The Cancel Culture: Crucify Him Again

Now the radicals are demanding that Christian imagery and monuments come down as well:

The radical secular left’s assault on the West is now in full swing, and it is clear that this is an all-out war. It is a war not only on Western Civilisation, but what gave birth to it: Christianity. Anyone even remotely aware of this war would have known from day one that the ultimate end game of these folks is the complete overthrow of all vestiges of Christianity and Christ.

So we have not just statues and monuments of supposed racists being torn down and destroyed. We not only have statues of all those who helped to found America, be they Columbus or Washington or Jefferson. We not only have the defacing and destruction of statues of Captain Cook in Australia. We now have calls to destroy images of Christ on the cross. More on that in a moment.

And of course hot on the heels of these things will be demands for all Bibles to be burned and all churches to be closed or obliterated. We KNOW this is coming. Such is the hatred of the left for the West and its Christian past. It reminds me of a line from George Orwell:

“He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.”

Much can be said about all this, but I need to make some prefatory remarks. First, while no one knows exactly what Jesus looked like. He was a Galilean Jew. As such, He quite likely was not a white guy with blond hair and blue eyes! Somewhat darker skin, perhaps with curly hair, might be one guess as to His appearance. So when folks call for the end to images of Christ because they are somehow racist, they need to get a life.

Second, this article is not the place for yet more sectarian warfare. Some Catholics and Protestants will have a go at each other over the matter of images and icons. But the discussion can be complex, and is much more involved than some might think. And Protestants themselves differ on how we are to understand things like the Second Commandment. See more on this here.

And third, some folks have already claimed that when radical lefties — be they from Antifa or Black Lives Matter — destroy statues and images, they are doing the same as older iconoclasts in church history. Um no, not at all. Apples and oranges.

The iconoclasm controversies of the early Church were fully theological and biblical in nature, and in part determined not just differences between Catholics and Protestants, but Catholics and the Orthodox as well (or Western and Eastern Christians). Numerous issues arose, including whether images and icons were being worshipped and so on.

But the destruction of statues by the far left today has nothing to do with this. It is all about cancel culture and the left’s hatred of America, the West, and Christianity. The revolutionary mobs pulling down these statues are not doing this out of concern to worship God properly, but because it is part of their Marxist assault on Western values, ideals and history.

And since Christianity has been the cornerstone of Western Civilisation, then of course that has to go as well. So let me briefly look at the latest cases of leftist rage and anti-Christian bigotry, and then conclude with some biblical reflections on all this.

One article says this about the latest madness:

It began with Confederate generals and quickly escalated to Columbus and former US presidents; now the monument-removal crusade has come for Jesus, with racial activist Shaun King insisting his depictions are ‘racist propaganda.’ “Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down,” King tweeted on Monday. “They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been.”

He also argued that all “murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down,” calling them “a gross form white supremacy… tools of oppression [and] Racist propaganda.” King is no fringe figure, either – the well-known racial justice activist rose to prominence through the Black Lives Matter movement and most recently served as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who sought the Democrat presidential nomination. His tweets came just a day after conservative pundits predicted the statue-smashing spree would come after Jesus.

Another write-up put it this way:

“Yes I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been,” King tweeted. “In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark. Tear them down.” King followed the post up with another, saying that “white Jesus is a lie” and a “tool of white supremacy” created to help white people use Christianity as a “tool of oppression. He added that white people would never have accepted a religion “from a Brown man.”

King then tweeted support from taking down all imagery, including “murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends.” Far-left activist Shaun King on Monday said all images depicting Jesus as a “white European” should be torn down because they are a form of “white supremacy.” King made his remarks over a series of Twitter posts as historic monuments and statues have become the targets of anger and vandalism during Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody late last month.

And of course we are not just seeing calls for this to happen. We are seeing actual attacks on churches and religious monuments. Consider just the latest example:

Protestors pulled down and desecrated statues of Catholic missionary St. Junipero Serra in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, after local authorities in Los Angeles approved the removal of another of his statues outside Ventura City Hall. Serra, a Spanish Franciscan missionary to the United States, helped to found nine missions in California in the late eighteenth century.

Sadly, all this is not just being done by the rioting mobs. Too often, radical left politicians and leaders are demanding the very same thing. Consider this absolute shocker from Boston:

The mayor of Boston supports calls to remove a statue in tribute to President Abraham Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator.” Mayor Marty Walsh, who designated racism as a public health crisis in the city of Boston, is in favor of removing a statue of Lincoln that has stood for over 100 years in the city’s Park Square. Walsh’s office told the Boston Globe last week that it hopes to recommission that statue into one that “recognizes equality” and is investigating what processes the city would need to undergo to remove it. The statue depicts Lincoln with one arm extended above a freed slave with broken shackles, symbolizing that, by Lincoln’s hand, the institution of slavery was broken. The inscription on the statue reads, “A race set free and the country at peace. Lincoln rests from his labors.”

Today it is Teddy Roosevelt, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Tomorrow it will be — who knows? Any old white guy is now fair game. And Christians both past and present will especially be increasingly targeted. There are no surprises here.

Indeed, anyone following where all this revolution, lawlessness and anarchy has been heading would have fully expected this. And the calls will simply increase, become more strident, and encompass more of Christianity. Churches, Christian schools, Bibles and church leaders will all be in the cross-hairs.

This really is a diabolical assault on the Christian faith. Indeed, simply notice how Islam is not being targeted here. Buddhists are not being threatened. Hindus are not the subject of such attacks. It is always Christianity that has got the militants incensed.

No biblical Christian should at all be surprised about this. Satan only hates the One True God and Christianity above all else. He is more than happy to see Islam or Hinduism flourish. He knows that they are not bringing people into a saving relationship with God. Indeed, they are leading people away from God. Not all religions are the same, and not all point to the One True God.

So Satan knows who to target. As I wrote in an earlier piece, the devil’s fingerprints are all over this rioting and looting and destruction:

“We need to be aware of the spiritual battles taking place here. What do we see in all this rioting? We see theft, we see killing, and we see destruction. What did Jesus say about the devil in John 10:10? He said this: ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’.”

And leaving aside biblical and theological considerations, the idiocy of these protestors and rioters is just staggering. Just about everything they are utilising as they spread their revolution is the product of Western civilisation, and often white Western Civilisation. Whether their smartphones or computers or cars or what have you, these are products of the West that they so much hate.

And it would at least be nice if they were a bit more consistent here. As American conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey righty stated,

“Since we’re dismantling anything built by white supremacists, I guess it’s time to get rid of Planned Parenthood.”

While I am at it, let me offer a few more quotes from the Christian Stuckey:

“Cancel Culture would end immediately if everyone took Jesus’s advice: ‘Let he who has not sinned be the one to throw the first stone’.”

“The Venn diagram of people defacing statues in the name of fighting racism, people who support the slaughter of unborn black babies, and people who can’t see irony is a perfect circle.”

“When you elevate victimhood as virtue, you will create a culture in which people are tripping over themselves to be oppressed.”

“If the statue topplers were really doing so because of outrage over slavery, they’d also be outraged by Marx and Lenin, whose ideas led to the objectification and slaughter of millions. But they don’t – they worship them. Again, this is about hatred of the West, not hatred of sin.”

The only thing sadder than the moral and mental meltdown of the revolutionaries and anarchists is the number of clueless Christians who have actually sided with them and have sought to defend their actions. Maybe when it is THEIR churches that are burned to the ground they might wake up. But I won’t hold my breath on that one either.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch.
Photo by DDP on Unsplash.

By |2020-06-26T19:28:26+10:00July 2nd, 2020|Faith, Freedom, Identity Politics, World|0 Comments

About the Author:

Bill Muehlenberg is married with three sons, and he is an apologist and ethicist in Melbourne, Australia. He has written several books and has numerous articles printed in most mainstream Australian newspapers, as well as being the main drafter of the Canberra Declaration. Bill has a BA with honours in philosophy (Wheaton College, Chicago), an MA with highest honours in theology (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston) and is currently completing a PhD in theology. He is a prolific author, and a much sought-after media commentator; he has been featured on most Australian television and radio current affairs programs. Bill teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. He has his own blog, CultureWatch, which features Christian commentary on the issues of the day.

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