Christianity under attack 

This time, it's the Republicans doing it

This time, it's the Republicans doing it
Less than a year after evangelical Christians turned out in record numbers to elect George W. Bush president, they're finding out that their so-called leader has done little to nothing for them.
I still see a ton of late-model, expensive cars with "W" stickers on them. I've held back on my overwhelming urge to smash in all of their windows with a brick.
He campaigned on a platform which paid much lip service to the Christian right. He professed to be anti-abortion, against gay marriage, against stem cell research and for the Bible. He's done exactly nothing about those issues. Republicans have held the White House for 18 of the last 30 years and abortion is even more widely available than when Reagan was first elected in 1980. Gay people have stubbornly refused to disappear from the planet, despite the president's wishes, and states are making their own decisions about gay marriage. Yet I still see a ton of late-model, expensive cars with "W" stickers on them. I've held back my overwhelming urge to smash in all of their windows with a brick. It is my contribution to bipartisanship. Besides, it's a good way to identify the idiots of the world. Instead of supporting do-nothing presidents, Christians should turn their attention to the various ways they are under attack. There's a full-frontal assault on Christianity underway right here in America and your president is doing nothing about it. Forget about the Ten Commandments statues on courthouse lawns; what we're seeing here is nothing more or less than full-out censorship, governmental intervention in religion and an inability to freely spread the Gospel. Where is the freedom to evangelize in China? Where is justice for the Dalai Lama and Tibet? Why does much of the Muslim world hate us more than ever before? Closer to home, a local Republican judge, Cale Bradford, recently ruled a couple could not teach their child "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals." The religion in this case was Wicca; next time, it could be the Pentecostals or Jehovah's Witnesses. Remember, this wasn't a fire-breathing friend of Bill and Hillary who did this; it was a Marion County Republican judge supported by Republicans. The next most obvious case of alleged interference in religion comes from two former editorial writers from The Indianapolis Star, who filed suit last week against the newspaper. Trade magazine Editor & Publisher described the case this way: "The suit alleges that Star Editor Dennis Ryerson and Publisher Barbara Henry said editorials perceived as proselytizing or containing Christian overtones could not be printed in the paper." Former employees James L. Patterson and Lisa Coffey are seeking reinstatement and lost wages, as well as benefits, emotional distress and punitive damages. The Star vigorously rejected the charges as being without merit. Not being privy to the specifics of the case, I can't say whether Patterson and Coffey were discriminated against. But, since I work for a locally-owned company that respects its employees' beliefs, I can say this: I am a Christian. I fully believe that Christ was crucified for our sins. It is the blood He shed which washes away our sins. Imagine that. A true Clinton Democrat has the freedom to say that. A liberal who voted enthusiastically for John Kerry can say that, but a columnist for The Star could get axed for writing those words, if the lawsuit is to be believed. Would I get fired at The Star for quoting this Maya Angelou poem? When I say ... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible But God believes I am worth it. You have to understand that The Star and its byproducts are tiny cogs in the steel wheels of a multinational corporation that's the living embodiment of the New World Order. Just be careful which beliefs you hold. I don't know the religious beliefs, if any, of Mr. Ryerson and Ms. Henry but if I worked at The Star I'd follow what they do, just to stay out of trouble. However, I was privileged to briefly work with Mr. Patterson at the Indianapolis Recorder in the early 1990s, when he was temporarily assigned there. I found him not only to be a great writer, but a great man as well. He is a leader among men whose only preaching came in exhorting us to become better journalists. I knew him as a family man, a kind man and a Christian man. In the years since, I followed his columns because of the depth and humanity he brought to each topic he tackled. He sympathized with the underdogs of the world and was an advocate for social justice. He graced The Star's pages. I don't recall him telling his readers to visit a specific church or to buy a specific translation of the Bible. There have been no reports of either Patterson or Coffey handling snakes, speaking in tongues or passing out jack Chick tracts at work. I know a couple other Star employees who are Christians, but I'm afraid now to out them. We live in interesting times, where war is peace, where freedom is slavery and where democracy is enforced at gunpoint. As Malcolm X once said, in a very different context, "The chickens have come home to roost."

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