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Seeing America Through the Mullahs' Eyes By: Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Emergent” church guru Brian McLaren is urging fellow emergent Christians to see the U.S. as “others see us.” As part of this Christian enlightenment, he shares on his blog a music video in which two Iranian sisters, posing as broadcast journalists hosting an Iranian news broadcast, sing an anti-American diddy about “demoKracy,” while American bombs cascade on innocent civilians. “An Iranian-born friend sent me the link,” McLaren chimed. “And I can't help but feel it would do my fellow USAmericans a lot of good to let this video/song sink in ...” No doubt.

The Iranian sisters sing their way through the broadcast spoof, amid American tanks and planes creating mayhem among defenseless Iraqis, whose plight Iranians may soon face, the broadcast implies:

There’s fresh fruit in market.
Dictator is wiped off target.
We’ve brought a new fruit load
Democracy is what we swallowed.
Fresh fruit of the year is called “democracy.”
Served in a bowl, but tastes like hypocrisy.
When its season comes here.
You find it in stockpiles close by near
Oh? Eh! O-E-O-E-O!
In many places sold to you by force
Wrapped neatly, labeled by its source.
If you refuse ‘to stay the course.’
They shove it in your throat.
Oh! Eh! O-E-O-E-O!
Seems buying it is the only way.
Their fruits taste different everywhere.
Ripe and ready in the yard.
Tastes like flaming lead falling hard.
Kilo by kilo everywhere exported.
Promptly wrapped, swiftly transported.
Soon its your time as season comes near
They plant it in a garden right here

The final seen shows a mock weather map of the Middle East, covered by U.S. planes dropping bombs, amid emerging mushroom clouds. This seems a little odd, since nobody alleges that the U.S. is planning a nuclear attack on Iran. Iran, is in fact, the only nation that has implied it might employ a nuclear strike in the region.

Cleverly composed, and including footage of the flag-draped coffins of American military personnel slain in the misbegotten crusade for “demoKracy,” the music video undoubtedly accurately reflects the views of the Iranian theocracy. The dissenting views of that regime’s victims have not received equal air time from the social justice minded McLaren, who is actively supporting the Obama campaign partly because of its outrage over America’s wars since 9-11.

McLaren even helped to found the Matthew 25 Network, the political pressure group headed by former John Kerry religious outreach director Mara Vanderslice to guide Christians, especially squishy evangelicals, away from Republicans and towards Obama.

In a letter for the Matthew 25 Network earlier this year to explain his public support for Obama, McLaren explained: “We’ve watched too many members of our faith communities be manipulated by cynical politicians who knew what tune to play to get people of faith marching obediently in their parade.” The emerging church leader joined in with Matthew 25, based on the Scripture about Jesus’ help for the “least of these,” because he wants to invite Christians to “consider how to use our vote on behalf of the neediest, the most vulnerable and poverty-stricken … so that their concerns are our own when we vote. For us, this is inherent in what it means to be followers of Jesus.”

According to McLaren, electing a “better president” will not solve everything, but it will be a step a step towards “caring for our fragile and wounded planet, building a just peace in situations of conflict and fear, and eliminating extreme poverty.” The Matthew 25 Network’s most recent action calls for liberal Christians is to petition fellow believer Governor Sarah Palin, urging her to “be truthful in all things, to ‘put away falsehood’ (Eph 4:25) and refrain from slandering, belittling, or speaking out of contempt for anyone.”

Evidently, Palin’s speech to the Republican convention violated these biblical injunctions, which deeply “disappointed” the Matthew 25 Network, and which is imploring the vice presidential candidate to shun her naughty ways and “commit herself to campaigning in good faith, with love and respect for her political opponents and a strong commitment to truth-telling.”

The Matthew 25 Network is merely a vehicle for injecting pro-Obama talking points into America’s religious bloodstream, to counter the traditional preference for Republicans by active church goers. But McLaren and other postmodern Christians, with their focus on the therapeutic over the doctrinal, no doubt genuinely hope an Obama presidency would genuinely “heal” the planet with gentle talk and mutual understanding, underscored with lots of apologies (by America to the rest of the world) and large dollops of “listening.”

In fact, no president of the United States, from either party, is likely to set aside his constitutional obligations militarily to defend the republic in favor of a new role as therapist in chief. Even an Obama presidency almost certainly would respond to a nuclearizing Iran with more force than the dispatch of Christian Peacemaking Teams, or a note of apology for the 1953 coup against the Mossadeq regime, as McLaren would prefer.

And no presidential campaign, including Obama’s, would associate with an Iranian propaganda music video that inveighs against the “hypocrisy” of American-backed “demoKracy” and speculates about U.S. nuclear attacks against Iran, amid a backdrop of American coffins. The Religious Right is constantly portrayed as the crazy uncle to Republicans. But as the Evangelical Left increases its profile, it is likely to pose its own unique forms of embarrassment.

Mark D. Tooley is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He is the author of Taking Back the United Methodist Church.

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