There was another story on the programme regarding a woman who was attending a university in pursuit of some kind of counseling degree. I believe it was near the end of the course that an issue arose regarding counseling homosexuals and she openly declared her Christian beliefs and insisted her worldview rested upon Divine Revelation.
They basically told her that unless she changed her belief system they could not grant her certification, she could not graduate.
Persecution!... she cried and the good Dominionist lawyers of the Alliance Defense Fund came to the rescue.
I am glad she's read her Bible and understands there's a problem with counseling homosexuals in a way that affirms their lifestyle, but to sue the university? Shame.
There's the additional problem (and this is often the case in these stories,) regarding her choice of occupation. A Christian pursuing a counseling degree from a secular university is like a pacifist joining the Marines. It doesn't make any sense.
Secular counseling rests on a naturalistic worldview. It is incompatible with Biblical Christianity. It attempts to deal with the effects of sin apart from what God has told us about it. It attempts to assuage the guilt associated with it apart from Gospel forgiveness and the need for redemption. While it can offer comment and categorization of symptoms, it cannot account for them, nor can it offer any real remedy. The roots of the problem are metaphysical and secular counseling has no tools to deal with them.
The administrators of the university programme realized this on their own level, something this student apparently did not understand. For her to say my worldview is based on Divine Revelation means that she CANNOT be a secular counselor. These educators grasped this fact and realized that it would disingenuous for them to 'pass' her when she as much as said that she's rejecting the very premise of what they are doing. That they removed her is no surprise and completely logical. The problem wasn't their anti-Christian bias but her failure to grasp the issues, and the contradiction of her pursuit of the certification. Her worldview makes her incompatible with their philosophical foundations, and it would be irresponsible on their part to graduate her.
Again it would be like a pacifist joining the Marines and refusing to adopt the ideology of that group. He's going to preach pacifist principles, carry the rifle, but refuse to load it. If that's the right thing to do...then good, don't load the gun, stick with your principles. But he has no right to demand that they graduate him and declare him a Marine. His very presence was actually disingenuous. For them to pass him and call him a Marine...they would be betraying their task and undermining their organization.
So then after all that... to sue the institution is disgraceful.
There are some real areas for concern. American Conservatives love to bash on Europe. I'm not sure why exactly. I wonder sometimes if it's an inferiority complex or something. They visit those countries and feel morally obligated to hate and despise them, because of their political and economic structures, but at the same time they are startled by their standards of living, civility (at least compared to America), cleanliness and so forth.
There have been some problems in Sweden and Germany and Focus on the Family wanted to make sure they mentioned those. These countries are basically pretty hostile to homeschooling and of course Conservatives are terrified of and in complete opposition to the United Nations and some of its educational charters. Even though the UN has proved to be nothing more than an impotent failure, a pawn in the hands of the real powers, there are many American Christians who fear One World Government and a worldwide empire...and they're sure the United Nations (and not the already existing empire of the United States) is the vehicle to bring this about.
Europe is in a social crisis. The European Union itself is in peril. Much of the postwar vision is in jeopardy. These countries have failed to integrate their Muslim immigrant populations and the moment of critical mass is on the near horizon. If they don't start working out some kind of social integration there's going to be increasing social unrest. We saw this in Paris not long ago, but you're also going to start seeing (and it’s already starting to happen,) violence coming from the Right.
Native Europeans are moving toward Nationalistic anti-immigration policies and politics. It's becoming a powder keg. If the immigrants assimilate, then there's a hope that things will calm down.
But with terrorism, and now the increased tensions brought about by economic woes, the governments of these states are nervous.
Crucial to assimilating this do-or-die generation is to make sure they are not radicalized. The values of tolerance and civility are crucial. I'm talking from the standpoint of these government officials. They're lost people with their only hope in this life. They're trying to save their societies and they believe that they've got to keep kids from becoming infected by either extreme...becoming advocates of Jihad on the one hand, or Right-wing skinhead-fascist types on the other.
Homeschooling is by its very nature anti-social. I'm not saying that homeschoolers mean to be anti-social, but they are breaking with the norm and for some reason rejecting societal standards. That's fine but you have to understand that if the bulk of society believes you're doing this to create a parallel society with a political and social agenda... they're bound to be nervous.
Am I saying Swedish Christians should send their kids to public school? No. I'm glad I'm not in Sweden right now. But I also understand that the authorities are desperate to make sure no one is being taught to hate others with violence. I believe they will fail, but they're crazy not to try.
So is this about the evils of European socialism and all the rest? That’s how Christian media usually categorizes it. Hardly. That's really missing the point. Do Europeans need to fear normal moderate Muslims? (And yes, despite the protestations of the Christian Right, the majority of Muslims are quite moderate)….Maybe it will come to that. You can't have multiple generations of people that are disconnected, disenfranchised from your society, living in poverty and expect things to continue like that in perpetuity. It's not realistic, not if you believe in sin. They are facing a looming social breakdown. The United States is on a different road, but they lead to the same place…social collapse.
So should we as American Christians want these Dominionist legal organizations to get involved in Europe? Sadly they already are in Europe, and in Africa, and anywhere else they can infect the church with their ideas.
What's the answer? There often isn't a good answer. I'll pray for Christians in Sweden and in Europe in general. They have their bad social and cultural influences just like we do ours. But I don't want to rescue them from one set only to infect them with another.
Overall these shows are harmful. The issues are discussed with a very narrow and deliberate agenda...so it's not really discussion at all. It's simply a presentation. When it's over, the response is meant to be....Be terrified, therefore go vote Republican and send money. And most important…get your church to get more involved in these issues.
Focus on the Family has shifted away from their political bent. Seemingly they fired Dobson who then basically lied (to protect the organization and save face?) and said he was ready to go and do something else. He then started another radio show basically doing the same thing he was before. So did he really want to leave Focus on the Family? Regardless, they sure weren't going to tell anyone what happened.
I find a lot of dishonesty with these Christian ministries and within Church leadership and denominational structures. There seems to be an 'end justifies the means' morality at work. They can lie and deceive for the greater good...all in the name of hindering slander and gossip...even though it's not slander and gossip if it's true and done with some prudence. I've watched Church leaders do this on numerous occasions ...lie and manipulate...for the greater good they seem to believe.
Obviously Dobson didn't want to go. There was some issue regarding the direction he was taking things. Since his departure they seem to spend the majority of their time talking about weight-loss and relationships, raising kids and finances within marriage. It’s actually good that they’ve moved away from some of the Christian Right agenda, though their discussions are clouded by American cultural values being confused with Christianity, and a complete syncretism with psychology. That’s what the show has always been about.
But on occasion they revert to the social activist model and this show was the latest installment. The fear they generate just breeds more hysteria, and with it distrust. The issues are simplified and it becomes even harder to reach the people in their audiences as they distrust anyone who isn't framing it the way these 'ministries' do. It's as if a wall is erected that protects them from hearing a voice of reason.
False 'worldview' insulates them and spurs them into action.
What does it matter? Focus on the Family reaches a worldwide audience of millions. James Dobson the founder is undoubtedly one of the most influential Evangelicals of the past 30 years and even today there are many people, including those in Reformed circles who support this organization. Its influence is tremendous and through various spinoff organizations, it has at times wielded considerable political power. You don’t have to look very hard. These organizations are tied in with powerful corporate interests, companies that are heavily invested in the military-industrial complex. One wonders who is calling the shots? Are the business interests giving orders? Or do they feed off of each other? I’m afraid in most cases I believe these Christian organizations to be nothing more than pawns, another weapon in the arsenal of those who seek power. Companies like Wal-mart say ‘merry christmas’ and the Church is happy. But then in the turn, these para-church organizations advocate for political and legal causes that are in perfect harmony with the aims and desires of multi-national corporations, defense contractors, the petro-chemical industry, and many more.
The effect on the Church cannot be overemphasized.
Serving the wrong kingdom they take up the Sacralist sword of litigation, the breastplate of threat, the shield of fear and the helmet of deliberate blindness.