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FIRST-PERSON: A clash of worldviews

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–The new Tom Cruise flick, “War of the Worlds,” has our nation’s attention focused on the conflict between warring factions. You and I and our families are engaged in a similar “war of the worlds,” where philosophical aliens attempt to destroy what thousands of men and women gave their life’s blood to preserve.

Whether we like it are not, this planet is engaged in a war of worldviews.

Some people have resorted to physical violence. Most of these people do not understand that issues relating to worldviews are best settled at the discussion table, instead of a terrorist training camp. In essence, the terrorist activity in London is a clash between fundamentalist factions of Islam and Western Civilization and our economies. From their perspective, the lives of innocent people are but collateral damage.

How does a clash of worldviews get so out of hand that people think they must resort to acts of terrorism? One reason rests with the fact that when people lose their hope for life, respect for other people and human dignity, their frustration can rise to such a level that they resort to violent means to accomplish their goal. Their psychosis goes something like this, “If you won’t respect me, then you will fear me.”

Have you watched or read the news lately? Brainwashed extremists are putty in the hands of those with a philosophical agenda, and they will go to any lengths to accomplish their goal to make their philosophy take precedence over others. Usually, their primary goal is control. By controlling the destiny of people, their philosophy prevails. Their goal is to have their god (or no god) rule over the other gods of people.

This is strange thinking to those of us who have lived in a culture that has experienced so much freedom and, until a few decades ago, so much tolerance. We were the recipients of brilliant forefathers who embraced biblical principles and sought to capture those concepts in the words of our governing documents. The words were written at a time when respect and honor and dignity were core values among those great icons of American history who set this great experiment of democracy into motion.

Granted, these men and women were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they had something that is missing in too many of our current cultural leaders. The foundation of life for our nation’s founders was a deep faith in the Living God Who chose to reveal Himself through the Scriptures. Sadly, the day of this kind of cultural leader appears to have evaporated. Far too many national leaders determine their choices by which way the political wind is blowing.

Our nation is embroiled in a cultural and philosophical battle to determine which worldview will prevail. Will it be common sense and decency exhibited by those with Christian convictions, or will it be the rabid special interests groups pushing their agendas further down the slippery slope of a national moral meltdown?

Our national philosophical/moral conflict is no more evident than with the new appointments for the Supreme Court. Special interest groups seeking to find legitimization of their aberrant moral positions know most of the nation (and especially the heartland) has been moving ever so slowly toward a more traditional perspective of life. The last bastion of power that has yet to reflect this philosophical change in direction is the judiciary. If the social engineers are to retain their foothold on gaining cultural acceptance for their culturally corrosive philosophy, they must retain the majority of the Supreme Court. The ideological balance of the high court is philosophically precarious.

What issues could possibly be so important? In its July 11 edition Time, a newsmagazine not known for its traditional leanings, listed seven issues that will impact our culture. The article by Daniel Eisenberg stated that abortion, church/state, homosexual rights, crime and punishment, affirmative action, states’ rights and the right to die are topics the Supreme Court will soon decide. Each of these topics is either a moral decision, or has a moral component, and each will significantly impact our culture.

Some of the senators have already determined that unless the president nominates a legal moderate of their liking, the confirmation process will be a battleground. Furthermore, one wonders how much political capital must be lost to confirm a judicial traditionalist who is reflective of the mainstream of American values. Will the nominee be so battle ridden it will take a decade of service on the bench before the justice can hoist the flag for the core values that once made our nation great?

Will the extreme special interests and their senatorial spokespersons bully their way into winning this ideological conflict? Or will the mainstream of common-sensed people who seek to renew the values of life, honor and dignity prevail in our day through the president’s nominee? If there was ever a time for the people of God who love peace, justice and liberty to pray and contact their senators, now is the time.
John L. Yeats is recording secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention and editor of the Baptist Messenger, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, online at www.baptistmessenger.com.

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  • John Yeats