An article appeared recently in The Nation magazine that was chilling enough to raise the hairs on the back of ones neck, and send a dire shiver down the spine. Kathryn Joyce writes about evangelism, and I must pay my respect for her lack of bias, in an article called ‘The Quiverfull Conviction.’
To avoid regurgitating her entire piece, I shall break it down to this: ‘Quiverfull’ comes from Psalm 127, specifically “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born into one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”
The ‘Quiverfulls’ are Christian women whose aim it is to have as many children as ossible, so as to build, apparently literally, an army for God.
So, that might not sit real well, but I’d let it go at that with merely a shiver.
However, not half and hour after encountering that article, I was invited to watch what was described as “a funny documentary” by a friend. The film was ‘Jesus Camp,’ and I didn’t find it funny. The fear it created in me is palpable, the disgust I felt was considerable.
Let me state: I have no issue with Christians in any way. I was raised Christian, and though I’m not a pious man, the values I was taught can be embraced by anyone of any faith, or lack thereof: tolerance, forgiveness, understanding, the Golden Rule, and etc.
Evangelism seems to have seized the banner of “Christianity” and run away with it, much as radical Islamists have done with Islam. We all know that both Islam and Christianity are essentially peaceful creeds and that they mean to preach love and tolerance.
How did we get to this point? Evangelist children are indoctrinated with hatreds of science, with militaristic views of their role in life and they are generally home- schooled, so that the evil public school system won’t corrupt them with lies about evolution and science. I’m paraphrasing here, but one ‘Jesus Camp’ mother called science Satan’s grand plan. Well.
I had to watch as an elderly woman proudly forced a room- full of children, some as young as six, to cry and speak in tongues. I’m not sure when speaking in tongues became a practice of Christian faiths, but I was taught that it might be a bad sign of something.
All of this aside, I think the problem, nay, the threat arises when the “Army for God” issue is looked at a little more closely. A mother in ‘Jesus Camp’ explained how she thought we were behind the times because we weren’t training our children in terrorist camps like the radical Islamists do. Hence the “arrows for the war.”
Nausea and fear.
I suppose this is isn’t helpful because I am not offering a solution. Maybe someone’s eyes will be opened. The worst part of all this is the numbers. These militant fundamentalist Christians are not a minority in the United States, far from it.
There are approximately eighty million of them in America, as Ted Haggart so memorably put it, enough to sweep any election, and they are frighteningly well organized. They must be biding their time.
But wait. Ted Haggart?
How could I not mention Mr. Haggart, who not weeks after ‘Jesus Camp’ hit screens, was put in an uncomfortable situation when accused of homosexual behavior and methamphetamine use. In his own words, he was “a deceiver and a liar.”