June 20, 2004
AFA Journal interviewed author David Limbaugh about his new book Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity
What is the main premise of your book?
The idea is that Christianity is disfavored in our popular culture, which feels free to impugn Christians, discriminate against them, show intolerance toward them, and suppress their religious liberty, all the while touting tolerance. These are the very people who scream the loudest in support of religious liberty.
Why this particular topic?
As a syndicated columnist and observer of current events, I would constantly run across examples of discrimination against Christians and an effort to scrub away Christianity from the public square, and to replace Judeo-Christian values with anti-Christian values. I would see examples of that day after day in the news media and I thought it represented a systematic pattern of discrimination, as part of a larger culture war against Christianity.
I thought it ought to be documented in a book, as opposed to just writing column after column about it. I wanted to show that there were enough examples on a broad enough range of venues to indicate a systematic pattern of discrimination.
How did you become involved in the culture wars?
I became a Christian about 15 years ago, and had been a political, economic and social conservative before that, and I had bemoaned the loss of the values in our culture and the fact that secular humanists have been trying to take over. I really believe that Judeo-Christian values are at the root of all of our liberties, they are at the root of the kind of society that we have, and to the extent that those values are undermined, our entire library of liberties will implode and the type of society that we live in will disappear.
My book wasn't for the purpose of declaring myself an activist in the culture wars, but it was to issue a clarion call to Christians and other lovers of liberty that they should wake up and realize that their values and religious liberties are under assault, and if they don't do something about it, the situation will get worse and eventually we will lose the very type of government that we have. Ironically, our nation is the freest in the history of the world precisely because of its Judeo-Christian roots.
Why do you suppose Christianity has been singled out for discrimination while deference has been shown to other faiths?
Christianity stands for moral absolutes, and we live in a postmodern culture which champions the notion of moral relativism. In fact, it even champions the notion that truth itself is a social construct. So postmodernists abhor moral absolutes.
There are other religions which subscribe to moral absolutism, such as Islam and Judaism, but Christianity is perceived as the majority religion in this country. Those who would like to have their values prevail in the culture have to go through this Christian majority first. And so Christianity is the enemy.
On a spiritual level they are against it because the truth divides, and I happen to believe Christianity is Truth with a capital "T." I think those who are followers of the Lie have an allergy to the truth, and have an aversion and a hostility to the truth. So they gravitate to a position that is militant against Christianity.
What would you say to those who argue that, as the dominant religious group in the U.S., Christians are absurd to claim persecution?
It is absurd to say that a majority cannot allow itself to be discriminated against -- look at South Africa [during apartheid], look at women in this country. Majorities are discriminated against all the time.
And we don't have to talk about theories or possibilities or potential here. I have evidence in the book -- some 800 footnotes, and I could have had twice that many if people were able to digest an 800-page book -- which demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that a systematic pattern of discrimination is going on against Christians and Christianity.
Since we live in a pluralistic culture, how can we return to one that is faith-based?
As much as some Christians don't like to do this, we have to fight in the political arena, because we have to have a climate of political and religious freedom in order to even evangelize, and to honor the Great Commission. So while some Christians want to sit on their moral high horse and say, 'This is a spiritual battle, we should not dirty our hands in the world of politics,' I say it's a good thing the framers of our Constitution did not subscribe to that passive worldview. They believed that they had a duty to implement protections and safeguards in our Constitution against encroachments against religious liberty.
But I also think Christians have to demonstrate a Christ-like example and be salt and light, and we have to try to evangelize through our conduct, and how we live our own lives. It's one person, one soul, one convert at a time, and it is not going to be an easy fix. And it may not even happen. While I am not an alarmist, and I don't think the sky is falling yet, I am also not confident that we can turn it around. I'm optimistic, but I realize that it is an uphill battle because our culture is so violently opposed to Judeo-Christian values that it's going to be tough to turn it around.
I do see an increased polarization in our nation. Some people say, 'Well, I see a revival going on. I see a return to a faith-based society.' Well, I see that, too, but I also see on the other end of the spectrum an increasing extremism against Christianity. So that's why I say I think we're becoming increasingly polarized.
How can we expect to reinvigorate the culture when major Christian denominations, like the Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church, are in chaos?
One of the primary places that is under assault in this country is the church, and of course, what better place to undermine Christianity than at its heart. That's been going on, and we've seen a corruption in our theology, a slipping away from the truth, from Scripture, and a corruption of our church hierarchies.
If we don't clean up our churches, we don't have much of a chance to clean up the culture proper. Any long-range solution has to begin with taking back the churches for the truth and the Bible.
This story appeared in the June 2004 issue of AFA Journal, a monthly publication of the American Family Association.