Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Live Here. We are Holy. We are Worthy.

Here is the story of a Midwestern town that has placed at its gateway a sign that reads:

Welcome to the Village of Alorton ... Where Jesus is Lord. Mayor Randy McCallum

While I obviously appreciate the sentiment, I disagree with this sort of thing. A legal fight can't be far off, and as Ed Brayton points out, if you replace Jesus is Lord with Allah rules you would draw completely different battle lines.

My disagreement is based on the fact that it (the sign) is a cheap and meaningless gesture. Along the lines of In God We Trust on the coinage and One nation, under God in the pledge. Including these nice-sounding phrases means nothing. The first rule of leading a Christian life should be similar to the golden rule of writing: show, don't tell. I'm not impressed with a town that tells me it is a place where Jesus is Lord, but I'd be mighty taken by a town that demonstrated it with its deeds. Similarly, I'm sick of politicians telling me they are Christians just to get my vote when their behavior is indistinguishable from that of a scoundrel. To first order, I no longer believe any politician who claims to take his or her faith seriously.

Here's what I want: I want to walk into an Alorton without the sign, blissfully unaware of its boasting, and come away from Alorton thinking: man, there is something different about the people of Alorton, and I like it, and I want what they have.

I would expect the ACLU to get involved, and to be more or less savaged for its efforts by many of my fellow Christians.

Just to remind everyone—though I'm a conservative Christian, I have no real problem with the ACLU, at least not at the moment, although there are early-warning signs that they are becoming what they despise. The ACLU is valuable only so long as it remains quaintly idealistic—with the prospect of anyone finding himself on the pointy end of its spear, and anyone potentially benefiting from its defense—otherwise, should it become selective, it'd be no more than a vulgar weapon of intimidation.

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