In Defense of Christian Evangelicals!
Their values are Simply American and expressed with great faith and conviction!
In a recent N.Y.Times Op Ed piece by David Brooks [11/13/17], he argued that the Evangelical Christians supporting besmirched Roy Moore [R-Alabama] and Donald Trump have a ‘siege mentality problem’.
“In fact, I’d say [Brooks] the siege mentality explains most of the dysfunctional group behavior these days…”
I do not know Brooks nor do I have any acquaintance of Moore. Yet, I do know quite a few Christian Evangelicals. Many of my friends happen to be Christian Evangelicals. The last thing I would say about any of them is that they have a unique mental characteristic-let alone the nonsensical euphemism for ‘mentally ill’ namely ‘siege mentality’ a la Brooks.
Clearly this agnostic Jewish guy Brooks born to ‘New York Intellectuals’ never lived in any part of America that did not possess certain ‘liberal-ethnic-mores’. His father taught English at NYU and mother taught 19th century British History at Columbia Un. Brooks ascended gracefully away from secular Judaism to Episcopal primary school in Greenwich Village. Next, he and his family moved to the tony Philadelphia Main Line.
Most of the Christian Evangelicals with whom I have associated and befriended served in the military. Lets contrast this with many of the neocons like Wolfowitz/Khalizad/Perle who trained at the University of Chicago, like Brooks. These guys did not serve yet supported unnecessary wars like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unlike Brooks and his neocon besties, almost all of my friends volunteered to serve in either the Korean, Vietnam, or Iraq/Afghanistan Wars. They did not do it because Jesus had instructed them to do so, nor were they afraid that one day they might be attacked by ‘terrorists’ [siege mentality]. They volunteered to enlist so that they could say with pride, “I have served my country!” Unlike Brooks or his immediate family[father/mother], there was not the slightest consideration that there might be a higher order of obligation toward one’s country; other than writing paltry articles and espousing psycho-babble denigrating Americans whom might be different in one way or another.
I find the Christian Evangelicals to be incredibly versed in worldly matters and highly tolerant of differences certainly more so than the NY Times and Brooks. A young friend of mine just came back from a very difficult military tour in Africa. He left his job as a full time county commissioner so that he could serve his country as a Captain in Military Intelligence with the National Guard. He did not attend the pristine prep schools rather he was homeschooled.
Sounds strange doesn’t it?
However, he learned far more than I had at both Cornell University and Harvard Medical College. At a very early age, he learned about the Muslim religion and all of its tenets. He happened to be born in Malaysia. Yes, a Muslim country!!!
My friend learned to understand and appreciate Judaism, Islam and Christianity in an intellectual and spiritual way. He has a mixed race sister whom his parents adopted when she was a young girl. He loves her as much as he could love his other entrepreneurial brothers. My friend is a full time county commissioner and Military Intelligence officer and he is a high school teacher in American History for the disadvantaged children in the rural south.
Are you getting my subtle points, Mr. Brooks?
Allow me to illustrate further for you….For the recent feast of the Tabernacles, I was invited invited over to participate in the Sukkoth, delivered movingly by other Christian Evangelists who wore the obligatory Kippah/Yarmulke [head cover] and tallit [prayer shawl] while singing and dancing in Hebrew.
Yes, Mr. Brooks, my Christian Evangelical friends can speak Hebrew and even pray in Hebrew! I doubt if you or your Greenwich Village upbringing allowed you to learn more than a few words for your Bar Mitzvah.
In fact, like yourself, they are incredibly strong supporters of Israel and the Jewish people. They even wear T- shirts with the Hebrew letters for Zahal, the acronym for the Israeli Defense Force.
Mr Brooks, neither you nor your associates have any idea of who or what the Christian Evangelicals are about! I have seen them accept gays, straights, LGBT, and any other variations of sexuality and ethnicity that you could imagine.
We don’t talk about abortion because there are far more important issues in their world like earning a living, getting necessary medical care, and family gatherings. We don’t disparage a Democrat or Liberal just because of their state ideologies, the way you and the NYTimes do collectively.
Unlike our city liberals, my friend takes a lot of time to engage himself in small town politics as well as making certain that his community [young and old] are treated fairly. He calls that ‘Christian Values’. Can you argue with that?
Mr. Brooks, it’s time for you to grow up and learn something about the psychology of the real people of America who live in the rural south and Mid West. BTW, I am not certain for whom he voted. Funny, we did not ask each other that question. We simply assumed that each of us would vote for the candidate whom we felt might do the best for our country.
“Our country”, Mr. Brooks, yeah, something called patriotism. It’s a concept for which you and many of your colleagues on the NY Times have no understanding or empathy.
Jerry Falwell Jr, the President of Liberty University [Christian Evangelical] said the following:
“Liberty University is the world’s largest and fastest growing evangelical university.”
There must be some good reasons for that, Mr. Brooks!