Friday, September 26, 2008

The Tale of Two Sisters

Yesterday I got a forwarded email from a dear friend (whom I'll call Miss B for this post). She prefaced the email by saying she didn't care whether Snopes or anyone else disputed who authored the statement, but that she agreed with its content. The jist of the statement (reportedly written by an 80-year-old Democrat) described the differences between American's attitudes and behaviors during WWII as opposed to American's attitudes and behaviors during the current war.

The author talked about how Americans once honored the office of President, even if they did not agree with the office holder. He recounted the sacrifices men, women and children made during WWII and how the nation rallied together with a common purpose of defeating the enemy. He recalled the support of the media for the nation's cause and how entertainers offered their public support rather than public criticism.

At the end of the email, another writer decried Obama's statement that "we are no longer a Christian nation," and called on Christians to pray for our nation. (You can hear Obama's comment here and read more about it here.)

A couple of hours later, I got a rebuttal email from my friend's sister (whom I also love and who will be called Miss E for this post). She took the position that we are still a Christian nation, that a lot of wrong things have been done in the name of Christianity, and that we all just need to love each other.

A little later, I got Miss B's rebuttal to Miss E's rebuttal. After I stopped laughing at the tit-for-tat between the sisters (they're quite a hoot and couldn't be more different), I began thinking about the underlying issues. And, I just had to weigh in on it.

We are a nation at war. Our war is on several fronts. The most obvious is the one involving our troops in Iraq. Every night before my nine-year-old son goes to sleep, he prays for "peace in Iraq and that our troops come home safely." We all need to pray that prayer.

The second front is the global war on terror. There really are evil people in the world. Some of those evil people really hate the U.S. and want to do us harm. They are willing to sacrifice women and children in their cowardly efforts.

The third front is the war for the heart and mind of our nation. It is more than a culture war. It is a spiritual war. We all are aware of the atrocities committed in the name of Jesus over the last 2,000 years. We as Christians have repented and need to continue to repent for that. But I think Miss E's approach is incredibly naive and misses the seriousness of this third kind of war. This is a war that won't be settled by singing Kumbayah and passing the s'mores around the campfire. This a war that can only be fought on our knees.

I feel like our nation is the frog in the pot. The heat has been turned up gradually and we're not even aware that the temperature is rising to the boiling point and to our peril.

Am I saying that people of other faiths shouldn't live in the United States? Of course not.

I am saying, however, that when we entertain the idea (whether intentionally or by apathy) that our nation should no longer be Judeo-Christian so that everyone feels comfortable, we need to understand the consquences of that. Especially if we ignore the tenets of Islam.

Under Islamic law and tradition, everything would be different -- from who could sit with us at a table in a restaurant to our freedom to gather at His Table each week.

Under Islamic law and tradition, I wouldn't be able to write this post. My daughter wouldn't get to pursue her passion for ballet because she wouldn't be allowed to wear a leotard or tutu in public. Under Islamic law and tradition, Sarah wouldn't be allowed to run for Vice President.

I'm not ready to give in to that. Are you?

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