Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center, so that apparently makes him a part of the Religious Right, even if we have never heard of him. But apparently he has heard of us and is concerned that all of the right-wing disarray and infighting is making our jobs easier:
The election of 2004 taught the Left in America an important lesson. A unified Christian conservative base means big wins for the political Right. To make sure they don’t suffer the agony of defeat again the Left launched a campaign to confuse and divide Evangelicals by minimizing the core social issues that have long kept us unified. By elevating environmental issues and overplaying the plight of those who suffer from injustice, Leftist leaders hoped to cause division in the Christian conservative base and thus neutralize one of the largest conservative voting blocks in the country.
We can expect no less from the likes of MoveOn.org or People for the American Way. But we certainly should not be guilty of making it easier for them to reach their goal by doing their work for them. In football, one of the most frustrating events is when your team coughs up the ball at a critical moment giving possession to the other team. The frustration is multiplied if the fumble comes at a critical point in the game where a shift in momentum could lead to the defeat of your team.
Beam goes out of his way not to criticize James Dobson for trying to place the kiss of death on Fred Thompson, but does criticize a “good friend” of his who did dare to criticize Dobson. But mostly, Beam is troubled that all this airing of their dirty laundry in public is threatening them with the “complete loss of our influence in the political arena”:
There has been quite a bit of ink spilled in response to Dobson’s comments. A good friend of mine who I respect very much wrote an op-ed piece which called his remarks a “cheap shot” and he went on to suggest that his the comments were “less than smart.” With all due respect to my friend what is “less than smart” is for the Evangelical community to begin to turn on each other at the precise moment in history when unity is the only thing that will save us from the complete loss of our influence in the political arena. The culture war must be fought in the market place of ideas and the political arena is where we decide whose ideas will ultimately be backed by the force of law. There should be no energy spent venting our in- house disagreements in the public square.
The Right’s fear of completely losing its influence in the political area is exactly what we have been suggesting is behind the current tumult, so it was nice of Beam to explicitly admit it.
Thanks for doing our work for us.