Views & Commentaries with Matt Barber
Onward, Christian soldiers
Preachers mustn’t shy away from pulpit politics
By Matt Barber
Once the political tectonic plates shift, there is bipartisan agreement that we can expect an earthshaking groundswell of grassroots advocacy and action to rival - if not surpass - the 2010 Tea Party effect.
Along with their ideological Tea Party cousins - many of whom are one and the same - tens of millions of potential Bible-believing voters are being encouraged - to the extent they need encouragement - to vote their values in 2012. The catalyst? President Obama’s discredited secular-socialist push to “fundamentally transform America.”
This burgeoning Christian movement has not gone unnoticed by the left. For instance, in a piece headlined: “Evangelical pastors heed a political calling for 2012,” the Los Angeles Times recently reported, “Formerly apolitical preachers in states like Iowa, backed by astute organizers and big donors, are mobilizing congregations for the election.”
“Religious leaders have long been active in political causes,” the newspaper notes. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used his Baptist pulpit to agitate for civil rights, and fiery televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell awakened the religious right in the 1970s and 1980s with calls to fight what they saw as America’s moral decay.
“But the current awakening is different,” the piece continues. “It springs from the grass roots - small and independent churches - and is fueled by emails and YouTube videos. And it is driven less by personality than by the biblical teaching to be the ‘salt’ and ‘light’ of society - in other words, to have a beneficial influence on the world.”
Indeed, the Moral Majority, led by Falwell and other venerable Christian leaders, was central to placing Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1980. Remarkably, the movement’s contemporary counterpart promises to play a key role in President Obama’s eviction from that same residence some 32 years later.
At the time, Falwell gave a rousing call to arms: “What is wrong in America today?” he asked. “We preachers - and there are 340,000 of us who pastor churches - we hold the nation in our hand. And I say this to every preacher: We are going to stand accountable before God if we do not stand up and be counted.”
Falwell’s words ring no less true today.
Of course, you can set your watch to the liberal response. Recognizing the threat to their own secular-socialist designs for America posed by a Christian socio-political revival - “progressive” conspirators have broken out the Saul Alinsky-crafted long knives.
They’re painting those who call for a return to moral principle in public policy “dominionist” bogeymen who seek to “take over government” and impose an American, Taliban-like theocracy.
This, of course, is propagandist nonsense— a silly ploy intended to frighten into action both the “progressive” base and fence-sitting Independents.
Still, this much they have right: Christians and constitutionalists alike do intend to win the ongoing war for our culture. We do intend to “take over government” insofar as this means ensuring that true, traditionalist statesmen are elected to office.
You’ve heard it said, “You can’t legislate morality.” Baloney.
That’s exactly what legislation is. The question is: Whose morality are we going to legislate? “Progressive” secular-socialists like President Obama insist it’s their own, postmodern brand of moral relativism.
Christians, in fast-growing numbers, are beginning to say, “Not on our watch.”
You’ve been lied to. The next time you hear someone appeal to the “separation of church and state,” ask them to point you to exactly where in the Constitution that incessantly repeated and highly abused phrase can be found. They can’t. It’s not there.
Pastors, as this election cycle heats up, expect to receive threatening letters from anti-Christian paper tigers like Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union warning you that if you discuss politics from your pulpit, you stand to lose your tax-exempt status.
Know this: They’re lying to you. That’s what they do. That’s all they have. This is merely a desperate attempt to muzzle Christians generally and pastors specifically.
In fact, guess how many churches have lost tax-exempt status for involvement in elective politics?
Exactly zero. Ever.
Rest assured, there are no signs that the Internal Revenue Service plans to completely trample the Constitution by targeting churches anytime soon. Even federal bureaucrats understand that bothersome little thing called the First Amendment.
John Adams, our second president, once said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Yes, liberals are nervous. They should be. Moral and religious people are taking our government back.
Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)
Provided by our friend Matt Barber