Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Misuse of Liberty Magazine

Over the past decade I have felt that Liberty Magazine was not really supporting liberty but anti-religious propaganda. Though most Seventh-day Adventists are religiously conservative (and many socially and politically conservative as well), Liberty Magazine has in recent years presented such conservatism as the enemy of religious liberty. I thought things had improved in the last couple years, but then I read the following from January/Febuary 2012 issue in the article entitled Religion on the Campaign Trail The Third-Party Interest by Jonathan Turley:

With the rhetoric and rancor rising in the campaign for the White House, the election has increasingly become a call to the faithful, with candidates attempting to outdo one another in appealing to religious voters. Indeed, listening to these candidates, one could easily think this is a campaign for ecclesiastical rather than presidential office. One leading candidate recently invoked "supernatural" events guiding him and suggested that God predestined him for this office. Another candidate trumped that implied divine selection with an express promise to discriminate against Muslims to guarantee a Judeo-Christian nation.”

Of course the author, a Liberal Law professor (so characterized by “Politico” is alluding to Republican candidates so we should not expect him to be particularly fair or even reasonable. But I do expect more from Liberty magazine then such veiled allusions to candidates without even giving their names. How are we to know if his claims are even true if he won't even address who supposedly invoked supernatural events and suggested that God predestined him for “this office”? The reason is that he is not telling the truth and Liberty is publishing his falsehoods. You can search the Internet to see who suggests that supernatural events have lead in their lives. That is probably a reference to Rick Perry. reports:

Perry said then that “all through [my] life there have been these supernatural events.” He spoke in particular of an incident in 1978 when it rained 30 inches in his hometown following a drought, an episode he took as a sign that he should continue farming rather than becoming a commercial pilot.”

While someone seeing a divine sign in unusual rainfall should not scare us at all. Someone who saw something as a sign from God is not really that concerning if the sign is directed at them and what they as one person should do. It is not good to see our own Adventist publication making fun of a personal interpretation of God's messages to that person. Especially when our own former Mission Quarterly, and our current Junior Guide, if not many sermons, routinely demonstrate the same world view I was unable to find any reference that Rick Perry suggested that God predestined him for any office. But the editors of Liberty would not need to know the truth or the facts of a statement if no identity is given by the author. This is extremely sloppy journalism.

The second unnamed candidate is apparently Michele Bachmann who Turney misinterprets as “trumped that implied divine selection with an express promise to discriminate against Muslims to guarantee a Judeo-Christian nation.” What is that based on? Besides being a literary nightmare of a sentence “trumped”, “implied divine selection”? Go ahead look up the definition of “trumped”. What did Michael Bachmann actually say? You can read it in the transcript of Michele Bachmann’s speech at the Twin Cities megachurch Living Word Christian Center in 2006:

Twenty-two months ago, He called me to run for United States Congress. And my husband thought, you need to do this. This is a big deal to do something like this. So we set aside three days where we fasted and we prayed, and long about the afternoon of day two, we knew. We knew that we knew that we knew. This was it. And so we jumped in, and little did we know that out of 435 seats for Congress, this race would turn in to being one of the top three in the country. And that how this race turns will probably determine what majority is in Congress this fall. [sic]

We are sitting right now at a time in our history when we’re going to be dealing with some of the most important issues of our time. Number one being, which your pastor is going to be talking about in the next few weeks, radical Islam. How will our nation deal with this threat of radical Islam? There’s so much at stake, but we listen to the Lord and we decide we’re going to suit up, we’re going to sign up, we’re going to be hot for God, and we’re going to do what He is calling us to do! And we’re going to watch out and see what He is going to perform in our midst.

And that’s what it’s all about when He makes our calling sure. It isn’t about us. It’s about Him. And it’s about freeing each one of us up to do His will for His glory so that He will be magnified! And that’s His calling. It’s sure. I commend to you to listen carefully to the truth of His word that He will bless you with as your pastor comes and speaks to you this morning.”

Her Description of what it means to be hot can also be read in the transcript:

I’m 50 years old. I came to know Him when I was 16. For 34 years, I’ve been hot! And you want to be hot! Because when you are hot for Jesus Christ, there is nothing that is like that life! It is the most exciting life! When you are praying in the spirit, when you are meditating on his word, when you are fellowshipping with white-hot believers, He turns your life around. And it isn’t just for you. It’s for the world! He changes the world through hot people!” 
Bachmann's reference to “Radical Islam” to Turley and by extension Liberty magazine becomes discriminate against Muslims to guarantee a Judeo-Christian nation. Sure it is not what she said, not even implied but when one is a confirmed political liberal it may not be worth their time to be accurate or truthful. Time is better spent upon propaganda. I understand Jonathan Turley's misuse of information I accept it as the animus of the partisanship of the political liberal against the conservative. But why is it included a religious liberty magazine of the Adventist church?

My guess is the reason is the same as we see here on the Adventist today Website by certain columnists: Prophetic Prognostication. The fear based upon the belief that Christianity will rise against Seventh-day Adventism. That non Adventist Christians will soon act as the Beast of the book of Revelation. A fear 200 hundred years out of date. But with implications as current as today, where fear and prejudice engender defamation of fellow Christians not because of what they say or do but because they are simply Christians of a different tribe.

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