Are There Limits to Religious Toleration?

Nearly every social commentator appeals to the conservative Christian community to be tolerant of other religious traditions. After all, we live in a religiously pluralistic society. The assumption is that religion is a benign choice, little different from picking one car model over another. Therefore all religious traditions should be tolerated and accepted as valid expressions of faith. Of cours [...]

Losing Hope

Many who advocate keeping drugs illegal maintain that poverty and environmental conditions (e.g., neighborhood, quality of schools, intact family, etc.) often “force” people to make bad decisions. One comes away with the impression that only the poor and uneducated take drugs. But we know that this is not the case. People with fine educations and lots of money indulge in drug taking. “Ecstasy” is [...]

Man is Man's God

Now that The Da Vinci Code has had its opening weekend and the Bible is still intact, God is sovereign, and Jesus is Lord and Savior, it’s time to get back to business. The Da Vinci Code is a symptom of a greater problem. Worldviews are seen as vehicles for cultural transformation. Many in the entertainment field, for example, believe that they are the nation’s conscience and the only true guiding [...]

Judge Not! Impossible!

I received the following email from Diana: “The Bible tells us not to judge one another and yet here you are judging those who live differently than you. You may not live the way they do but this does not mean that you have to hate them for it, nor does it mean that you should hate them for it. Before you spew your narrow minded, hateful opinions I would ask you to listen to the other side. [...]

There is Such a Thing as Evil

The world seems morally directionless. Dr. Robert Foote of Cornell, in his testimony before the federal Ethics Advisory Board on in vitro fertilization, opened with the following statement: “In some of this research, I am reminded of a story where the pilot came on and said, ‘This is your captain speaking. We are flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet and the speed of 700 miles an hour. We have some [...]

A Man After God's Own Heart

By the time the United States entered World War I, Theodore Roosevelt was a private citizen. Though no longer president, the nation continued to look to him for advice and wisdom. In 1917, when American troops were preparing to sail across the Atlantic for the battlefields of Europe, the New York Bible Society asked Roosevelt to inscribe a message in the pocket New Testament that each soldier woul [...]

True and False Dualisms

Nikita Khrushchev described a period in the Soviet Union’s history when petty theft was a problem, especially in the government-owned plants. Guards were placed at the factory entrances to scrutinize the laborers as they entered and departed. At the Leningrad timberworks, one of the guards spotted Pyotr Petrovich leaving the yard with a wheelbarrow filled with a bulky sack. With the notice of thie [...]

It's More than Just the Facts

“The story you are about to hear is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” So began the prologue to the popular television series “Dragnet” (1952–1959), starring Jack Webb as Joe Friday who often used the phrase “All we want are the facts, ma’am” when questioning women in the course of a police investigation. But are the facts always enough when dealing with issues related to [...]

The Assault on God and the Bible

Anti-Christians are out in force. Richard Dawkins says that teaching religion to children is a form of child abuse.[1] The video “The God Who Was Not There” is making the rounds on the Internet. Iraq-war combat veteran Paul Hackett, who is running for the U.S. Senate from Ohio, describes religious conservatives as not “a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of other religious nuts ar [...]

Maker of Heaven and Earth

The opening line of the Apostles’ Creed tells us that God is the “Maker of Heaven and Earth,” of a creation that Scripture describes as being “very good” (Gen. 1:31) even in its fallen state and condition: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude” (1 Tim. 4:4). The Bible makes a distinction between God and the world. God did not make t [...]

The Persecution of the Christian Churches

Worldviews are comprehensive. No cultural stone is left unthrown in the battle against competing ideologies. Secularists who write their screeds against Christians who engage in politics have history on their side, and it’s not a very good history. Under Nazism, churches were “confined as far as possible to the performance of narrowly religious functions, and even within this narrow sphere were su [...]

The Secular Agenda to Silence the Church

The controversy over the role that religion plays in politics is an old one. Jesus was accused of subverting the political order by “misleading [the] nation and forbidding [people] to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2). Christians were accused of promoting the idea that there was “another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:7). The designation of Jesus as “Lord” had s [...]

Back to the Garden (without the Gardener)

The editors and writers at Mother Jones claim that they are “religiously neutral,” even religiously indifferent. Their special edition attack on conservative Christians in the December 2005 issue should be viewed as a wake-up call to the church. The goal of the anti-Christian Left is to rally anti-Christians everywhere to put down the effectiveness of the gospel in the world even though it their o [...]

Is Religion the Problem?

“Theists often assert that popular belief in a creator is instrumental towards providing the moral, ethical and other foundations necessary for a healthy, cohesive society.” Gregory S. Paul, writing in the Journal of Religion and Society (2005), takes issue with this claim. He argues that a religious nation like the United States is actually worse off morally than the newer secular nations of Euro [...]

Simon Wiesenthal: Hunter of Nazis and Justice

Simon Wiesenthal died on September 20, 2005. Wiesenthal made it his mission in life to bring Nazi war criminals to justice. He is best known for his role in tracking down SS leader Adolf Eichmann. “Eichmann was found in Argentina, abducted by Israeli agents in 1960, tried and hanged for crimes committed against Jews.”[1] Wiesenthal was after justice not revenge. This is an important distinction. B [...]

Loving "Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild" but Hating Jesus Dogmatic and Riled

“When Angelo paints even God the Father in human form, mark what robustness is there. And whatever they may reveal of the divine love in the Son, the soft, curled, hermaphroditical Italian pictures, in which his idea has been most successfully embodied; these pictures, so destitute as they are of all brawniness, hint nothing of any power, but the mere negative, feminine one of submission and endur [...]

Where is Ambrose When You Need Him?

Those who demand that people with religious views should keep their beliefs personal and private are inconsistent in the way they apply the principle. I’ve noted on various occasions how the anti-slavery and civil rights movements grew out of Christian political involvement. The self-righteous left praised ministers and congregations who led the way to overturn unjust segregation laws. But now tha [...]

Kicking the Koran and Other Crimes Against Humanity

I know you’re as shocked as I am that the Pentagon confirmed for the first time that a U.S. soldier deliberately kicked a Guantanamo prisoner’s copy of the Koran—the Muslim “holy book”— in violation of the military’s rules for handling the “sacred” text. Personally, I can’t believe that many Americans are concerned about this. The usual suspects in the media are stoking the flames in o [...]

Is It Ever Right to Fight?

Today we remember those who have fought and died in wars to defend America. Most Christians would generally agree that fighting a defensive war is morally justified. Some Christians take issue with America’s war with Great Britain in what has been described as the “Revolutionary War.” America’s “revolutionary war” was neither anarchistic nor revolutionary in the modern sense. The [...]

Christians Should be "Tortured" and "Prosecuted" for their Faith, and for Good Measure, "Fed to the Lions"

Periodically American Vision gets some interesting correspondence from people who don’t like what we do. Most of the really bad stuff comes in the form of anonymous emails. In the early days, people would leave profanity-laced voice messages on our answering machine. There were times when we got some death threats. Sometimes we would get a real treasure. On April 11, 2005, a caller left a rambling [...]