(The author offers an insider’s primer to evangelicalism in 2004.)
What a year! 2004 will always be a red letter year in the history of right-wing evangelical fundamentalism. Society’s rush to the moral abyss of history suffered a slight hiccup at the hands of four of the most unlikely men from the most unlikely sources—two by intent and two through ignorance. Though our world view prevents us from taking open pleasure in the pain of liberal America, when the lights are out and the curtains are drawn, we certainly will give God three cheers for allowing us a brief reprieve from the onslaught of anti-Christian sentiment that dominates our pop culture, prime time programming, and public education system.
To grasp the average evangelical’s delight at this year’s events you must first forget every axiom you’ve come to believe about us. We aren’t stupid. We aren’t prejudice. We aren’t passionless. The most intelligent, loving, and passionate people I know are God-fearing men and women who make charity a way of life and not a tax-deduction at the end of the year. The remarkable part of this victory we’ve achieved is that it was fostered by men from four of the most anti-Christian citadels of darkness in our society—Hollywood, gay rights activists, the media elite, and the Ivy League.
Hollywood gushes forth a relentless attack against morality by mass producing movies designed to undermine traditional morality in a misguided attempt to “question everything.” The questions rarely merit the time spent spinning immoral plot-lines that usually deliver the same theme: traditional values are outdated and those who cling to them are worthy of our mockery. 2004 brought us Mel Gibson and “The Passion of the Christ.” The Hollywood powers-that-be ruthlessly attacked him for bringing a film that did not toe the party line. Americans poured into movie theatres in malls and shopping centers around the country, breaking all records, to illustrate the point that for many years the market has not been driven by the consumer but by the producer when it comes to Hollywood. The idea that immorality in film is simply a case of supply and demand was annihilated by Mel Gibson. Walt Disney has known it for a long time now. The producers of smut were caught with their hands in the jar. That’s why they hate Mel Gibson, and that is why evangelicals started the year off in fine fashion.
Gavin Newsome gave us a real shot in the arm this year. The gay lobby, drunk with the accumulation of small victories along the edges of the fabric of our legal system, decided to go for the brass ring. Co-opting marriage, which has forever been the joining of a man and a woman, would finally give validation to their relationships and, once and for all, force the religious community to accept their behavior as “normal.” For the most part, evangelicals could care less what homosexuals do in the privacy of their own homes, but an attempt to destroy the very sacred act of matrimony to win a political victory goosed the sleeping giant just enough to create a backlash from evangelicals, both democrat and republican. Before the clock struck on this year, many states had already passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and most others were preparing them. It was a slam dunk for the evangelicals: A gift from overzealous gay activists.
Dan Rather delivered a striking blow to the deceitfulness of the media elite but coming out of the closet in an attempt to bring down the Bush family. His blinding hatred for everything Bush caused him to drop his guard and reveal what is in the soul of every member of the liberal media: pride and hypocrisy. He turned a blind eye to the falsification of documents in an effort to prove that George W. Bush falsified documents. He validated every conservative Christian who sometimes wondered if perhaps he was being a bit too paranoid about this liberal media movement. Dan Rather did more to arm right wing media outlets than any other man this year. Fox news, Rush Limbaugh, et al, each owes him a nice Christmas present this year.
Of course, the true guilty pleasure of evangelicals in this country is George W. Bush and his re-election to the presidency of the United States. What a coup! While the liberal forces of darkness stopped at nothing to destroy this man, the American people decided that the values represented by the man whose hero is Jesus Christ were more attractive than those represented by a liberal icon of the post Viet Nam era. Why do evangelicals love President Bush? Because liberals hate him! The more they hate him the more we love him. The more he angers, frustrates, and sickens them the more he pleases us. Liberals see him stupid—a man of little consequence. The fact that he attended the same Ivy League university, Yale, as the hero of liberalism, and even joined the same fraternal organizations, just puts a little extra twinkle in our eye.
Liberals should take a deep breath and relax. Soon enough you will reassure yourselves that 2004 was just an aberration. And you are probably right. For those of you who wish to be better prepared next time, I have a few words of instruction. You have been told that evangelicals blindly accept ridiculous fairy tales, disregarding all logic and skepticism. Since you do not believe in the God of the Bible, you assume that anyone who does certainly must either be a dolt or a gullible, uneducated hick. Underestimating the opposition leads to just the sort of defeat you suffered in 2004. Your world view does not include God, but the evangelical operates on the premise that if an all powerful God exists, it certainly would not be outrageous that He could accomplish things mere men find impossible to achieve. Logic would dictate as much. To mock an evangelical for believing in miracles is foolishness.
You’re predisposition to atheism prevents you from attributing to God powers and abilities you are more than willing to allow mortal men to possess. You mock claims of healings, opening the eyes of the blind and ears of the deaf, recorded in the Bible at the hand of Jesus, yet you acclaim medical technology for slowly catching up in our century. You scoff at the idea of the virgin birth, but laud the scientific advances of humanity that makes just such births possible today through In vitro fertilization. Perhaps the same faithlessness that slowed man’s advances through history is at work in your disbelief in the Almighty. There can’t be a God because you can’t conceive it! A wise man once pointed out how much more exists than what surfaces within the boundaries of our meager philosophies.
There is much to know about evangelicals that would benefit a serious liberal who intends to return this society to the status quo: liberalism fighting unopposed in the culture war for the heart and soul of America. Conservatives notice that the bastions of liberalism are filled with the sort of devastation these same liberals claim to combat. It is in the big cities where poverty, gang warfare and related crime, poor housing, joblessness, homelessness, and other societal horrors exist. Don’t think we haven’t noticed that these vast wastelands also happen to be liberal democratic power bases. If liberal democratic rule leads to such results, we proud members of the Red States of America are going to be hard to convince to take one of you as our national leader. You had better take our concerns and philosophies seriously if you do want a national stage.
I am not a liberal, but I have been forced to live amongst them for most of my life. I hate them because they do not love what is foundational and necessary for our very existence at every stage of life. We need loving marriages that remain intact in order to give happiness and prosperity to our children and to keep ourselves from hurting the innocent and the vulnerable in the world, who are almost always too young or too old to watch out for themselves and see to their own needs. Liberals want freedom more than simple love. I can't support them, having been forced to look into their ugly ways and having been injured by them over and over again in this life. Thank you for being a conservative.