2005-09-28

Al Mohler's Celebrity Blog

I really should set up a new category for my blogs to cope with all the anti-Mohler posts I have made.

I was just looking at Al Mohler's blog for today, entitled "The Politicized University and its Future". It's the standard piece of clap-trap that you'd expect from a Republican media outlet.

Except that Al Mohler is NOT a Republican media outlet... not officially at least.

If you read the article in question, it is a standard lament about how America's universities are hotbeds of political liberalism and how they discriminate against ordinary Americans. That's the way Mohler puts it, although a more harsh way would be to say "Conservative Republicans have taken over the Presidency and Congress, and we're working very hard on the Judiciary. Why can't we get Republicans into academic jobs at universities? These liberals must really hate America!"

There are two things that I'd like to say about this.

The first is that university-educated people world-wide tend to be more liberal in their political views, while those who do not have university education are more likely to have simpler, more conservative beliefs. There is actually a causal link between education and liberalism, and it is not because the liberals have taken over education - it's because education produces liberalism.

I went to university between 1996 and 2000. I was aged 27 when I first went in and I was already fairly conservative when I went to my first lecture. Strangely enough I was still conservative when I left in 2000. I had wonderful relationships with liberal professors and appreciated their intellect and arguments. Nevertheless, having studied English Literature and modern Cultural studies, I came to the inevitable conclusion that postmodernism, relativism and the "Death of the Author" were intellectual dead ends with no real use in real life. I still managed to get decent grades though.

Now in 2005, I am probably more "liberal" than I ever have been. But I still reject Postmodernism and all the ideological hooey I learned at uni. Moreover I still hold to Sola scriptura and other stuff that makes me very much a Christian Conservative. Nevertheless I do NOT hold onto right-wing economics as though it has been handed down to us from Mount Sinai. Way too many American Christians are now hung-up on things like the size of government, welfare spending and personal liberty - mantras of the political right, but not of Christianity.

If you're a Christian and you vote Republican because you believe that the best thing for America is for limited government, lower welfare spending and all the other guff that Republicans go on about - fine. Knock yourself out and vote accordingly. But don't try to argue with me that this political stance is Biblical. It is not. I'm not saying that Scripture denies right-wing economics - but I'm not saying that it supports it either. In other words, economic policy is not something that can be determined by Scripture.

When it comes to economics, I'm fairly socialist. I believe in big government, big welfare spending and big taxes to pay for it. I can even find places in Scripture where such an economic model is not inconsistent with God's revealed truth. However I will stop well short of declaring socialism as being God's economic plan for mankind, or that the Bible explicity supports it. The Bible doesn't support Socialism, but doesn't deny it either.

Which brings the discussion back to our mutual best friend Al. Al did lots of good things in the past but he seems to have lost his Bible somewhere. Apart from his papal declarations about how consuming alcohol is sinful, Al has now become a tool of the right. He has become a Republican stooge and is now spending all his time waging the culture war with weapons not found in scripture. He does this to his detriment for he, like James Dobson, is beginning to ignore the gospel.

All this leads me eventually to my second point - and the title of this article. With Mohler now a Republican culture-war celebrity, does he really have time to devote to his own blog? With his traipsing around the countryside doing Rove-knows-what, I suspect that another hand is typing on the Al Mohler keyboard.

When the blogging thang begun to be reported 2-3 years ago, many Hollywood celebrities began to indulge in their own online banter. Partly inspired by the example of recovering ex-trek actor Wil Wheaton, some Hollywood celebs begun to post their daily lives (10am got up, 11am read script, 12pm ran out of meth, 1pm lunch with agent, 2pm bought meth from dealer, 3pm read more scripts, etc) - except of course that many of these celebs couldn't really spare the time doing it themselves (and probably couldn't write either) - so they paid others to do so.

I'm of the opinion that Al has someone else writing his blog - an articulate Republican Christian most likely. Al probably gets an email from him/her once a week where he reads through "his" blogs and then approves some and rejects others. So in a sense, Al is responsible for them, even though he's not writing them. Once in a while he might choose to write his own article just because its easier to write about weighty matters than to get someone else to do it. If anyone out there is experienced in Redaction criticism, you could probably work out which blogs were his and which were the final editors.

If you think I'm cynical - you're right. I'd really like Al to surprise me one day. I'd really like him to come out and say something like "I think invading Iraq was a mistake", or "I feel I can't trust President Bush any more" - in other words, expressions of his mind that do not fit the Republican boilerplate, but are still expressions of his personal political views. There are, after all, plenty of Conservative Republicans out there who are not impressed with the current Bush administration. Is it so difficult for Al to actually express what he honestly believes rather than regurgitating the standard right-wing mush?

As it stands, the stuff coming out of his blog may as well be called propaganda. This does nothing for Al, does nothing to help the Republican party and, much worse, does nothing to help the spread of The Gospel.


From the Theosalient Department

© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

7 comments:

AVultures Writes said...

As far as university anti-Christian trends, I tend to see the Church as taking two positions.

(1) Isn't it horrible how liberal and unchristian our universities are? It's an outrage, and represents some vague sort of evil leftist conspiracy.

(2) All Christians: stay away from academia. It's liberal and evil.

It's interesting the relationships that can be drawn between the two facts...


Good article, though. It's always sad to see someone give into the common culture (and particularly **shudder** evangelical culture) at the expense of truth.

One Salient Oversight said...

There is no doubt that Christians who become educated may undergo a crisis of faith as they come up against secular philosophies.

Nevertheless I think it is important for Christians to go to secular universities and learn, rather than put themselves into little isolated communities.

One thing is for certain for me - my university degree has helped me to use my intellect better to serve God.

Paul W said...

"There is no doubt that Christians who become educated may undergo a crisis of faith as they come up against secular philosophies."

That was my experience coming up against sociology and biblical, theological and religious studies in the "secular" university. But I've come out the other end a far better Christian thinker.

By the way, your probably do need a category in your blog for all your posts on Al :-). You certainly don't mind taking on big fish.

jettybetty said...

I pretty much agree with where I think you are going here.

I am with you for sure that just because universities tend to be liberal, does not for one minute mean I shouldn't attend one. Sure some students will leave with *less* faith, but many will have stronger faith.

I have no idea what I am any more, I usually say I am a liberal conservative--no idealolgy really fits where I am. So, sometimes I just declare myself wierd.

JB

Chestertonian Rambler said...

Sorry if I was misunderstood above (as AVultures Writes). I am heading towards a secular PhD in English Literature, and consider such a career to be greatly glorifying to God.

I was just trying to point out the inconsistency that most Christians complain about how antichristian academia is and yet don't realize that it won't make the problem any better if all Christians avoid academia.

One Salient Oversight said...

Chesty Rambo,

What a great opportunity you have! I hope you thoroughly enjoy it. My BA was a dual major in English Literature and Modern History.

Where are you doing your PhD? What is yoru subject?

Chestertonian Rambler said...

When I say "heading towards," I mean "collating information for grad school application."

Generally, I'm leaning strongly towards Medieval literature. I suppose it's rather natural for someone who grew up reading Lewis and Tolkien, and whose favorite author is G. K. Chesterton.

What did you study?