Satire, Poe’s Law and The New York Times Campaign to Discredit the Evangelical Message of Christwire
On behalf of everyone at Christwire, I was deeply saddened to read Mark Oppenheimer’s facile attempt to discredit Evangelical Christianity and this site in particular today. His crudely written, fact-challenged article was an insult to the men and women who work so diligently to engage in honest, constructive conversations about faith in our nation. Bigotry against Christians has gone on for far too long in this world. In our liberal, politically-correct society, it is considered wrong to preach scripture in the public square, but no one bats an eyelash when Jesus Christ Himself is strung up like a pinata for the juvenile to bash to their hearts’ content.
Maybe this should come as no surprise in a country that is slipping evermore into moral corruption and economic decay. Maybe this should come as no surprise from a nearly-bankrupt newspaper like the New York Times which has a recklessly pro-Zionist, anti-Christian agenda. Indeed, we are in the age when Sarah Palin’s vision for our future seems incompatible with the conspiracy theories of the liberal minority, a minority that consumes the assembly-line propaganda of papers like the Times with insatiable abandon.
Recently, another blogger tried to crack into this site. She emailed our technological company requesting passwords, mailing addresses and other information. It was sickening and hurtful and the result was a sloppy blog post that lacked both substance and credibility. But what is happening here? Why has the mainstream media suddenly decided to assault a small Christian organization? Are these people wrong or simply deluded? Is this a yet another atheist disinformation campaign? Some sort of reprisal for Christwire’s incisive criticism of the Times? Is Oppenheimer part of this grand scheme or was he simply hoodwinked by two California pranksters?
“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.” –Matthew 17:20.
In the middle of the 18th Century, America experienced a widespread and powerful rediscovery of Jesus Christ now known as the first “Great Awakening.” It was a time when this land’s earliest colonists and frontiersmen struggled to understand the sometimes harsh, sometimes bountiful realities of their new home. The word of God was preached vigorously in churches and open-air tents pitched at the edge of their towns. Men and women gathered in large groups and were overwhelmed by a new understanding of faith, finding glory in an immediate, personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. The community and dedication that resulted from this religious fervor became the basis of our idea of democracy and led directly to the fight for American Independence.
Yet during that time, there were many doubters of the Great Awakening. Entrenched leaders of the religious establishment and British colonial administrators considered the charismatic preachers of the day idolaters and charlatans. Their sermons were likened to medicine shows. These supposedly great men watched the dramatic changes happening around them and imagined, quite simplistically, hucksters making quick sales of spiritual tonic. Imagine what would have happened had these leaders successfully suppressed the public’s newfound passion for Christ…
Something quite similar is happening today in the United States. As Christians step forward and proclaim their faith, they become the targets of mockery. Look at how the liberal media handled Glenn Beck’s march on Washington, D.C. Look at how they attack Governor Sarah Palin’s spirituality. Yet there are groups like Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and yes, even Christwire, here to say that the grubby little men behind these once-famous news organizations have lost touch with reality. There is an unbreachable divide between those who comprehend the passion of the Tea Party and those who do not. There is a great philosophical difference between those who put their loving faith behind traditional values and those who want to throw all that away for indulgence and sexual experimentation.
The liberal left has a deep bag of dirty tricks to dig in to. They may point to James Hartline’s ministry and call him insane. They’ll label Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, a secret homosexual. They will attempt to silence brave people like Dr. Laura Schlessinger because she speaks openly about modern morality. They will picket and hack the websites of Maggie Gallagher or Dr. James Dobson because they fear the power of their Christian messages. They will even go so far as to call something beyond their comprehension “satire” and “Poe’s Law.”
No, Christwire is not satire. If you want to understand what satire is, you need only look at the fraudulent website unscrupulously labelled, “Landover Baptist Church.” As I have written,
Much like the liberals who infiltrated Tea Party rallies so they could be photographed holding up offensively racist signs, Landover Baptist’s purpose is to mock American values from within the hive. They also aren’t shy about cashing in on people’s shock and disgust while they’re at it. Ultimately, this website has nothing redeeming about it. It’s simply there to promote an open hatred of Christians while simultaneously subverting any possibility of honest dialogue in this country.
I cannot begin to understand what lies behind the minds of men like Bryan Butvidas, Kirwin Watson and Mark Oppenheimer. If maybe one of them had contacted me or any of the other representatives of Christwire, we would have set them straight. Maybe they hoped to profit by strong-arming their way into this site. Maybe they hatched some illicit advertising scheme and wanted to cash in. Maybe they are addicted to publicity, like the dimwitted and lonely men who confess to crimes they did not commit. Could this whole blowup be the result of a pharmaceutical insufficiency or a pharmaceutical overindulgence? Looking at the photographs of these two online does make one wonder about mental health. There is also a chance that they are nothing more than highly-placed atheists seeking to discredit established Christian moralism. I would be remiss if I did not also consider the possibility that these hucksters have indeed contributed to Christwire in the past. They could be part of that ever revolving flock of hoodlums who try to pawn off fake stories on this website for their insipid and self-indulgent pleasures. Whoever they are, they are welcome here no more.
As for Mr. Oppenheimer, it is clear from his work at the New York Times and his memoir, “Wisenheimer, A Childhood Subject to Debate” that he has far more faith in his own intelligence than in anything else around him. There is much I could write about such a man but there is an old poem that will suffice. If you are reading this Mr. Oppenheimer, I can only pray that you comprehend the necessity of my message.
Hans, there are moments when the whole mind
Resolves into a pair of brimming eyes, or lips
Parting to drink from the deep spring of a death
That freshness they do not yet need to understand.
These are the moments, if ever, an angel steps
Into the mind, as kings into the dress
Of a poor goatherd, for their acts of charity.
There are moments when speech is but a mouth pressed
Lightly and humbly against the angel’s hand.
– James Merrill, 1959
To each and every one of our friends, I ask you to pray with us for the future of Christwire. We have found the most wondrous pleasure sharing faith with you and we can only hope that you find some joy in visiting us. We are here for you, no matter what ails you or how far off you have wandered. We love you more deeply that you can ever understand and will never give that up, no matter what challenges the future throws our way. Let us embrace you, do not be afraid.