.

We’re going to have to build our own schools and teach our children the truth about family. We’re going to have to teach them that the connection between mother, father, and children is sacred and that marriage makes it inviolable; that the ability to procreate is God-given and sacred. We’re going to have to teach them the importance of family ties to parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and children. We’re going to have to follow the admonition in Malachi and turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and vice versa. We can no longer expect government to support this.  

We’ll be unable to follow certain professions. We won’t be able to be public school teachers in some states (with the possible exception of fields like math). We won’t be able to be certain kinds of doctors, such as those that deal with infertility. We won’t be able to be social workers, except perhaps for those specifically attached to churches. We’ll have to think carefully about what professions we pursue and all the attendant implications so that we do not further the destructive anti-family agenda of the left.  

We’ll congregate in red states. We already know that some states are far friendlier to our values than others. I expect to see red states become redder and blue states become bluer. We’re going to have a lot easier time living by our values in some states than others.  

We’re going to be fighting a lot more legal battles.  Get ready to donate to the Alliance Defending Freedom and other groups that defend us. We’re going to need their help.  

That’s the sad news, fellow faithful. But I guess the upside is that persecution strengthens faith, not only in us but in our children as well.  

What other problems do you foresee, Ricochetti, and how can we resist?

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  1. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    Tom, I understand–that was Barry Goldwater’s concern.  It isn’t that Socons just noticed this problem.  Nevertheless, I reiterate that nothing exists in a vacuum.  Changing the understood basis of society and social organization affects this and other aspects of culture in a deeply negative way.  It makes that problem worse and more potent and creates and exacerbates others.  Way leads on to way, and the way of this does not lead to more freedom as libertarians think it will.

    • #31
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    C. U. Douglas: Question: Given that we are commanded to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, how then shall we put this into practice with the social, cultural, and political movements going on now?

     Just follow Mulholland’s example:

    I have been smit an’ bruis’ed, as warned would be the case,
    An’ turned my cheek to the smiter exactly as Scripture says;
    But following that, I knocked him down an’ led him up to Grace.

    (from Mulholland’s Contract, Rudyard Kipling.)

    • #32
  3. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    I’ll pray my heart out, Merina…And strive to be a light and consolation to those more visibly engaged.  Thanks for asking the question!

    • #33
  4. TeeGee Inactive
    TeeGee
    @TeeGee

    Amy Schley:

    I would add another big requirement — we need to live our own lives as models of proper families. Many people see Christians as just a bunch of hypocrites when it comes to “family values,” and quite frankly, they aren’t completely wrong to think so. When Christians have similar rates of divorce, cohabitation, unwed parenthood, and the like as the rest of America, we lose any moral authority to tell others that our definition of the family is so much better it should be protected by law.

    [Edited to add] I’ve mentioned elsewhere my grandfather. He’s very upset about his church deciding to perform same-sex weddings. But he didn’t have a problem with the church allowing him to marry (and divorce) four times. It would be quite easy for a cynic to think that the only carnal sins he doesn’t approve of would be the ones he has no desire to commit, and there are a *lot* of cynics out there.

     I might add that people of faith will have to make some truly hard choices about how they live. It will become harder to live by faith.

    • #34
  5. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Merina Smith:

    Seawriter–Even though the Constitution bars religious tests, I was thinking that there will be certain jobs we can’t do because we would have to violate our consciences to do them. We can’t teach some things, or facilitate some things. We can’t add to the degradation of our culture and so will have to avoid some professions.

     See there is your problem. You lack the diabolical and subversive impulse needed to win your culture war. Teaching people isn’t about what you say it is about what you emphasize.  You can parrot what ever the party line in education is but emphasize the view you really agree with. Overtime like a tiny trickle of water you can erode even the mightiest edifice. How do you think you got to where you are now. Your retreat to isolated communities will turn you into the Amish. The Christians of 200AD where infiltrating everything they could and actively engaged. It was risky business but it worked for them in the long run. 

    • #35
  6. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    I will chill out eventually, I’m sure, but this month?

    If English Law cannot be trusted, maybe these people would be better making their own peace with the French.
     
    It’s not just the gay marriage decisions, it’s not just the cyber mobs -it’s Harry Reid asking for Bills of Attainder in the Senate.  It’s the President testing whether he can back door proscription lists through the banks.  It’s the increased (or perhaps merely increased obviousness) of the court’s fecklessness.  I’ve been griping about that since Patrick Fitzgerald tried to use RICO on pro-life groups (ostensibly in a round-about way to go after people who bombed abortion clinics) back in the late 90s and the courts didn’t smack him down, but now it’s everywhere.  (Fitzgerald has since been involved in the Conrad Black and Scooter Libby prosecutions -that he still has a job is obscene.)  Let’s throw the IRS in there, and the absolute disinterest our “betters” have on these issues.
     
    We’re going to end up in the Empire.  It’s just a matter of who is Augustus, and who dies valiantly at Actium.

    • #36
  7. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    Valiuth:

    Merina Smith:

    Seawriter–Even though the Constitution bars religious tests, I was thinking that there will be certain jobs we can’t do because we would have to violate our consciences to do them. We can’t teach some things, or facilitate some things. We can’t add to the degradation of our culture and so will have to avoid some professions.

    See there is your problem. You lack the diabolical and subversive impulse needed to win your culture war. Teaching people isn’t about what you say it is about what you emphasize. You can parrot what ever the party line in education is but emphasize the view you really agree with. Overtime like a tiny trickle of water you can erode even the mightiest edifice. How do you think you got to where you are now. Your retreat to isolated communities will turn you into the Amish. The Christians of 200AD where infiltrating everything they could and actively engaged. It was risky business but it worked for them in the long run.

     I follow this advice.  I “innocently” tell stories to my lefty friends all the time that make conservative points that they can’t dispute.  .  

    • #37
  8. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Also, regarding divorce rates et cetera among Christians:
     
    If you look at affiliation alone, yes, Christians look an awful lot like the general populace.  Also, if you look at affiliation alone, Christians are the general populace.
     
    If you break the numbers down by practice (how often do you attend church: more than once a week, once a week, once a month, et cetera), practicing religious people are considerably less likely to divorce.  Looking at the GSS data on this, 27% of respondents report divorcing, but it is 34% of those who never attend church and only 19% of those who attend every week.
     
    This understates though, because church attendance also correlates with marriage -16% never married, but it’s 22% of those who never attend church, and only 8% of those who attend twice a week.  71% of those who attend every week marry and stay married.
     
    So the question to ask is: do we want to count those who “consider themselves religious” as part of the congregation or not.  There are arguments both ways, but whatever side we come down on, you can’t just look at the raw numbers.

    • #38
  9. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Sabrdance: 71% of those who attend every week marry and stay married.

     Or put another way, three out of every ten of the roughly 20% of Christians who are devout enough to attend weekly services* divorce. When that number goes down to one in ten of the devout divorcing, and more nominal Christians actually bothering to go to church, maybe someone will believe the Christians actually believe the things they say they believe.

    *http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/139575-7-startling-facts-an-up-close-look-at-church-attendance-in-america.html

    • #39
  10. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I agree with Merina’s original post.  It is families who are most affected by the separation of Christianity from the official United States life.  They will go “underground.”  

    I think the next big battle for Christians in the United States will be over the freedom to practice their religion in public and private (what’s “public,” anyone know?).  The tattered right to free speech is the only thing protecting the right to proclaim your religion.  But the anti-hate speech laws are threatening even that. And now you can get fired from your job now for signing an anti-gay marriage petition eight years ago.  In England, someone’s T-shirt that said “I am a Christian” was found to be offensive to the gay community.  Look at the vague sexual harassment laws, and you can see where this is going.  A person can be called into court for creating a “hostile environment.” So your posting your Christmas cards around your cubicle can be construed as creating a “hostile environment” to the guy in the next cubicle who is Muslim.  

    I am hopeful that libertarians will join Christians in the free-to-be-me movement I see coming.

    • #40
  11. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    Amy Schley:

    Sabrdance: 71% of those who attend every week marry and stay married.

    Or put another way, three out of every ten of the roughly 20% of Christians who are devout enough to attend weekly services* divorce. When that number goes down to one in ten of the devout divorcing, and more nominal Christians actually bothering to go to church, maybe someone will believe the Christians actually believe the things they say they believe.

     2 in 10.  1 in 10 don’t marry.  If we restrict ourselves just to those who marry, it’s 25% (religious) to 45% (non-religious).
     
    If the country can’t tell those number apart, excommunicating a quarter of our co-religionists plus anyone who doesn’t show up for church for 6 months isn’t going to improve matters.  They’d probably just add it to their list of reasons we’re hypocrites and intollerant.
     

    • #41
  12. Mario the Gator Inactive
    Mario the Gator
    @Pelayo

    I have spent many thousands of dollars over the past decade paying tuition at a Catholic School for my children, for exactly the reasons you mention.  I will do whatever it takes to prevent Big Brother from indoctrinating my children with secular and collectivist values.  The most important gift I can give my children is the knowledge that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior.  If I fail to do that, it will not be for lack of trying. 

    I already find myself shrinking my circle of friends to include mostly Conservatives and Christians who lean Conservative.  I don’t feel the need to defend my views to Liberals who want to brainwash me.

    • #42
  13. Bulldawg Inactive
    Bulldawg
    @Bulldawg

    The biographies, autobiographies, and writings of such saints as Corrie Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are necessary reading to steel the will.  Bonhoeffer’s Letters From Prison is particularly poignant.

    • #43
  14. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    Pelayo:

    I have spent many thousands of dollars over the past decade paying tuition at a Catholic School for my children, for exactly the reasons you mention. I will do whatever it takes to prevent Big Brother from indoctrinating my children with secular and collectivist values. The most important gift I can give my children is the knowledge that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. If I fail to do that, it will not be for lack of trying.

    I already find myself shrinking my circle of friends to include mostly Conservatives and Christians who lean Conservative. I don’t feel the need to defend my views to Liberals who want to brainwash me.

     I sing with a choir, and I would say a majority of the members lean left. But they are nice people and it is surprising how many values we share.  That’s why I have hope–they say one thing and live another. They want the same things I want–their kids to marry someone of the opposite sex, stay married and have grandchildren, their money to be safe, etc.  They want conservative things.  I wonder if some won’t convert as things deteriorate.  

    • #44
  15. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Sabrdance: If the country can’t tell those number apart, excommunicating a quarter of our co-religionists plus anyone who doesn’t show up for church for 6 months isn’t going to improve matters.  They’d probably just add it to their list of reasons we’re hypocrites and intollerant.

    I don’t think most people make that distinction.  For them, Christians are either their friends who don’t seem any different from them, or the Pat Robertson/ Fred Phelps embarrassments.

     I wouldn’t suggest mass excommunication, either.  But if the Christianity wants to restore its authority and demand that it is worthy of respect and accommodations, then it needs to clean its house.  “Physician, heal thyself” seems a particularly appropriate mission statement for this day and age.

    • #45
  16. falsbach@sbcglobal.net Inactive
    falsbach@sbcglobal.net
    @Floydz

    I’m a libertarian and somewhat devout Catholic.  I just don’t think that marriage, like almost everything else about our lives, is any of the gov’ts darn business.

    • #46
  17. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    C. U. Douglas:

    Make peace with the Libertarians. Religious and individual liberties are under constant assault now. We won’t get anywhere in this cultural battle by fighting with and blaming the Libertarians for it all. 

    Who’s “blaming the Libertarians for it all?” 

    That said, on the issue of same sex marriage particularly, Libertarians (examples: Richard Epstein, Charles Murray) helped pile up the fuel, helped light the fire, helped fan the flames. Now that the conflagration is out of control, some of them seem to be alarmed at what they’ve helped start.

    Generally, it’s Libertarians who act as spoilers in close elections, pulling the margin of victory away from Republican. If the Libertarians can’t take it away from the Republican in the primary, what makes them think they can take it away in the general? Do they really prefer the Democrat?

    The Republicans are on a timer, if they FUBAR 2014 or 2016, they’re pretty much washed up and we can see if the Libertarians can organize anything more than a rally to protest seatbelt and helmet laws. Meanwhile it’s either Pelosi or Boehner, Reid or McConnell, HRC or the candidate to be named.

    • #47
  18. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Merina, Francis Shaffer addressed the question you raised a while back.

    If you haven’t read How Should We Then Live, you might want to give it a try. It will help with understanding and framing the issues.

    • #48
  19. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    You are wrong.  It will become easier.  The places where Christians most clearly walk the walk are the places where they are the most persecuted.  
    TeeGee
    :

    I might add that people of faith will have to make some truly hard choices about how they live. It will become harder to live by faith.

    • #49
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    How Will People of Faith Live Now?

    Without fear.  With joy.

    They have no power to inflict the former, and none to tarnish the latter.

    Get your armor on.

    • #50
  21. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Spin:

    A little persecution may just be good for American Christianity.

     In theory I agree with you.  But in practice,  I am not so enthusiastic,  particularly since that persecution is likely to land squarely on the shoulders of my child and her peers. 

    • #51
  22. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It it hard to envision a post-Judeo-Christian United States.  All that has gone before this moment has been guided by Judeo-Christian thinking, and often prayer.  I do not see any other barrier preventing granny from being pushed over the side of the ship.  Most decisions will be made on a utilitarian and monetary basis, I think.  

    I have been worried about this for a long time.  Our nation’s commitment to charity has been driven a lot by Judeo-Christian beliefs about the value of human life and compassion.  We’re only one generation into having a secular government, so it is too soon to see the effects of this change taking place.  But I can see a generation from now a much colder country.

    • #52
  23. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Lucy Pevensie:

    Spin:

    A little persecution may just be good for American Christianity.

    In theory I agree with you. But in practice, I am not so enthusiastic, particularly since that persecution is likely to land squarely on the shoulders of my child and her peers.

     “Consider it pure joy when you endure trials of many kinds.”  God has this.  We just need to follow His lead.  

    • #53
  24. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    You know, I think sometimes we are far too focused on the bad stuff going on around us, and not focused enough on the glory of God.  I read all this doom and gloom and I think “How big is your God?”  I don’t mean to sound all smug and whatnot, if I do I apologize.  What I want to do is to encourage all of you.  The direction America is heading is not a surprise to God, and it is not out of control. 

    Paul told us in Ephesians that the purpose of the church is to bear witness to the glory of God.  Are we doing that?  I read Denise’s post from the other day and I thought “Well, there’s one church that is firmly in the hands of the evil one.”  We don’t bear witness to God’s glory by striving to live a perfect life and requiring those around us to do the same.  We do it by loving everyone around us the way Christ first loved us.  Peter told us we have everything we need to live in this world, to do God’s work.

    • #54
  25. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    So let’s stop wringing our hands about the culture war, and start loving the people around us.  

    I’m sorry to be blunt, but if you are withdrawing from the world and surrounding yourself with Christians and conservatives because you are worried that you might be brainwashed by them, then I question your faith.  God called you to live in the world.  To be salt and light.  If you withdraw to the pews of your church you are going to find that fewer and fewer people surround you, and you will become more and more bitter.  That is not how God called us to live.

    • #55
  26. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Spin:

    So let’s stop wringing our hands about the culture war, and start loving the people around us.

    I’m sorry to be blunt, but if you are withdrawing from the world and surrounding yourself with Christians and conservatives because you are worried that you might be brainwashed by them, then I question your faith. God called you to live in the world. To be salt and light. If you withdraw to the pews of your church you are going to find that fewer and fewer people surround you, and you will become more and more bitter. That is not how God called us to live.

    I have said this before, but I’ll say it again: the pretty New England Congregational churches I see every day remind me of what Paul encountered atop the Areopagus. Many are so stripped of Christ — never mind the Cross — that they might as well be inscribed: ‘To the Unknown God’.

    If we withdraw to our redoubts, who will go forth to say “that therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you”?

    • #56
  27. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Fricinosis:  that’s right.  And further, how’s about “and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”  Does that not suggest we are to be assailing hell?  Why do we sit in a defensive position, as Christians?

    • #57
  28. Gary The Ex-Donk Member
    Gary The Ex-Donk
    @

    If Christians of any stripe resort to withdrawing from society at large in an attempt at insulating themselves from the broader culture than those whose agenda is truly anti-Christian will have a major victory to claim.  And it would do little to refute the perception of “bigotry” among the portion of the population who merely disagrees with them on this issue.  I get that this defensive posture comes out of frustration and it does present itself as a serious catch-22.  However, I’m skeptical about the wisdom of this kind of strategy for the long term.

    • #58
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Spin:

    You know, I think sometimes we are far too focused on the bad stuff going on around us, and not focused enough on the glory of God. I read all this doom and gloom and I think “How big is your God?” I don’t mean to sound all smug and whatnot, if I do I apologize. What I want to do is to encourage all of you. The direction America is heading is not a surprise to God, and it is not out of control. . . . 

    We do it by loving everyone around us the way Christ first loved us. Peter told us we have everything we need to live in this world, to do God’s work.

    I actually feel better about the future.  Thank you.  I am much inspired.  As a minister I know once preached, Christians will be known for the good work they do.  Be God’s hands.  

    I guess between the beautiful music and the twinkly Christmas lights, some people will even find us.  Particularly when they need help and respite.   And people are going to need help and hope more than ever now.

    • #59
  30. user_48342 Member
    user_48342
    @JosephEagar

    Merina Smith:

    …recruitment to homosexuality
    …a changed understanding of fidelity and so on.

    Recruitment to homosexuality?  You can’t possibly be talking about recruitment theory? That’s absurd.

    Also, we aren’t the French.  I don’t think American norms of fidelity are going to change.  It’s telling that our last two presidents are still married to their first wives.

    • #60
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