Radicalized Christians?

When Texas Congressman Al Green (D) chastised Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in June for holding Homeland Security Committee hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America, he demonstrated how little he knows about Christianity. Green asked, “Why not have  a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?”

A television talk-show host and a guest quickly agreed. It seems they believe there are more radical Christians than radical Muslims. Of course, they made no mention of the Islamic terror attacks of 9/11 and failed to provide a single example of “radical” Christian violence.

Even Green himself said, “And if you agree that we have Christians…who become radicalized, they become part of Islam and they become radicalized as is being said, why not have a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?”1

So what Green actually said is that Islam is radicalizing converts to Islam—people who likely were never true, biblical Christians to begin with.

Yet the fact his comment was quickly used to skewer Christianity, rather than Islam, articulates the current war on American, Bible-believing Christians. Of course, Christians are concerned about the denigration of the moral and spiritual values that have undergirded this republic since its founding. And, yes, we wince when absurd bans prohibit singing the likes of “God Bless America” at public functions and mentioning God in public prayer or discourse.

But the issues go further. These incidents are ensigns of what will be contested in more radical terms in the future.

In 2003 an obscure essayist named Michael Webb wrote an online diatribe about the Christian “right.” Unfortunately, his verminous reasoning reflects core aspects of the forces being marshaled to destroy conservative Christianity:

Those points [abortion and gay rights] have been used to radicalize the radical religious right in the United States in the same way that Islamicists have long used the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza to radicalize their own people. In fact, we can draw many parallels between the radical religious right in the US and Islamic radicals in the Middle East.

Like most radical movements, both are unwilling to compromise or coexist with their adversaries. In their minds, the continuing presence of political or ideological adversaries can only be bad. Radicals feel they must persist in their struggle until the world is completely purged and free of the adversaries….There is no appreciable difference between Islamic fundamentalism and the radical Christian right.

Indeed, it isn’t too great an exaggeration to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a fairly clear model of where the religious right wants to take the United States. Only the details differ.2

We hear much these days from pollsters and political prognosticators who refer to the “evangelical vote” and its influence in the next presidential election. Who identifies these evangelical voters? The conservative Christian community has never voted as a monolithic block. Nor is it controlled by czars who dictate which levers to pull in the polling  booths.

Individual believers vote just like other Americans: according to their personal convictions. And if this is radicalism, then all Americans have been radicalized.

The danger of real radicalism lies in how anti-Christian elements will react toward their Christian enemies if things fail to go their way.

ENDNOTE
  1. Robert Spencer, “Investigate Radical Christianity!” Pajamas Media, June 25, 2012 <pjmedia.com/blog/investigate-radical-christianity/>.
  2. Michael Webb, “On the rise of the radical religious right and the breakdown of democracy in the United States,” 2003 <http://sklatch.net/thoughtlets/pall.html>.

2 thoughts on “Radicalized Christians?

  1. They never can provide an example of “radicalized Christians” – the best – and I do mean the BEST example I’m ever given, if I get one at all, is “The KKK” – as if that’s a religiously motivated organization or group in the first place.

    Details don’t matter with this scourge of leftism / “progressivism”. There really are people out there right now who legitimately believe there are Christians going around killing and blowing people up in the name of “God” or “Jesus” despite the lack of news articles or mention on even anti-Christian mainstream media.

    Oh, and “puritans” – in other words, things from the now distant past, which have absolutely no bearing on the modern day and also are not actual teachings of Jesus. Now, we can discuss teachings of Mohammed… but I doubt I need to. Anyone who happens to read this and is curious and doesn’t somehow already know, can easily look it up if they legitimately care. This comment wasn’t even meant to be this long.

  2. I am absolutely dying of laughter after reading this, it was written in 2012 and boy did it not age well. In just 8 short years everything that Elwood McQuaid said was not happening with Christians is happening exactly as they predicted. Just look at this quote from the article, “We hear much these days from pollsters and political prognosticators who refer to the “evangelical vote” and its influence in the next presidential election. Who identifies these evangelical voters? The conservative Christian community has never voted as a monolithic block. Nor is it controlled by czars who dictate which levers to pull in the polling booths.” But ohhhh sweet Elwood, that it exactly what’s happening now. Christians are controlled by czars called pastors who influence their congregation towards a their political leanings. It has been absolute wonder to watch how Christians have justified Trump as a good Christian man who is doing Gods work, how are they not exhausted from the mental gymnastics?? This same man can’t seem to keep it in his pants and is on his 3rd wife and has children from 3 different women! I think Christians would call someone like that a harlot or a slut no? Not to mention that he was best friends with Jeffery Epstein a deplorable human being who abused and trafficked underage girls to his sex island. Our president has even publicly said that he would date one of his daughters if she wasn’t related to him. ? Although it was written that during the “end times” many will be deceived. Too bad these born again Christians think they’re above deception. God must be shaking his head. Evangelical Christianity is on the verge of radicalization. Just like Islam, Christians have been tasked to spread the gospel and convert non believers. This is the same goal of Islam. They want to convert as many as possible because in their hearts they are doing the right thing. Did they ever think that we consider their Gods love to be as lovely as filthy rags? But yes we are the evils one aren’t we? The ones who have “rejected” gods good and pure “love” and because the world is evil and full of sin, God will destroy it and his enemies will burn for all eternity (btw us non Christians are his enemies) doesn’t that sound like something Allah would say?? In a few years Christians will be the ones trying to convince the world that their religion is all about peace and love instead of Muslims.

    If you couldn’t draw any parallels between the radical religious right in the US and Islamic radicals in the Middle East before, then you can definitely do that now. Elwood writes, “Christians are concerned about the denigration of the moral and spiritual values that have undergirded this republic since its founding.” Yea that’s exactly what Islamist fundamentalist believe, just switch the name of their Gods. Christians may not be committing acts of terrorism like 9/11 yet, but boy do I feel like it’s on the Horizon. These are the same Christians who in the 50’s and 60’s believed that “colored folks” should drink from different fountains and didn’t allow Black folks to dine in the same restaurants as them. These are the same Christians that condemned the civil rights movement and painted Martin Luther King to be some sort of instigator. They weren’t marching along side their black brother and sisters who were made in the image of God and were demanding BASIC civil rights as Americans. Oh no no no. Nobody knows where the evangelicals were when this was all going down. Most likely ignoring the fact that just a few generations ago their ancestors sold and bought people into slavery. ( other humans made in the image of god, unless they thought god was white? ?‍♀️They want to ignore this sin and they never asked for forgiveness. But God did say in the Bible that he will punish man for the sins committed by his father. Christians love to claim that they’re the ones being persecuted for their faith. MANY religions have been persecuted for their faith. It’s happening right now with Tibetan monks and many more! But no Christians are the only ones apparently. I don’t support any religion but I am respectful around my Christian friends because they’re good people (although it’s sad that they need the fear of hell to convince them to not be assholes to others). I’m especially weary of any religion who’s main purpose is to convert others. Radical Christians and Muslims are dangerous and are both made from the same cloth. Now only time will tell how this all plays out. Maybe by then we”ll be living in a Christians dictiorship that forces gay people into conversation therapy and takes away rights of others by forcing their way of life on the population. Who knows. We are already at a point where a whole political party that is synonymous with evangelical Christians. Their politicians love to boldly proclaim to the media that they are proud Christians and uphold the Bible, Imagine if we a Muslim politician said like that? They would think Muslims are trying to take over America and would come out guns blazing. Religious freedom is important, anyone of any faith should be allowed to practice their faith. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep an eye on the ones that are gearing towards radicalization

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