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Smears and Misinformation: Put Your Critical Thinking Caps On!

As I read these obvious, misinformative spins contradicting his true character, I was reminded of the smearing of Brent Kavanaugh by these same newspapers just months ago. How could they be so gentle with such an obvious, brutal terrorist, and so brutal to what appeared by all accounts to be an honorable, highly esteemed, family man?

Is it coincidence? Is it misstatement? Sadly, no. It is part of a narrative that often ignores facts and creates impressions that are politically expedient even if factually untrue. It is part of a war on the Christian worldview where no engagement strategy is out of bounds if it works to drive the Christian worldview out of the public square.

Don’t believe me? Read again this quote from Robert Reich:

The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism is not the greatest danger we face.[1]

The article by James K. Fitzpatrick, “Robert Reich Draws a Line in the Sand,”[2] argues that Reich and the secular left are literally drawing a line in the sand by claiming that the Christian worldview is the ultimate barrier to moving into our enlightened, secular future. Terrorism is less deadly than committed, heartfelt, Bible-believing Christians? Yikes! What to do?

First of all, it is important to destroy the false assertions of Reich’s dichotomies. Belief in a higher authority has, especially as declared in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitutional protection of religious liberty, produced a culture that is unparalleled in personal, individual liberty and freedom. An eternal view of one’s life enhances rather than detracts from the day to day actions of people. Those who live with a view towards “no eternal destiny” are the ones who eventually are tempted to think that nothing matters whether today, tomorrow, or forever. It’s also not unusual that the secular cultures of the twentieth century were some of the most brutal in all of human history. And finally, can we please cease and desist with the false notion that Scripture and science are at odds with each other? Much of the foundation for modern science was undergirded, even motivated, by a Christian worldview. To “believe” that the material world was worth studying rested in the notion that the material world was real, it was rational, and it had purpose and design. The Christian worldview, undergirded by the Incarnation, even sanctified the dirt level of life in a way that made its investigation worthy of our best.

To debate the charges is one thing; to refuse the smears and the caricatures is another. Unfortunately, it is increasingly more apparent that today believers may have to fight for their right to share their biblical views on things in the communities in which they live and serve. Reich’s view that biblical truths and believing Christians are the final barrier to our enlightened future is disingenuous at best and destructive at worst. Sadly, such views are already caricaturing many believers in the public square. When a terrorist can be described as a faithful, religious leader, and a potential Supreme Court justice can be universally smeared without evidence,[3] alarms must go off.

Christians must be ready to dialogue, yes. But when people like Robert Reich finally resort to the power of the state to limit the debate or even drive the Christian perspective on life out of the public square, that’s the time to assert our First Amendment, religious liberty rights and responsibilities, not merely to protect the Church’s public voice, but to bless the communities in which we live and serve. When the media and the political leaders of our day begin to smear the worldview of millions of Bible-believing Christians, it’s time to stand up for what we believe not merely for us, but for the world in which we live. For the sake of the mission of the Church, the preaching of the whole counsel of God, and for the Gospel itself, when it comes to smears and misinformation, it’s time to put our critical thinking caps on and fight back.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty.


Be Informed

A young adult today is more likely to feel social pressure to justify being religious than being None.” Why the change? Read this article from the Wall Street Journal to learn more.


Be Equipped

Alexandra DeSanctis notes that “the power of ultrasound technology . . . reveals what our abortion debate so often leaves out: These are human lives. The conflict over abortion is dishonest and unwinnable not because both sides make poor arguments, but because only one side is willing to admit that reality.” Read more from DeSanctis here.

[1] For more information, see Mollie Hemingway’s Book, “Justice on Trial”

Be Encouraged

Marriage is a mysterious proclamation of the Gospel in our world, for God has not left Himself without such witness of Himself in this world. The Gospel proclamation not only forgives sins, it also changes lives! Marriage cannot be whatever a society wants it to be. We as Christians bear witness to the truth and the dark ages of sin will not change it. Rather than argue with those who will not listen, we Christians live out the reality of a good marriage.” – Rev. Dr. Richard Eyer 




[3] For more information, see Mollie Hemingway’s Book, “Justice on Trial”

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