Did you know our nation is at war? No, not just the terrorism/Al Qaeda one. Americans — or Americans with the appropriate religious beliefs, at least — are also at war with the “pro-homosexual left” and the “enemies of religious freedom.” Or so says religious-right groups like Texas Values, the Austin-based state affiliate of Focus on the Family.
Check out the following excerpt from an email Texas Values sent to its supporters on Thursday (with the grammar and spelling errors as well as the overly dramatic bolded and italicized text in the original). Then ask yourself what message those supporters are supposed to take away from it:
America today is occupied territory. The enemies of religious freedom occupy every power center from government to academia. Everyone except its spiritual core. Thank God, that power isn’t centered in Washington. It flows from the faith and values of its people, from a thousand churches and faith-filled homes across Texas and beyond.
That makes our pastors the Leaders of the Resistancee.
How does an invading army break the will of an occupied people? First, it identifies its Resistance Leaders. Next, it isolates and demoralizes them, making them think they’re alone and powerless. Then it breaks them––before the people can rally to their defense.
This is why your pastor is truly in the cross-hairs. Armed with not only the recent egregious Supreme Court same-sex ‘marriage’ decision but a host of lower-court rulings and guidelines, the pro-homosexual left is scouring Texas—America’s last stronghold of resistance—seeking “weakest link” communities and churches for a pre-emptive strike.
The email goes on to praise recently passed legislation in Texas to “protect” pastors from having to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs. Of course, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution already provided that protection. Roman Catholic priests, for example, have always been free to refuse to marry individuals who have been previously divorced.
Appeals like the one in the Texas Values email distort the noble meaning and history of religious freedom in America. But just as disturbing is the increasingly violent and martial rhetoric from the religious right. “Occupied territory.” “Invading army.” “Resistance Leaders.” “Pre-emptive strike.” Frankly, the folks over at Texas Values sound almost unhinged.
But have no fear. All will be fine, the email suggests, if supporters provide a “sacrificial gift” to help Texas Values raise $25,000 to “fully fund” their “Protect Pastors educational campaign.”
Whew. All they want is money. So maybe we don’t have to worry that all the over-the-top rhetoric will persuade fanatics to turn to violence in advancing an ideological agenda. But that really wouldn’t happen anyway? Right?