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Thursday, April 09, 2015

In Defense of Sally Kern

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern has undergone intense scrutiny and perhaps some of it is a little over the top.  It's sad, in a way, to see the people who preach tolerance so assertively would be so aggressively intolerant of Sally Kern.  It is confusing, disheartening, and unfair in many ways.  The "Sally Kern Phenomenon" has garnered national attention and most of that attention has really been pretty negative - with the exception of Ellen, perhaps, who dealt with it in a comical, lighthearted way. 

First, let's consider what Kern and her husband believe and why:
They are Baptists, hardcore Baptists who shun the baptism of infants, dancing, and other things, in many cases are abject literalistic in their interpretation of Scripture, and lastly, they are premillennial  in their eschatology, and they are all about fire and brimstone.  (Read for yourself. But ignore the spelling errors.) You can't really blame them for their theological constructs because that is kind of a universal platform for their denomination.  They are very public figures, therefore, the last thing they want is to look inconsistent from the Baptist hard line.
[Note: I add Steve Kern in the dialog because he is, after all, her pastor.]

Second, let's think about the argument they espouse itself:
Think about it from a doctrinal standpoint.  They believe that the "rapture" could happen at any moment and that it will involve "tribulation" upon some of the Christians, but most importantly, it is the role of the "Christian soldier" to bring as many souls to the Promised Land as possible.  This kind of theology is designed, as its ultimate goal, to usher in the 2nd Coming.  Of course, fear and hell,
and eternal damnation is at the forefront of Sally's dialog!  The school of thought exists that if they don't try to "save" every single lost soul they can.  Here is they type of construct we're dealing with from a hardcore Christian Right website:
Is a New World Order something we should look forward to? Will it take place and if so, when? Who will be responsible for bringing in this New World Order? Will it be the president of the United States or maybe even the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope himself? Where can we find these answers? Does the Bible say anything about this important subject that will affect the whole world? Let’s look at some information that will help us get a better picture of upcoming events.
Wait, what?  New World Order?  The Pope?  See what we're dealing with here, kids?

Third, consider why it is better not to launch ad hominem attacks:
I eluded to it in my opening paragraph, but it is true that the "most tolerant" in our culture is often the LEAST tolerant of conservative Christian views.  In other words, by attacking Sally Kern and her fellow premillennial, "sky is falling" followers, the "tolerant ones" prove Sally Kern's point - that "the liberuls" are intolerant and have an agenda to destroy the country through indoctrination of the gay agenda on our children.  Attacking Sally, the person, is just not the right thing to do.  Attack her beliefs, her commentary, and her dumbass pieces of legislation, but Sally THE PERSON, is a human being just like the rest of us.

In my opinion, everyone has a right to speak and believe whatever they choose to believe.  Whether it be a complete allegorical interpretation of Scripture or a historical/grammatical interpretation, or that someone doesn't believe at all is well within the bounds of free speech that we're so proud of here in the United States.  Sure, there are people who exist to transform the nation into something that looks like a theocracy, but overall, we function pretty darned well.  You see, in a Democratic Republic, we get the privilege of raising hell and defeating whatever argument we choose.  But we must always remember the fact that we are all human, all created in the Imago Dei.

I'm not at all implying that I'm innocent.  I twist off with regularity, but it doesn't make it right.  

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong.  But I'm not.