If you let culture make tolerance the preeminent virtue, pretty soon you won’t have anything else.
—George Marsden, University history professor and author of major book on fundamentalism (Christian History, issue 55, vol. XVI, no. 3, p 43)
The worst sin today is to say that you agree with the Christian faith and believe in the Bible, but then make common cause with those who deny the basic facts of Christianity. Never was it more obviously true that he that is not with Christ is against him.
—J. Gresham Machen, 1924 address, Moody Bible Institute (Christian Beacon, 1/17/57)
Within evangelical circles...is a growing infiltration of humanistic ideas...a growing acceptance of pluralism and accommodation. And what has been the response of the evangelical leadership? Overwhelmingly it has been to keep silent, to let the slide go further and further, to paper over the differences.
—Francis Schaeffer , The Great Evangelical Disaster, p 88
As I checked in for an outpatient test at a local hospital last week, the admissions lady...inquired, “What is your religious preference?” I was tempted...to repeat what Jonah said...“I am a Hebrew, ma’am. And I fear the Lord, the God of Heaven....” But that would surely have got me sent to psychiatry rather than X ray. So I desisted.
In ancient times, they asked, “Who is your God?” A generation ago, they asked your religion. Today your creed is a preference....
According to Chesterton, tolerance is the virtue of people who do not believe in anything....When it is believed that on your religion hangs the fate of your immortal soul, the Inquisition follows easily; when it is believed that religion is a breezy consumer preference, religious tolerance flourishes....After all, we don’t persecute people for their taste in cars. Why for their taste in gods?
Oddly, though, in our thoroughly secularized culture, there is one form of religious intolerance that does survive...the disdain bordering on contempt...[for] those for whom religion is not a preference but a conviction....
Every manner of political argument is ruled legitimate in our democratic discourse. But invoke the Bible as grounding for your politics, and the First Amendment police will charge you with breaching the sacred wall separating church and state....Call on Timothy Leary or Chairman Mao, fine. Call on St. Paul, and all hell breaks loose....
Associates of [ Hickman] Ewing [Whitewater prosecutor who has been called a “religious fanatic” by some] defend him thus: “His open Christian faith...is left at the prosecutorial door.” An interesting form of exoneration. Ewing is fit to carry out his judicial duties after all. Why? Because he allows none of his Christian faith to corrupt his working life.
—Charles Krauthammer, “Will it be coffee, tea or He? Religion was once a conviction. Now it is a taste” (Essay, Time, June 15, 1998)