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The war on Christianity

A new show headed for Broadway this fall features a “Christ-like
character” named Joshua who has sex with his apostles.

Written by three-time Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally, the play
borrows dialogue from the Bible. In one scene, Pontius Pilate addresses
Joshua: “Art thou king of the queers?”

“Thou sayest,” Joshua answers.

It’s not just the “artistic community” that regularly resorts to
blasphemy and profanity for cheap thrills. The war against orthodox
Christian beliefs is being waged in every modern political and cultural
institution, including the church itself.

Last week, another apostate Lutheran priest — this time in Finland —
made news for declaring that hell does not exist and that everyone will
wind up in heaven.

“It’s an entirely false construct,” explains Rev. Antti Kylliainen, a
Helsinki cleric and author. “Fire, brimstone and eternal torment —
they’re all part of the same sad myth.”

A colleague of Kylliainen, Rev. Olli Arola, told a newspaper last week
that Jesus Christ was “in all probability” married to Mary Magdalene and
that the immaculate conception and virgin birth were “highly unlikely
ever to have happened.”

With leaders like this, is it any wonder only 15 percent of Finns
regularly attend church?

Over in Hollywood, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner recently gave two
speeches in which he compared Southern Baptists with Germany’s Nazis.
Eisner said the denomination’s vote to evangelize Jews “was something
that hasn’t been recommended since the ’40s in Europe.” Eisner’s
interest in the theological debates within the Southern Baptists’ ranks
just happens to coincide with a decision by America’s largest Protestant
denomination to boycott Disney.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Catholic League condemned a Fox television show,
“Mad TV,” which last week featured a skit including a priest, referred
to by a sacrilegious name who was shown groping women. There was no
relief over at CBS Television, either. The network withdrew an offer of
employment to outspoken Christian football star Reggie White for his
criticism of homosexual behavior.

But perhaps the worst recent anti-Christian outrages came right from the
White House. Adviser Sidney Blumenthal accused Independent Counsel
Kenneth Starr’s top deputy, Hickman Ewing, of being a “religious
fanatic.” Ewing is reportedly an evangelical Christian. Compounding the
slur, President Clinton, given the opportunity to repudiate Blumenthal’s
comments at his press conference last week, refused to do so.
Earlier, Clinton adviser James Carville ridiculed Starr himself for his
religious beliefs.

“He goes down by the Potomac and listens to hymns, as the cleansing
water of the Potomac goes by, and we’re going to wash all the Sodomites
and fornicators out of town,” Carville cackled.

What Carville and Blumenthal are alluding to is simply the fact that
Starr and Hickman attend church on a regular basis. For that “sin,” they
are perceived as fanatics, extremists, zealots. The invectives tell much
more about the people hurling them than they do about the victims of
this kind of hatred.

Ultimately, a playwright is accountable to the general public. Frankly,
I hope the audience throws tomatoes at Terrence McNally and his cast
when their show opens on Broadway.

And those Lutheran clerics? They should be defrocked and
disfellowshipped by their congregations.

Disney, Fox and CBS deserve to see their ratings and market shares
plummet. They invite boycotts with their contempt for the values and
spiritual beliefs of the vast majority of the general public.

But what about Blumenthal, Carville and their pious, Bible-toting,
church-going boss?

Well, what should the public expect of a leader who has done his level
best to degrade the moral and spiritual foundation of the nation? In
another administration, bigoted remarks like those made by Blumenthal
and Carville would result in firings, resignations or, at least,
groveling apologies.

This president refused to acknowledge anything was wrong with those
remarks — even in an age when Christians are facing increased
persecution around the world as well as in our own culture. In effect,
President Clinton has given his blessing to religious bigotry.

He’s done it in other ways, too. It’s no coincidence that religious
broadcasters are facing Internal Revenue Service audits at a record pace
since this administration took office. Bible-believing Christians are
perceived by the White House as the enemy.

And, do you know what? Any Bible-believing Christian ought to be proud
to be considered an enemy of the Clinton administration — as well as
their friends in Hollywood, on Broadway and in the apostate church.