Saturday, August 27, 2005

Time Out for a WND Letter

OK. Time out from my series of posts on "The Way of the Master".

I ran across an article written by Kyle Williams on WorldNetDaily and felt the need to respond. Here is the article:

Fundies' flawed Katrina theology

Posted: September 3, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Kyle Williams

In an age of entertainment and mass communication, a sensation-driven news media rules the airwaves. Although reporters are doing their jobs in covering the devastation of hurricane Katrina, the disaster porn shown endlessly on cable news is no doubt contributing to ratings. And this is the great danger in all hyped news stories – that people with ulterior motives become a part of the story for the purposes of an agenda or personal gain.Such was the case in the weeks leading up to Hurricane Katrina with Cindy Sheehan and her continual photo-op. Politicians, celebrities and activists all made pilgrimages to Crawford to get in on the media whoredom. Long before that, pro-life leaders and activists made their way down to Florida to get in on the hype of the Terri Schiavo case. Some activists held up signs that read, "Save Terri!" with a website address below – high enough for the cameras to broadcast the advertisement to the world.This is the temptation of mass broadcasting to which, unfortunately, the news media continually succumbs. It is for these reasons that public-relations firms and publicists live off publishing houses and activist organizations. The business of the news media is a market with open doors to all who fit the mold of being uniquely controversial – the corporations get their ratings and you sell your book. Everybody wins, except for those who want the truth.In the case of the horrible devastation of the hurricane specifically ripping through New Orleans, some right-wing fundamentalists are piggybacking on the media hype to push their own conservative agendas. This time, they're saying God took a pre-emptive strike on homosexuals who had planned a large-scale event in New Orleans called "Southern Decadence," which was set to occur this past week.Repent America, directed by Michael Marcavage, is an organization known for picketing gay pride events and abortion clinics. While their biblical hermeneutic on Divine judgment could arguably be clouded by their previously established political activities, Repent America sent out a press release Wednesday that was picked up by media outlets and among these, WorldNetDaily. In the press release, the organization played connect the dots and insinuated God sent the hurricane to stop the gays. "Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Marcavage. "From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city full of righteousness emerge." It is still unclear why the organization felt compelled to broadcast their private prayers and conjectures to the rest of the world. Then you find a guy like J. Grant Swank Jr., who is not nearly as high-profile but every bit of a right-wing hack. In a column on a not-worth-mentioning website, he writes, "Sodom and Gomorrah were to be re-enacted in broad daylight – and into the night haunts as well. It would be one high ol' time of it in the southern scape. …Then came along Katrina. Now New Orleans is under water, bathing in sewage and devastation rather than providing downtown fountains for homosexual capers aplenty." Swank, just like Marcavage, bases his faulty ideology on the unbiblical theology that his arrogance is somehow less offensive than homosexuality. It rains on all and disasters are not prejudice. We're all in the same boat. Not nearly as offensive, but in the same vain, WorldNetDaily's own Craige McMillan takes the opportunity of the New Orleans crisis to give a lesson on the Seventh Commandment.In his column, he questions, "Do you think New Orleans would be better off right now if its public school system had taught all students the Ten Commandments as part of their secular education? Or would such forthright exposure to religious indoctrination have so traumatized the little darlings that they might – oh, say – loot the city at the very first opportunity?"He goes on to criticize public schools for not teaching Mosaic Law and their aversion to all things God, but in the same paragraph exalts Judeo-Christian ethics as essentially the only prevention of total moral anarchy. It's a nice Sunday school lesson, but it comes off as arrogant to those of other traditions, especially in light of such suffering in the wake of Katrina.Aside from the unjustifiable theology found in the messages of these activists, perhaps most telling is their insensitivity to the plight of their fellow human beings. There are times of reverence in which people of any understanding should keep quiet. At this point, I'm just waiting for Fred Phelps and his friends to show up on a New Orleans' highway with picket signs saying, "God Hates Fags." That's most certainly the love of Christ in action.

© 2005

I sent a response to both WND and Kyle's blog. Here is the letter-to-the-editor I had sent to WorldNetDaily:

After reading Kyle's article, "Christians' false god of knowledge", I visited his blog. I noticed that he had written a brief blurb about Pat Robertson, crossed it out, and then stated that he must have been "blogging drunk."

Kyle? Were you "blogging drunk" when you insulted a fellow Christian believer named Ray Comfort in your recent WND column by labeling his televangelism program "ridiculous"? Just where are your manners young man?

Even if you don't enjoy, agree with, or like Mr. Comfort's program, please refrain from mocking the man and/or his show. Remember what Paul wrote about fellow Christians and their attitudes towards each other? Aren't we supposed to encourage each other and "build each other up" in the faith?

Have you ever read, "The Way of the Master" book by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort? It is excellent and I think you might benefit from reading it.

Kyle stated in the article: "Christianity is not reasonable. Paul himself declared the things of God to be foolish."

Dear boy! Christianity IS a reasonable faith. When Paul said that the 'things of God are foolishness' don't you remember that he finished that verse with, "to those who are perishing"?

THAT'S where the attitude of foolishness arises and can be found; in those who reject the cross of Christ.

1 Cor. 1:18 (NKJV) - For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Kyle wrote: "The point is this: Christian faith is deeper."

Yes! This is very true. And I think that you might realize how much deeper when you read, "The Way of the Master". After you finish reading it, perhaps you could post an apology to Mr. Comfort for your foolish and inconsiderate comment about him.

( I know, I know....he's only 16 yrs. old. But since he has been given the privilege of writing and publishing a column on one of the most widely read websites on the net, doesn't it behoove him to comment about fellow Christians considerately and wisely?)


Christinewjc said...

Uh oh....

Kyle's blog is offline. I wonder if my email had anything to do with that?

Here is the line from the WND article that I think was inappropriate:

"Second, the basis for faith is not a vast knowledge of Christianized Western thought, nor talking points from Ray Comfort's ridiculous televangelism program."

Kyle's post about Pat Robertson wasn't kind either. Maybe he decided to re-word what he wrote? Hope so...

Christinewjc said...


WND isn't to blame. After all, he's just a teenager, right?

There is an old saying, "Hire a teenager while they still know everything."

heh heh

I've got that saying on a magnet on my refrigerator!

It's OK Kyle, most of your columns are really good!

Christinewjc said...


Susan Smith said...

We had a bombing in Be'er Sheva this morning and New Orleans has a category 5 hurricane.

It is almost bedtime in Jerusalem. Have a good night! (ss)

Jojo said...

Hi Christine,
I liked how you responded to Kyle - I hope you hear something back from him soon.

Hi Susan, - yea the world is a scarey place. I am feeling thankful to be in my safe little berg for the time being.

Susan Smith said...

Jojo- It's nice to see you here. The world can seem scary at times. It is almost frightening to realize I am across the ocean from you and a certain 'someone' on the west coast kept me up later than usual last night (Sunday) laughing out loud in my studio apartment where I live alone!

I am glad laughter is good medicine for my soul! I pray the Lord will have mercy on every person in New Orleans this day. Blessings from Jerusalem! (ss)

Kyle Williams said...

Christine, you may want to check out my blog as I have responded to your comment.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan,

It was my fear that the terrorist Palestinians would still cause havoc even after the Israeli pullout from the Gaza strip. I don't think that those people will ever be appeased...

The devastation of the hurricane is awful! Thank God most people evacuated. Those who chose to ride out the storm have not been so lucky, I hear. It is truly tragic. I heard on the news that some thought this hurricane would be similar to the last one that hit the area. That one didn't do much damage so some people thought they could be safe. Turns out it was a very bad decision.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Jojo,

Kyle responded at his blog and I have already replied. I'm even more impressed with him. Most teens would rather do anything than admit that they could be wrong about something. Kyle has proven himself to be an admirable young man. His parents should be so proud of their son!

Like you, I woke up this morning being thankful to the Lord for living in a safe place away from that terrible storm. All of the people there are in our thoughts and prayers! Most Americans are very helpful and generous in times of disaster and I'm sure that the government will come to the rescue, too.

Christinewjc said...

Susan said: "a certain 'someone' on the west coast kept me up later than usual last night (Sunday) laughing out loud in my studio apartment where I live alone!"

Was that "someone" little ole' me? ;-)

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