Maher Plagiarizes! (Dan Does Too!)

1 09 2009

This is the United States of America and our Founding Fathers were smart guys, they knew with the kind of freedom America was to have there would be disagreements and so John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest put safeguards in place.

So the Founding Fathers created a venue in which two opposing sides could work out their points of view in full view of the population; that’s right, I’m talking about the bumper sticker. Okay, my history might be a little off, but this “Fundamentalist versus Secular” struggle has been going on for a while. Bill Maher, comedian, host of HBO’s “Real Time” and noted anti-Christian liberal monster once commented that he was only the latest in a long line of people who believe organized religion is a mass-psychosis.

Bill’s right, not necessarily about the psychosis part, but he IS just the latest, this modern era of Christian mistrust of media and public discourse dates back to the summer of 1925 and the famous tongue lashing that columnist H.L. Mencken gave to Fundamentalist Christians as he covered the Scopes Monkey Trial.

Mencken wrote in the Baltimore Evening Sun in July 27, 1925: “The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.”

Oh yeah, H.L., if you’re so smart why don’t you have a real first name? Huh?

Mencken churned out article after article and not all of it is as charitable. This gives you some idea of the genesis of “Liberal Media Elite.” No wonder believers chose to keep faith a more private matter. But in recent years, as expressions of faith in political life were warmly received by many, Christians in America began to step back into the public discourse … albeit with baby steps.

But stepping back into the conversation without losing sight of our true calling is the trick. Bill Maher has created an engaging persona and a successful career plagiarizing H.L. Mencken. But my job isn’t to try and be as smart as Bill and H.L.; it’s to plagiarize Jesus … and trust that God’s truth and grace will do the rest.

Excerpt from “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers” by Dan Merchant
© 2008 Dan Merchant, Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers

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