The Sound and the Fury

Some Christians have given support to building mosques, even though it is pagan worship, while other Christians have given support to Donald Trump, even though he’s an immoral man. The difference is that those Christians who support building mosques have critiqued those Christians who support Trump.

But if it is possible to be a good Christian while supporting a man’s right to break of the first commandment and worship whom he will, then it ought also to be possible to be a good Christian while supporting a man’s right to break the seventh commandment and sleep around – and brag about it.

To support a man’s right to do something but not support what he does is a distinction without a difference. It is to support a woman’s right to abort her unborn baby but not to support her act of doing it.

Nor are some things religious and others non-religious. God made man in his image, religious by nature, among other things. Everything man does is religious. Muslims bow toward Mecca for the same reason Trump bows toward money, sex, and power. Worship.

Thankfully, no one believes in pure freedom of religion; for then we’d allow beheadings and misogyny and child brides and polygamy and really anything one claims as his religion. If a man claimed standing on his head were his religion, we would support it. If a woman claimed murdering her unborn were her religion, bless God, we would support it. Unfortunately, freedom of religion is curtailed more by enlightenment principles than Christian ones. As one said, religious liberty is an argument between the first amendment and the first commandment.

Christians say that supporting your right to make a decision isn’t the same as disagreement with it and I can both support your right to vote for whomever and simultaneously criticize you for your vote. The principle is well taken. Voltaire (supposedly) famously said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It is very Enlightenment; and I am beginning, in this late postmodern pluralist stew, to doubt it on a variety of levels.

We are finding that to support religious liberty is to support religious pluralism; and Christians are running dizzy trying to separate the two. They are playing an Enlightenment game in a Post-Enlightenment age; and the world is watching, interpreting their words in their own terms. But supporting someone without really supporting someone is so much sound and fury. The watching world knows it, the person supported knows it; the only ones who do not know it are the one doing the supporting.

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