Wednesday, September 8


This fear thing puzzles me. The Christian right, which is overwhelmingly Republican, swoons with rapture as Bush and Cheney pour a thick coat of fear over everything they say and do. Listening to talk radio, the verbal diarrhea of professing Christians Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck et al is full of screeds about us Democrats "not getting it" because we don't act or sound fearful enough. This morning Darrell Ankarlo and Laura Ingraham played tape of Russian children relating their experiences in the school held hostage by Chechen rebels and kept reminding listeners that these are evil people who can't be negotiated with, as if the Democrats would disagree! (After all, it was the Bush administration that cautioned Putin not to get carried away, that a diplomatic solution to his problem was necessary.)

The thing that puzzles me is that Christians are not SUPPOSED to live in fear. We're told repeatedly in The Bible that God is our refuge and our defender -- "in whom shall I fear?" (Psalm 23) As a devout Christian, I refuse to walk and cower in fear even in the face of my enemies. THAT's the American way too. Americans AREN'T all cowboys, but we do have a history and culture that supports determination, but also confidence, in the face of the gravest and most serious of challenges. This overwhelming fear that the Republicans are fostering among the citizenry is not only anti-American, it's anti-Christian, and Democrats need to be reminding our fellow citizens of this loudly and strongly.

Look, people, Hitler, Tojo, and the Soviets had a lot more powerful weapons (and delivery systems!) than do the international terrorists, plus they had a much more plausible chance to actually TAKE OVER our country, and we didn't cower then. We stood up to them and our cause was won, and while we were doing it we actually LIVED OUR LIVES without trembling.

Awareness, yes. Defiance, yes. Determination, yes. Readiness to sacrifice, yes. These are all proper responses to the threats currently facing us. Fear and trembling, no! "They wouldn't bend, they wouldn't bow, they wouldn't burn," the old song relates the tale of Daniel's friends in the fiery furnace. They trusted God, as did Daniel when he was in the lion's den, to preserve their lives and safety. Defiant they were. Aware of the horrific nature of the threat to them, they were. Determined to obey their God rather than bend their knee to a false god they were. And, being human, they might have suffered a few pangs of fear -- but they didn't show it to the enemy. They were saved by their faith in their God and the righteousness of His cause.

Where's your faith, Christian right? Has it been suffocated by your fear? Or is it that you doubt the righteousness of your cause?


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