Title: Compass (swinging wildly) Credit: Craig Young Comment Thursday 9th February 2006 - 12:00pm1139439600 Article: 1109 Rights
Why is the Maxim Institute recommending a twenty-four year old jeremiad against abortion and euthanasia at the beginning of the US Christian Right's onslaught against democratic institutions in that country? Well, it may have something to do with the ulterior motives that Schaeffer actually had. Okay, so what does this have to do with homosexuality? Absolutely nothing - and that's the point. Remember, this was only four years after Anita Bryant had won that pyrrhic victory in Dade County (Florida) which led to the end of her commercial and entertainment career, as the Florida Citrus Commission suffered heavily from the resultant gay orange boycott. Schaeffer does mention it, but in passing, dealing with cases of religious discrimination against gay teachers or ministers. The details are not expanded upon at all. Schaeffer's venom is primarily directed at women's reproductive choice and death with dignity. He longs for the days of Calvin's Geneva in the sixteenth century, which raises questions about whether he was a Christian Reconstructionist/theonomist. Well, in this book's bibliography, the answer appears to be 'yes'- and there's one particularly disturbing reference from Richard Flinn, one of the early ringleaders of New Zealand Christian Reconstructionism in the Reformed Church of New Zealand, from the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, entitled Samuel Rutherford and Puritan Political Theory. Please explain, Maxim. Why are you encouraging young fundamentalists to read this? And why is it so basic, too? It's as if there was no critical evangelical community discussion about Schaeffer, as in Ronald Ruesegger's posthumous critical perspectives on his work; or as if Ralph Reed had never urged circumspect behaviour and more attention to overall Republican fiscal responsibility agenda items, in order to show that party that conservative Christians were a useful electoral constituency; or as if Norman Geisler had never said that fundamentalists should study the work of Thomas Aquinas, and provide themselves with a stronger twelfth century 'natural law' case against abortion and homosexuality, fostering their axis with conservative Catholics. Except none of them did happen here, where awkward social conservatives cost the National Party two general elections, in 1987 and 2005, and led to a poisonous unstable coalition arrangement in 1996, between New Zealand First and National. Is that why they've gone cool on the centre-right nowadays, because of mutual recriminations? But they don't. And if you're expecting something similar in Nancy Pearcey's more modern perspective from Compass 2006, prepare to be satisfied. Her book, Total Truth (2004) bypasses abortion and homosexuality, focusing primarily on intelligent design creationism instead. So, what's going on here? Has the Christian Right decamped from its antigay efforts? Are anti-euthanasia and anti-evolution activism now preferred areas of political antagonism for them? Or is this nothing more than a waiting period, albeit one we should prepare for our final law reform battles within? Recommended: Norman Geisler: Thomas Aquinas: An Evangelical Appraisal: Grand Rapids: Baker Books: 1991. Nancy Pearcey: Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Cultural Captivity: Grand Rapids: Crossway: 2004. Ralph Reed: Politically Incorrect: The Emerging Faith Factor in American Politics: Dallas: Word: 1994. Francis Schaeffer: A Christian Manifesto: London: Pickering: 1982. Rod Thompson: A Biblical Introduction to Worldview: Auckland: Masters Institute: 2005. Craig Young - 9th February 2006    
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