Have you ever been on the losing side of a cultural debate? What do you do when your own intellect seems to be tapped? You know there are some better explanations out there, much more accurate and precise, but you don’t have time for that. You have to win this debate now. What do you do?
Of course, you credit the oppositions advances to a big nation-wide (or even international) “agenda.”
It seems to be developing into a new rule for debates, much like Godwin’s law. When you run out of information and cannot assail the statements of your opponent, scream “agenda” or “conspiracy” as loud as you can across the internet and hope that no one notices your lack of actual facts.
Many on the left today blame everything on some type of “vast right-wing conspiracy,” “Conservative agenda” or even better the vaguely racist “Neo-con agenda.” You will find website after website connecting all the dots between 9/11, the war in Iraq, Halliburton, Hurricane Katrina, Intelligent Design and George W. Bush’s senior prom date.
They have long sense left the world of reason and lunged into a realm of their own making where every word, every hand movement carries some hidden meaning waiting for them to discovery it.
While it is a staple of the left, another group who is guilty of using the “agenda card” in virtually every debate is unfortunately Christians.
Not a day goes by without some Christian referring to the “gay agenda,” “Hollywood agenda,” “mainstream media agenda,” or the “atheistic lefties who drink at Starbucks, while reading the New York Times agenda.”
While it is possible that each of those groups (with the possible exception of last one) do possess a cause or a mission, they do not come together for meetings to establish an organizational “agenda.”
It speaks very poorly for Christians that we cannot formulate a better argument for our beliefs than to say that those against us are part of an agenda, as if it negated their claims and bolstered ours simply by connecting them to some type of organizational agenda.
Intellectual laziness is not the only problem with the “agenda card.” What about those who do not fit in with the stereotypes expressed in the agendas? What do you do with gay people that vote Republican, conservative actors and media personality or the occassionaly Starbuck’s patron that is reading the Wall Street Journal opinion page?
If Christians want to communicate the Truth embodied by Jesus Christ, we must rid ourselves of the pathetic shortcuts we go after in the public debates. If Scripture is Truth, then it can withstand all onslaughts without Christians having to “defend” it by referring to an outside “agenda.” It merely strengthens the perception that the Bible is untrusthworthy when the only way we consistently defend it is to point out the opponents are following a “materialistic agenda.”
If it does nothing to further the cause of Christ or the inhert Truth claims of Christianity, then why do so many Christians resort to it? I believe we are lazy and do not want to confront our own issues.
It is much easier to blame a “gay agenda” for the decline of marriage, instead of stopping divorce within the Church. Why bother instilling Godly morals in our children, when we can simply point to a depraved Hollywood culture?
It would be too much work for us to actually have to study the Bible and see what it says or investigate the claims of other beliefs so we can talk with them about Christ. We would rather blame the lost for the shape the Church is in. That is so much easier.
Scripture promises that God will bring about the needed change only when “my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…” Then He is going to hear from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We seem to forget the “my people” part, but somehow find the “must stop the liberal agenda” part.