I have a Google Alert for “Christianity’s Crimes” and one time it came up with WORLDVIEW: Thugs run Caesar’s realm, not God’s, and the article was posted to TownHall.com. Intrigued, I pulled it up. At first it looked to me as if the author had caught a rare case of polemicitis (a mental disease that uses meaningless ranting as a weapon). Then I saw the affiliation of the author: The Southern Baptist Convention. It made more sense: a fundamentalist missionary telling everyone that true Christians will prevail over the dreaded “hug-a-thugs.” Now that’s a B-movie in the making! So, sit down with armchair critics Karbo, Kelso and Klutx – ala Mystery Science Theater 3000 - and let’s watch:
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--If you're disgusted and disillusioned by U.S. politics, I suggest you count your blessings.
There may not be any new Jeffersons or Washingtons on the horizon, but we've got it better than most. Many places in the world resemble the playgrounds where kids learn the law of the human jungle: Bullies rule.
Kelso: Yeah, kid, gimme a piece of your Congo!
Karbo: No guns, though. They slice people up with light sabers and verses from the Bible.
The age of the 20th-century "mega thugs" (Mao, Stalin, Hitler) who subjugated vast portions of humanity may have passed, but plenty of Wannabes imitate them on a smaller scale. Examples:
Strongmen and spies have reasserted control over some former communist states after an all-too-brief spring of freedom.
Kelso: Just like Rumsfield’s “old Europe.” I heard Cardinal Richelieu treated the poor as if they were royalty, but later on they sent some clergy to the guillotine. That’s gratitude for ya.
Karbo: No, more like Charleton Heston, but without a gun.
Karbo: Keep up with the news, dude. Al almost got burned at the stake for predicting the weather with Runes and calling Anne Coulter an eye sore instead of eye candy.
Kelso: It’s a new left-wing subversive cheer: “Hug-a-thug, Hug-a-thug, sis boom bah! U.N. U.N. Rah! Rah! Rah!”
"The end of the Cold War promised to heal the rift between democracy and dictatorship. More nations would be welcomed into the community of free peoples," recalls New York Times columnist David Brooks. However, "The fall of communism hasn't created a global community of democracies. It turns out the Russians don't want to be like us. The Arabs don't want help from infidels. The Iraqis' democratic moment has turned into sectarian chaos. The Palestinians have turned theirs into a civil war."
Klutx: Yeah, just ask any French waiter.
Kelso: We gave the world Disneyland for crissakes! How dare they!
Kelso:…a couple of forced conversions.
The only force that effectively silences the Gospel is the reluctance of believers to share it. A follower of Christ recently attempted to tell a man about Jesus in a country long closed to missions -- and long ruled by a notorious dictator. The man immediately stopped him, saying, "Don't talk to me about these things. I was in a Christian country for several years and nobody spoke to me of this when I was there. Why should I listen to you now?"
Karbo: From the back seat of your Mercedes, then roll the window up.
Klutx: Or even Debbie Boone.
Kelso: But only if we get some popcorn and drinks first, these double-features make me hungry.
Erich Bridges is senior writer with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.
He can be reached at email@example.com