Thursday night thoughts

Falwell, Dobson, and Robertson: the left’s favorite targets for pointing out the undeniable truth that Christians are both human and flawed.

I thought about these three men when reading Howard Fineman’s piece on the Orlando conference of religious broadcasters. Mr. Fineman’s headline labels them the “Three Kingmakers”. Each of the men have had moments in their lives in which the glare of the spotlight has magnified their spoken words, causing the casual observer to wonder who these men think they are, and the committed left to have their worst fears confirmed, and even supporters to question the wisdom of their seeming interjection of personalities into principles, personal influence into the political arena.

Falwell used to rub me the wrong way when I was a young man. Thinking back, it was probably the whole “Baptist thing”: the “once saved, always saved”, and “you can’t be sprinkled, you’ve gotta be dunked”, and other pecularisms that to me seemed just so much dogma; a way of putting the traditions of man before the spiritual principle of Salvation by faith. Robertson seemed like the tent-revival preacher who was apt to say whatever was on his heart, or on his mind, and mostly unable to distinguish between the two. Dobson was the newer guy on the beat, talking about themes of family, discipline, and modeling behavior. I read his book The Strong-Willed Child, at a time when the challenges of raising a strong-willed boy was a difficult challenge for this young father. It’s hard to believe that fifteen years have passed since I read that book, and that the little boy is now a young man. The time does get by.

It’s interesting that those pecularisms that used to seem so important to me have lost their ability to rub me the wrong way. Have Falwell, Robertson and Dobson changed that much? Probably not. I guess, I just realized that it’s not about them. As long as they preach the Gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus, the rest of it really isn’t that important, including which candidate they endorse. And, I suspect that there are many more on the so-called Religious Right who agree with my assessment rather than with Mr. Fineman’s. It is enough to live usefully, work productively, and give generously, proving all things by the Eternal Standard, trusting that they do indeed work for the good of those who believe.

Here is Mr. Fineman’s concluding paragraph:

I always thought that Huckabee was the logical candidate for religious conservatives — the next step in the progression. If you want to put God in the public square, why not get a preacher to do it? Eliminate the middleman — or men.

OK, so he doesn’t get it. No big surprise, there. It does, however, remind me of some of the semi-flame wars at the blog which will not be named. I realized then that although we were political allies, the secular conservatives trusted and respected Christian conservatives only slightly more than Mr. Fineman and the secular liberals.


Other good reading:

Hatless in Hattiesburg, I can plainly see , Gulf Coast Pundit, Doug Ross, In the bullpen, The Hill Chronicles, Morning Coffee, Ironic Surrealism, John Carey, Traveling the dirt roads, Too much is enough (TWS), What would you do?, The Dream, Truman North, Blogrolling, Planck’s constant, MSGrits, FooD!, Maxine, Writer Chick Talks

13 Responses

  1. I do not know what the Democrats and Liberals have to complain about when it comes to preachers. It was Jimmy Carters sister, Evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton, who supposedly saved Larry Flynt back in 1977. That was just before he made Hustler in to a book hustling for God. (Do you suppose God really wanted a hardcore skin magazine in all the Evangelical Churches across the world?) However I do not remember it ever hitting the Christian Magazine subscription list. His conversion lasted about a year before he unconverted himself.

  2. I had completely forgotten about that!

  3. I grew up watching the old time gospel hour every sunday morning before church and I think its sad that a guy like Jerry Falwell feels like he should try to influence politics (it seemed to kick into high gear after the Larry Flynt thing). Its gotta be one or the other for me, either preach the gospel or be Jessie Jackson. Guys like Billy Graham and even Oral Roberts simply taught and the people knew what to do without being told how to vote. Just my two cents.

  4. “the people knew what to do without being told how to vote”
    So true.

  5. I ought to back that up with and most sensible folks still know what to do except in certain places that shall remain nameless…

  6. Heheeheehee. Yup, they shall remain nameless.

  7. Just a little bit on the LLL. Murtha decides he knows what is better for America. The senile member of congress proposes a new bill.
    Congressman Murtha Crafts Bill to Prevent Iraq Troop Deployments

    That dang N2L is passing his “cedar illness” around. But I here you can catch viruses from the internet. 😕 3years huh? Was my record too……

  8. Here’s a little good news to offset Murtha’s doom and gloom. But beware, it’s from AP, so you have to read around the bad parts.

    “BAGHDAD, Iraq — The leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq was wounded and an aide was killed in a clash Thursday with Iraqi forces north of Baghdad, the Interior Ministry spokesman said.

    The clash occurred near Balad, a major U.S. base about 50 miles north of the capital, Brig. Gen Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.

    Khalaf said Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri was wounded and his aide, identified as Abu Abdullah al-Majemaai, was killed.”

    The rest is here.

    G’nite to anyone still awake. Swamps? 😉

  9. Thanks for the link Nuke. I may have to apply that (great)idea to my next post. 😉

  10. Yeah, Robert D, I was likely asleep. I need to leave for a seminar in middle Florida about 6 a.m. tomorrow morning after getting off work @ 3 a.m. and so was hoping that if I got sleep this morning, it might make up for tomorrow.

  11. These three men are targets for the left, and unfortunately for many on the right too. I don’t think it hurts anything for people like Falwell, Robertson, and Dobson to endorse a candidate one way or the other. We all still have the right to choose who we prefer — but I honestly believe that there are people (including Christians) who are just stupid when it comes to voting. I mean, look at all the votes cast for Gore and Kerry. Granted, many of the votes came from dead people, felons, pets, etc … but still.

  12. Religious leaders have always been an influence in someway towards the government. I do not have a problem with that. Even Graham, who was mentioned, was a personal counselor to Nixon. It is not unusual for religious leaders to stick their noses in either Party’s business. The difference is that the far left-wing, whom loathe any religious coalition – especially those that do not rubber stamp their leftist agendas, uses association with religion as negative political ammunition against the Republicans.

  13. […] Thursday night thoughts Filed under: Uncategorized — recar @ 7:20 pm Thursday night thoughts […]

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