Karen Owen, a writer for the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia, authored a recent column in which she sneered that “the term Christian conservative” is “an oxymoron.”
How, she asked, “can we call ourselves – and practically insist that we are – a Christian nation when we seemingly ignore so many teachings of Christ?”
So what examples does she cite to make her dubious case?
Well, there’s the decision by greeting card giant Hallmark to alter the lyrics of “Deck the Halls” on a Christmas ornament from “don we now our gay apparel” to “don we now our fun apparel.”
“Why aren’t we bothered,” asked Owen, “by the insult to a subset of the U.S. population?”
Well, maybe it’s because “gay” has a different meaning in 2013 than it did in 1862 when Thomas Oliphant’s original English lyrics were published. Also, Hallmark hardly can be considered “homophobic” when it sells gay wedding and gay Valentine’s Day cards.
Owen also claims that Christian conservatives “actively despise” the “down on their luck,” the “mentally ill” and the “substance abuser.”
Those canards do not stand up to scrutiny.
Indeed, a recent study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that states in which residents are most generous to the needful are overwhelmingly red states populated by God-fearing folk, most of whom are Christian conservatives.
Another study, sponsored by the UCLA/Rand Research Center on Managed Care for Psychiatric Disorders, found that “faith-based providers are the only source of care for some persons with mental disorders.” That is, the mentally ill residing in “low-income, ethnically diverse communities.”
And as to substance abusers, there is no more effective program for treating alcohol or drug dependency than Celebrate Recovery, which was launched 20 years ago at Saddleback Church in Southern California and which has since been adopted by 20,000 other churches.
Then there’s Owen’s suggestion that Christian conservatives “have no problem with poor people or the uninsured dying rather than receiving quality medical care.”
She obviously hasn’t heard of Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, the largest provider of medical care for the Volunteer State’s poor, often for no pay. Nor Texas Health Resources, a faith-based nonprofit that is the largest health care provider in North Texas.
Nor the many other faith-based health care systems around the country – most guided by Christian conservative principles – that provide most of the uncompensated indigent care in this country.
Owen suggested she learned compassion “as a little girl attending Sunday school at the family Presbyterian church.” But her grown-up view of compassion has been corrupted by her doctrinaire social liberalism.
Indeed, the column writer suggested Christ would look favorably upon homosexuality. But as the Lord declared, when God created humankind, He “made them male and female.” If the Almighty was okay with gay couplings, He could have given Adam a boyfriend. But He did not.
As to the needful, Owen places her faith in the welfare state to feed the hungry, to provide drink to the thirsty, to shelter the stranger, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and to rehabilitate the prisoner.
But those of us who are Christian conservatives know that faith-based organizations do a much better job than government in ministering to the least of those in our communities.
For instance, the government proffers food stamps. But faith-based organizations – like Second Harvest – not only provide food and drink but also the Good News of Jesus Christ, who promised: “I am the bread of Life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Finally, Owen agrees with other disciples of social liberalism who maintain that Christ would support Obamacare.
But there’s no way the Lord would give His blessing to government-mandated contraceptives for the unmarried, tacitly condoning sexual promiscuity. Nor would He condone taxpayer-funded abortions under Obamacare.
Owen’s brand of Christianity is amoral and soulless. But because of her socially liberal world view, she’s too blind to see it.