When The Washington Post is taking a dim view of fellow progressives, you know they’ve monumentally screwed up:
An NPR [National Public Radio] report on Good Friday described Easter inaccurately and, in doing so, practically begged Christians to renew charges that the media is biased against them.
“Easter — the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere like that, but rather arose into heaven — is on Sunday,’ read an article on NPR’s website.
Easter, in fact, is the day when Christians celebrate their belief in the earthly resurrection of Jesus. Many Christians believe that Jesus did go to hell (temporarily) after being crucified on Good Friday. The Apostle’s Creed, recited in many churches, states that Jesus ‘was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell.
For those unfamiliar with NPR, it’s a Leftist radio network with delusions of elite intellectualism and significance, supported by taxpayers dollars. Reeling from the immediate backlash, NPR immediately corrected their clueless error, but this raises some interesting and informative questions, such as: how can anyone that has lived in America for any length of time have no idea of the significance of Easter? Also, are progressives really so clueless and careless about the beliefs of their political enemies?
I normally post my weekly education article on Mondays, but this week, I thought it worthy to resurrect an article I wrote back in 2013 when Kirsten Powers, a progressive pundit, wrote an article in Christianity Today about her acceptance of Christ. My article perhaps provides some insight into leftist views of Christianity, of how NPR could possibly be so wrong. My weekly education article will be back on Wednesday. The Powers article:
I’ve been thinking of Kirsten Powers of late. You know, Kirsten Powers, leftist, blond hair, brown eyes, a lovely and bright woman? I’d always appreciated her appearances on variousFox News shows because unlike many on the left, Powers has been able to discuss matters civilly. In fact, when the left–including their lord and savior, Barack Obama–have been wrong, Powers has often forthrightly admitted it, no qualifications, no spin, no lies.
I find this so compelling because it has been my experience, personally and through observation and research, that it is virtually impossible to discuss anything with a leftist. Conservatives and Independents are generally willing to have a calm, rational conversation with anyone, largely because they expect logic and fact to matter; they should determine the outcome of any debate. Leftists, however, do not share that outlook, and when challenged–and by this I mean when they hear anything that doesn’t absolutely conform to their views–quickly become very angry and begin name-calling, playing the race card, and expressing undying hatred for anyone daring to mention another viewpoint. Often, their vehemence is startling, even shocking.
In a recent interview with Rush Limbaugh ,David Horowitz–whose former leftist upbringing and credentials were impeccable, said:
I think the most important thing I’ve done in this book is to show the continuity in the left with its communist forebears. These are not liberals. We should never call these people liberals. To begin with, they’re bigots. They’re bigoted against Christians, against America, against white people. They don’t like conservatives. They don’t want two sides to a question. Weare liberal. I don’t know of a conservative who wants to shut off the conversation, but leftists do.
His experience has certainly been mine.
It has often been said that if God did not exist, we would have to invent Him. There is a spiritual dimension to the human soul. Deny it, ignore it and there are consequences. At best, we feel empty, lost, rudderless. At worst, we commit unspeakable atrocities, even genocide.
Kirsten Powers was, until recently, something of an enigma. An occasionally rational leftist? Does such a thing exist? No. It does not. But now, thanks to what Christians would call “witnessing,” I understand Powers better, even as I worry about her: she’s existing in a state of limbo, a political purgatory of sorts.
Imagine a leftist writing an article for Christianity Today about their acceptance of Christ. That’s what Powers did in October. Some excerpts:
Just seven years ago, if someone had told me that I’d be writing for Christianity Today magazine about how I came to believe in God, I would have laughed out loud. If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt.
Like many, Powers’ faith was a flimsy, on and off again matter. In her first political job, she was surround by leftists, who, unsurprisingly, expressed no faith in God. Powers writes about such expression in the sense of speaking about it–expressing faith out loud–but I suspect she also means there was no evidence of it otherwise in their lives:
From my early 20s on, I would waver between atheism and agnosticism, never coming close to considering that God could be real.
After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 to 1998. The White House surrounded me with intellectual people who, if they had any deep faith in God, never expressed it. Later, when I moved to New York, where I worked in Democratic politics, my world became aggressively secular. Everyone I knew was politically left-leaning, and my group of friends was overwhelmingly atheist.
I sometimes hear Christians talk about how terrible life must be for atheists. But our lives were not terrible. Life actually seemed pretty wonderful, filled with opportunity and good conversation and privilege. I know now that it was not as wonderful as it could have been. But you don’t know what you don’t know. How could I have missed something I didn’t think existed?
Powers began dating a Christian, and though his faith revolted her, the attraction between them kept her involved. Seeking marriage, he asked if she could ever convert, which was nearly as deadly a fate as asking her to become a conservative. She refused, of course.
Then he said the magic words for a liberal: “Do you think you could keep an open mind about it?” Well, of course. ‘I’m very open-minded!’ Even though I wasn’t at all. I derided Christians as anti-intellectual bigots who were too weak to face the reality that there is no rhyme or reason to the world. I had found this man’s church attendance an oddity to overlook, not a point in his favor.
As he talked, I grew conflicted. On the one hand, I was creeped out. On the other hand, I had enormous respect for him. He is smart, educated, and intellectually curious. I remember thinking, What if this is true, and I’m not even willing to consider it?
What if, indeed. Powers went to church with him and was amazed to find that such a thing as an evangelical Presbyterian existed. More amazing was the shattering of leftist stereotypes.
A few weeks later I went to church with him. I was so clueless about Christianity that I didn’t know that some Presbyterians were evangelicals. So when we arrived at the Upper East Side service of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, I was shocked and repelled by what I saw. I was used to the high-church liturgy of my youth. We were meeting in an auditorium with a band playing what I later learned was ‘praise music.’ I thought,How am I going to tell him I can never come back?
But then the pastor preached. I was fascinated. I had never heard a pastor talk about the things he did. Tim Keller’s sermon was intellectually rigorous, weaving in art and history and philosophy. I decided to come back to hear him again. Soon, hearing Keller speak on Sunday became the highlight of my week. I thought of it as just an interesting lecture—not really church. I just tolerated the rest of it in order to hear him. Any person who is familiar with Keller’s preaching knows that he usually brings Jesus in at the end of the sermon to tie his points together. For the first few months, I left feeling frustrated: Why did he have to ruin a perfectly good talk with this Jesus nonsense?
Each week, Keller made the case for Christianity. He also made the case against atheism and agnosticism. He expertly exposed the intellectual weaknesses of a purely secular worldview. I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn’t the real thing, neither was atheism.
I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me. After about eight months of going to hear Keller, I concluded that the weight of evidence was on the side of Christianity. But I didn’t feel any connection to God, and frankly, I was fine with that. I continued to think that people who talked of hearing from God or experiencing God were either delusional or lying. In my most generous moments, I allowed that they were just imagining things that made them feel good.
I’m sure, gentle readers, many of you can relate to Power’s internal conflict. Most of us, at least once in our lives, have struggled with surrendering the ego and knocking on the door, the door that will always be answered. And many of us have had our own road to Damascus moment. Many have also done a face plant on the road that leads to death; faith isn’t easy.
Then one night in 2006, on a trip to Taiwan, I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, ‘Here I am.’ It felt so real. I didn’t know what to make of it. I called my boyfriend, but before I had time to tell him about it, he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. Honestly, while I was upset, I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me.
I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn’t shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.
Many leftists/self-imagined intellectuals love book clubs and conversations about books, but they consider Christians discussing the Bible and its implications the twittering of nitwits. Powers was no different, but desperate, she began to attend a Bible study; she ventured among the enemies of the state:
I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don’t remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I’ll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, “’t’s true. It’s completely true.’ The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.
Reading Power’s words, I find myself wiping away tears, for I share in her sense of wonder and joy, and I am thankful that she has found Christ, as I am for all that do the same. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. But the religion of leftism relinquishes its grasp only reluctantly:
The horror of the prospect of being a devout Christian crept back in almost immediately. I spent the next few months doing my best to wrestle away from God. It was pointless. Everywhere I turned, there he was. Slowly there was less fear and more joy. The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not.
On that note, Powers’ conversion tale ends. And therein lies a central question: Is it possible to be a committed leftist (use whatever term you prefer) and a Christian?
On one hand, the answer is, at least intellectually, yes. Americans live the tradition of separation of church and state, and Christ, in Matthew 22:20-22 said“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s’ and unto God the things that are God’s.” We judge not each man’s personal relationship with God that we be not judged. But I speak of the practical quality of daily living.
David Horowitz explains:
What’s in it for them is the fact that progressivism isa religion, or a crypto-religion. Like religious people, they believe the world is a fallen place. But they also believe that they can be its saviors. Salvation and redemption are not going to come from a divinity, but from the movement they are part of, from the organized left. What they get out of this is the consolation of religion. They get a sense of personal worth; they get a meaning to their lives. That’s what drives them. It’s not money. It’s much more powerful.
Virtually every Christian teaching is contradicted, not only in philosophy but in practice, by leftism. Those old enough to have lived through the Cold War understand the viciously anti-God doctrine and actions of the Communists who murdered hundreds of millions, most their own people. Nothing could–and can–be allowed to challenge the supremacy of the state. Even today, Socialists–essentially communists lite–profess to care very much for “the people,” but in practice are more than willing to destroy individuals, whether through legal persecution as in the IRS scandals or Fast and Furious, or through the British wonder of socialized medicine that allows the sick and helpless to die unattended in hospital beds, soiled by their own waste, dehydrated, starved to death. Leftists profess to care very much about the poor, but Conservatives give far more, and by obscenely large margins, of their own money–and time and other resources–to alleviate true need.
This is because conservatives believe in equality of opportunity, that each man should be equal under the law, that each man has equal worth and dignity and must be able to succeed or fail by his own efforts. They also believe that man is not perfectible. No matter how many laws or regulations are written, some men will disobey them, and people must have the free will to make those choices. Salvation is not of Earth, but of heaven.
Leftists believe in equality of outcome. Everyone, regardless of their sloth and lack of character and concern for others, should have the same quality of living. To this end, big government and confiscatory taxes are mandatory. It is only when the self-imagined elite are in charge and force the right laws and regulations on the less worthy–-for anyone not buying fully into the leftist agenda is not worthy of human dignity and must be suppressed or destroyed–-that paradise on earth can be achieved. All will be made to be diverse and inclusive, and free of racism, sexism, and any other imagined evil unacceptable to the refined leftist imagination.
Conservatives tend, overwhelmingly, to be Christian and do their fallen human best to implement its commandments, which acknowledge the value and equality of all men. Above all, Christianity is embodied in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
One does not demonstrate love through forced redistribution, by taking the possessions of others and giving them to political supporters and cronies to buy influence and votes, but by willingly giving to help others in need. The former is the political exercise of raw, brutal power, the latter the exercise of Christian mercy and love.
And this is Kristen Power’s quandary, though not hers alone. How can one love–as Christ would have us love–while embracing a political religion of bigotry, rage, corruption, lust for power, control over one’s fellow man–for his own good, of course– and hatred? How can one follow Christ and follow worldly political saviors?
I hope that Powers is able, like David Horowitz, to eventually abandon the political religion that gave her a false sense of intellectual and moral superiority for so many years. Her acceptance of Christ is her salvation, but we live on Earth. He fills the soul, just as Christ has promised, and in Him are no lies. Leftism is a lie. It demands an unshakable belief in the superiority of the elite leftist–and their infallible political doctrine–over all, including God. It leaves a gaping hole in the soul, or drains it altogether.
I know that I cannot reconcile my faith in Christ with believing that I know better than another man what his family and he need, that I know better how to spend his money and what to force him to buy, do, think and say. Walking with Christ, yet thinking so highly of myself and so little of others simply doesn’t work for me. I suspect Kristen Powers feels the same way. She’s just not able to admit that–yet.
What do you think, gentle readers? Is it possible to be a committed Christian and a Leftist, or are they mutually exclusive, as I believe them to be?
Thus endeth the update of the Powers article. You may, gentle readers, wish to take this link to a Fox Video interview of Powers.
In that brief interview she explains that when she “came out” as a Christian, many of her progressive friends asked:
How could you be a Democrat and be a Christian?
She also explains that most of her friends were friends because of their deep involvement in Democrat politics:
Democrat politics was our religion.
But let us return to NPR and Easter, 2018. Many, perhaps most, leftists truly do think Christians are, at best, deluded and easily tricked. At worst, they think them intolerant bigots, the personification of evil. This from people whose culturally relative faith–all cultures are equally good and valid– does not allow them to admit the existence of actual evil. For them, evil consists primarily of non-belief in and resistance to progressive political dogma. While they show great respect for all cultures and religions other than American culture and Christianity, they do not respect their fellow Americans, or the dominant faith of America, a faith about which they obviously know nothing, nor do they care to know.
America remains one of the few religiously tolerant nations on Earth, in fact, that tolerance, a direct result of enlightenment Christianity, opens us to religiously motivated terrorism.
So, as always, we expect the worst from the leftists who hate us for our faith, and because we do not accept their political faith, and we do our best to speak with them and to treat them with kind tolerance. Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor, and does not teach us to conquer the world for Christ, but to bring it the Good News of his resurrection, to tell all they too may have eternal life. And the best part, the most tolerant part: it’s entirely up to them. They have to, like Kirsten Powers, accept it on faith. And then, all things are possible.