Now why does this bother me so much....

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 04:00 PM

There's going to be a Reclaiming America for Christ Conference in Fort Lauderdale on March 2-3, 2007.  Know who's going to be a speaker?  Barry Black, Chaplain for the U.S. Senate.  Now why does that bother me?

Well, some of the other speakers are "author Ann Coulter...Family Research Council president Tony Perkins...Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life; Dr. Frank Wright, President of the National Religious Broadcasters...Phyllis Schlafly, founder of Eagle Forum..."

Know what the topics of discussion are going to be?

Making America Safe for the Unborn
America's Christian Moral Heritage
Homosexuality and the Church
Reclaiming America Through Evangelism
The Battle to Defend Marriage
How to Recruit and Mobilize Your Pastor and Church
Communicating with Grassroots
Christian Worldview
Darwin's Deadly Legacy
Islam and "future jihad"

And, of course, the conference is going to be low key, emphasizing reasonableness and calm, right?  Maybe on some other planet:

"This event promises to be inspirationally rich, as attendees hear, one-by-one, from dynamic leaders about the task ahead for Christians," said Dr. Gary Cass. "We face an all-out war against immorality in our society. This event will provide Christians deep within the trenches with a welcome respite from the battle and fuel to carry on."

Conference sessions will offer training in Christian grassroots action and methods to mobilize churches on moral issues. Speakers will address such topics as same-sex "marriage," ethical and embryo-destructive stem cell research, the evolution/creation debate, pornography, religious liberty, and the threat of radical Islam.

The Christian action conference comes after a rash of recently published books, all harshly critical of evangelical involvement in American public life. The Christian Right Is Wrong; Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism; and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America are just a few of the titles churned out by publishers in recent months.  

"This conference gives the lie to these purple-prosed, scare-mongering accounts," said Cass. "Reclaiming America for Christ attendees are everyday God-loving, God-fearing people who seek the best for our country by a return to godly principles."

Yeah, it sure gives the lie to critics of Evangelicalism, who think that Evangelicals are extreme, overly zealous partisans who speak in hyperbole and see evil and doom everywhere.

But back to the Chaplain.  How in the hell is it okay for a man officially charged with ministering to the US Senate to be a speaker at this thing?  Forget about why an official branch of the US government has a chaplain; lets consider that reasonable under a Grandfather clause of tradition.

But good grief, the Senate chaplain is going to be a speaker at a conference that intends to discuss the attack on marriage?  To seriously address "Darwin's Deadly Legacy?"  "Christian Worldview" and "Reclaiming America?"

This is (a) sick; (b) completely inappropriate; and (c) guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of any person who believes that separation of church and state is a good & necessary thing for a healthy democracy.