This is the fifty-third installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is s a clip taken from a sermon preached by theocrat David Barton.
Biblically, the death penalty could not be applied unless there were at least two eyewitnesses to the incident. Circumstantial evidence, even when strong, is not the equivalent of multiple eyewitnesses and therefore does not meet the Biblical standard. Interestingly, however, the Bible long ago acknowledged a specific eyewitness that only in recent decades has become recognized in Americans courts.
Recall the account of Cain’s murder of his brother Abel from Genesis 4:8-10. When God asked Cain where his brother was and Cain lied, God specifically confronted him with the declaration: “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground” (v. 10). Blood cries out? Blood has a voice? How can that be? We now know that DNA has a voice – that it serves as an eyewitness to specific crimes, just as when it cried out to God about Abel’s death. This voice therefore Biblically qualifies as one of the “two or three eyewitnesses” needed to secure the death penalty in a capital crime.
This is another reminder that you can make the Bible say anything. Thoughtful Christians should be embarrassed by this kind of thinking, but I suspect Barton’s revelation will be seized upon as a-n-o-t-h-e-r proof that the Bible is an accurate, up-to-date, infallible science textbook.
“God made a special carve-out, if you will, in the late 1700s to create this new country called the United States of America. It was all birthed out of biblical values or, as my dad calls it, the mind of Christ [for the purpose of spreading] the Christian Gospel all over North America and then we spread the Christian Gospel all over the world. And by ‘we,’ I mean American Christians.” “This is a spiritual war for America and I think Satan hates America because America has spread the Gospel around the world and we still have a majority Christian nation. That’s my view. I can’t prove it but I think that’s why we’re so engaged and we see so much going on for our country’s future.”
First, I find it interesting that Wildmon ignores the first hundred years of American history. Why is that? Perhaps he wants to steer clear of the genocide perpetrated by America’s first settlers on Native Americans. Or perhaps he wants to distance himself from the fact that commerce and trade were the primary reason settlers migrated to America.
Second, there is little to no evidence for the United States being “birthed out of biblical values.” Wildmon is taking his fundamentalist beliefs and attempting to read them back into history. He, like David Barton, scours history for evidence to bolster his claim. So far, the evidence is scant and I don’t expect any to be forthcoming. Certainly, some of the founders of the United States were Christians, but I seriously doubt that any of them were Evangelical. Many of them were deists.
Third, commerce and control of taxation were the primary reasons for the founding of the United States. The tea thrown into Boston Harbor was not tossed overboard because of a lack of religious freedom.
Fourth, America has not spread the gospel all around the world. The vast majority of world citizens are NOT Christian. And those who are belong to sects that Wildmon likely thinks preach a false gospel. (i.e. Roman Catholicism) According to a 2012 Pew Research report:
There are 2.2 billion Christians in the world (32%)
About 50% of Christians are Catholic
About 37% of Christians are Protestant (this includes Evangelicals, Anglicans)
About 12% of Christians are Greek/Russian Orthodox
There are an estimated 285,480,000 Evangelicals, corresponding to 13.1% of the Christian population and 4.1% of the total world population. The Americas, Africa and Asia are home to the majority of Evangelicals. The United States has the largest concentration of Evangelicals.Evangelicalism is gaining popularity both in and outside the English-speaking world, especially in Latin America and the developing world.
According to Operation World, there are about 550 million Evangelicals in the world. Regardless of which number is used, Evangelicals are 4-8% of the world’s population. So much for “spreading” the good news of the gospel. The true gospel of the United States is capitalism. When IN GOD WE TRUST was put on our money they left a word out. It should have said In THIS God we Trust.
Fifth, the United States is a Christian nation in name only. Surely, Wildmon would agree that one of the marks of being a Christian is regularly attending a Christian church. Yet, the vast majority of Americans never, rarely, or infrequently attend church. 63% of Evangelicals attend church weekly, but the same cannot be said for other Christian sects. Like many Evangelical zealots, I suspect Wildmon conflates Evangelical Christianity with generic Christianity. At best, the United States has a cultural form of Christianity, and if we want to see what future awaits us, all we need to do is look at Europe, especially England.