I often appreciate Fiddlrts’ excellent insight, and this week was no exception. In light of the publicity surrounding Fred Phelps’ passing, he reflects on the dynamics of Christian opposition to gays in America.
He finds important roots in the development of the idea of America as God’s chosen people and in other historical developments.
In my opinion, much of the political insanity that has characterized the religious right over the last few decades can be directly traced to a belief that the United States is the new Israel, and that it can claim the political promises that God made to Israel in the Old Testament.
There is no doubt that we believe this. Count how many signs you have seen with 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This is a specific promise to Israel that doesn’t neatly fit with today’s situation unless you believe that the United States is now God’s “chosen people.” (And don’t tell me you think it means “Christians,” because then why do you expect God to bless America?) Although this idea dates at least to the Puritans, who sought to establish a “City on a Hill,” the modern Evangelical belief is heavily influenced by the Christian Reconstructionists, of whom more below.
Thus, because we associate the Kingdom of God with some sort of mythical America as a “Christian nation,” we spent our time, energy, and resources focusing on politics.
So here is what we seem to believe: In the past (take your pick when), America was a “Christian nation,” God’s chosen people. We were good, so we were blessed. Now, we feel America is in decline, because we are now not so good. We have to stop this decline, so we find a visible representation of how we have gotten worse and thus drawn God’s wrath on us. Hmm, how might we do that? What sin shall we pick?
We believe that homosexual sin is in an entirely different category from other sins. And, conveniently, it is one committed by a small minority.
Read the rest of Fiddlrts’ excellent post by clicking the link below: