Mailbag — Gary Glenn meets Bret McAtee

Recently Gary Glenn, President of Don Wildmon’s Michigan Chapter of the ‘American Family Association’, wrote in response to my article posted on It seems Mr. Glenn took exception to my pointing out the faults of Huckster Huckabee. Below I have reproduced Mr. Glenn’s letter interspersed with my comments as to where Mr. Glenn is in error.

Gary Glenn, President of American Family Association – Michigan, writes,

Given the current direction of the campaign, we both may well have to comfort ourselves with that knowledge (that God often uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines), since your candidate has no chance of being elected or even winning the GOP nomination and mine has a much better though still uphill course to climb.

Bret Responds,

Here we see the problem that we see so often among our Christian friends and that is the imbibing of rank pragmatism. Mr. Glenn supports Huckabee because he has a ‘much better chance of winning.’ Mr. Glenn and people like him (and I have dialogued with legions of them) hold as gospel truth whatever is considered conventional wisdom. Mr. Glenn doesn’t pause to consider that perhaps one reason that there is a perception that Congressman Paul doesn’t have a chance of being elected is that people like him, in leadership positions, keep going around saying that ‘Ron Paul has no chance of winning.’ Secondly, would a principled person quit supporting what is right all because that which is right has no chance of winning? Has the Church become so pragmatic that we will base our allegiance on how likely it is that someone will win? By that standard we would not have supported Daniel’s three friends in their contest with Nebuchadnezzar, Washington in Valley Forge, the Texans at the Alamo, or any number of perceived hopeless causes. Thirdly, the kind of money that Ron Paul has raised indicates that Paul has a winnable message but one of the biggest obstacles is people concluding, because of the mainstream media, that they will not support that winnable message because it has no chance of winning. I have never been able to understand this kind of reasoning coming from people who should know better.

Gary Glenn writes,

God is of course as capable of using Huckabee to draw a straight line as He is Ron Paul, should He so choose. Which may be the easiest explanation of why some feel called as I do, to support Huckabee, while others feel called, as you do, to support Paul. I assume you don’t go so far as to suggest that the only legitimate calling is to support the guy who disputes something as fundamental as the Bible’s definition of sin, though apparently (and remarkably) you do go so far — by your use of quote marks around the word “Christian” — to question the faith of anyone who supports Huckabee.

Bret responds,

God is capable of using Joseph Stalin to draw straight lines but that doesn’t mean that we should support Joseph Stalin. I have gladly admitted that Congressman Paul is not a perfect candidate but the difference between my candidate’s imperfections and your candidate’s imperfections is that your candidate wants to cure a few symptoms while leaving the disease in place while the candidate that Biblical Christians should support wants to cure the disease while not having a full appreciation for how deadly some of the symptoms are. You’re problem Mr. Glenn, is while you are full of good intentions you do not seem to realize the difference between symptom and disease. You are supporting the candidate that wants to cure some of the symptoms but who will leave the disease of Governmental Gigantism in place. You want to cut off a few of the snakes from Medusa’s head without realizing that in order to kill Medusa you must cut off her head.

Now, I do go so far as to suggest that no Christian who is thinking Biblically can support Huckabee for the reasons that I have given elsewhere. Now, I have no doubt that there are hundreds of thousands of Christians out there who are indeed Christian and who support any number of Liberal Statist candidates. This reveals what a woeful job the Church has done in teaching people what it means to think Biblically. A right thinking Biblical Christian can not vote for a candidate who has resolved to support and enlarge the idol that is the State. You see Mr. Glenn the biggest threat to Christians is to support a Theology that is contrary to their own Theology. Our Theology teaches that God is sovereign and brooks no Idols. The Theology of America today teaches that the State is sovereign and brooks no competition. With your support of candidates like Huckabee you are supporting the one Theology that represents the main opposition to the God of the Bible that we find in our culture today. Ron Paul is grossly mistaken in his estimation of Homosexuality. It is pitiful that he has the opinion that he has on that issue. But at the end of the day Ron Paul wants to topple the Idol that is the chief competitor for the hearts and souls of God’s people and Mike Huckabee wants to prop up that idol. So, I do go so far as to suggest that the only legitimate calling is to support the guy (Ron Paul) who ignorantly disputes something as fundamental as the Bible’s definition of sin on the issue of homosexuality. Besides, to you really think Mike is going to change the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy we now have?

Gary Glenn – President of Wildmon’s Michigan chapter of AFA,

I could just as easily observe — since it’s true — that your continued support of Paul will have no effect on the actual outcome of the nomination except to make it more likely that the most liberal of the remaining candidates will be nominated, though I do not disdain using the platform of a presidential campaign to preach correct principles and in general, wholeheartedly agree with the broader message of limited Constitutional government.

Bret responds,

Yeah, you agree in general, wholeheartedly, with the broader message of limited Constitutional government but you refuse to support it in particular opting instead to support a man who doesn’t support the message of limited Constitutional government. Which is it Mr. Glenn. You can’t have it both ways.

Second, Mr. Glenn you continue to show that is not Christianity that you practice but good old American Pragmatism of the William James type. You are basically arguing here that a vote for Ron Paul is a vote for a liberal since that vote will help the liberal win. Look, bottom line here Gary is that I am not responsible for the results, as that is God’s domain. My domain is to do what is right before God and heaven and let the chips fall where they will. Your reasoning is basically situational ethics dressed up in pious garb. Let us do evil in this situation, (voting for a Liberal Statist candidate) even though God says not to (Thou Shalt Have No Other God’s Before Me – That includes the State Gary), all the while rationalizing that King Jesus will find your vote acceptable because it was the pragmatic thing to do.

In the end you are practicing what is called a teleological ethic while I am practicing a ontological ethic. We are just not going to agree on your pragmatism.

Gary Glenn,

Among the candidates who do actually have a plausible chance of winning the GOP nomination, we have:

• the former governor who speaks falsehoods even about his own life story and who every other time he’s run for office was just as passionately for abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, and gun control as he claims to be against them now.

Bret responds,

Yep, can’t vote for the Mormon guy with a clear conscience since he is a neo-con Statist along with ‘W.’

Gary Glenn,

• the quarter-century Washington insider who voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment (as Ron Paul did) and thinks we should spend federal tax dollars to create and then destroy human embryos.

Bret Responds,

McCain has far more problems then the two you cite. There is McCain-Feingold that violates the first amendment. There is his pushing of the global agenda through amnesty for illegal immigrants. There is his McCain-Lieberman Stewardship act that is redux Kyoto and leads to more power being centralized in the State. There is his opposition to tax cuts. I think McCain is more of a Democrat than a Neo-con.

Oh, and for the record, Paul voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment because he doesn’t think that is the Federal Governments business. Paul would leave it to the States and here it is important to keep in mind that this country went a long time without any notion of State sanctioned marriage licenses and it is a completely open question whether the State has any business at all sanctioning Marriage. Why not leave that in the Sphere of the Church? After all it is God that instituted marriage and not the State.

Gary Glenn,

• the former mayor who supports abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, and gun control and whose image will be plastered all over the Arab street wearing ruby red lipstick, a blonde wig, and fake breasts.

Bret Responds,

Yep, Rudy can’t be somebody a Christian would vote for because of his big Statist aspirations.

Gary Glenn,

• the former senator who thinks that if New York or any other state wants to allow abortion on demand or legalize so-called homosexual “marriage,” that’s just fine.


Actually Fred Thompson’s is no conservative. He just plays one on TV and when he is campaigning. He is as much as a big government neo-con as the rest of them.

Gary Glenn,

• And the former president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention who, all else aside, does not shrink from Biblical truth on the cultural issues that threaten both life and the foundational unit of civilization itself.

Bret responds,

Boy, Huckabee sure as you snookered. Did you look at those links I sent you that explicitly lay out his pro-big government tendencies? The basic Biblical truth we have to keep our eye on is that the State is not God. When I look at Huckabee’s record I see much that suggests that he believes that the State should be aggrandizing power to itself. Remember it is the ongoing centralization of power in Washington that is our chief problem as Christians.

Gary Glenn,

Seems to me that there’s virtue in trying to actually influence which of those five candidates ends up being nominated, rather than support a candidate who (1) rejects Biblical truth and (2) has no chance of being nominated.

Bret responds,

Gary, did you see Mike interviewed on the Charlie Rose show where he admitted that he didn’t know if Scripture were true? It sounds to me like Mike has a problem rejecting Scripture also, but Mike is gifted at hiding how obvious that rejection is. Also there is Mike’s rejection of the 1st commandment to have no other God’s before God. It can be seen that Mike rejects that because of his reluctance to limit the State in its continued aspiration to be God walking on the earth.

Gary Glenn,

I do dispute the obvious suggestion of your “open letter” that anyone who believes differently is a mindless lemming whose faith in Christ itself is questionable. But I’m sure I don’t feel any more strongly about that than you would if I suggested that your faith is suspect because you knowingly support the candidate who flatly rejects Biblical truth.

Bret responds,

As I said earlier, I don’t doubt that hundreds of thousands of genuine Christians will vote in an unbiblical fashion. I do doubt that they can square their vote with the teaching of Scripture. A vote for Mike Huckabee can not be squared with the 1st commandment. Any candidate that is not insisting that Government must be decentralized and defanged is advocating that the Government continue to challenge God’s sovereignty.

Gary Glenn – President of Wildmon’s Michigan chapter of AFA,

The last thing we need is a president who would use the bully pulpit of the presidency to preach moral relativism on the issues of abortion and homosexuality, which is what we would get by electing Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama…or Ron Paul. I’ll take my chances supporting the candidate who, if elected, would use the bully pulpit to combat rather than advance the moral decay which poses the greatest threat to make impotent our ability to ever cast off the chains of the State.

Bret responds,

Gary, you are well intentioned but keep in mind that good intentions pave the road to hell. Moral decay cannot be arrested by the State when it is rampant in the Church. You are looking to the wrong sphere to check the inroads of moral decay. Moral decay exists because the Church will not discipline its errant members. Moral decay exists because fathers have given up their responsibility to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Moral decay will not be fixed by the State but by the Gospel being promiscuously preached in the Church and lived out and taught in family life. I agree that Moral decay is a problem but I don’t agree that the State is where we begin to find the solution. You are looking for the Sword to accomplish what only the Keys and the Rod can do.

In the end you are a moralist Gary, and that certainly has its place, but what you fail to realize is that you are spinning your wheels trying to fix a million symptoms when you would be better served by curing the disease. The disease is the Federal State’s tendency to want to play God. Remove that diseases and the symptoms will take care of themselves.

Which is why I insist that right thinking Christians should be voting Ron Paul.

What it takes to attract the Christian vote

“I’m confident, in South Carolina, we will get our share of social conservative voters because of their fear of radical Islamic extremism, because of their belief in our biblical obligation to stewardship of our planet, and three, their belief in our biblical obligation to maintain the integrity and security of the state of Israel.”

John McCain trolling for votes in South Carolina

So this is what the Christian vote boils down to?

1.) We are scared of Muslim extremism

Which allows all candidates to conclude that they therefore may wage eternal war for possible peace thus extending Empire and building up the power of the State since it alone can save us from the scary Muslims. All of this with Christian consent.

2.) We believe in global stewardship

Which allows all candidates to conclude that they therefore may embrace the psuedo-science that teaches global warming which in turn allows them to give the State even more authority as it alone can save the planet.

3.) We believe in Israel

Absolutely, we must get all those Jews back to their homeland so the great Anti-Christ can arise and kill off 2/3 of the Jewish population. Supporting Israel will eventually trigger God’s eschatological plans and cause God to hit the ‘rapture button’ thus giving all us village idiots (um, er… I mean Christians) a way out of here before the world gets really bad.

I wonder if it is ok to be a Christian if you support a policy of dis-engaged containment regarding extreme muslims, think global warming is not about science but about Statist managed globalism, and think Israel as a Nation State is completely irrelevant to end times?

From the Mailbag

In a post written on 1/11/08 and titled “Huckabee, the Liberal Statist” I wrote,

Pastor Bret — “Mark, I thought your Dad would have taught you that it is wrong for the Government to create make work jobs. Public teaching is nothing but a government works project. If Governor Huckabee was Christian he would have, at the very least, encouraged parents to pull their children out of government schools instead of helping to perpetuate and bolster them by stealing from some people in order to give money to school teachers who are teaching our children with a anti-Christ theology. Increasing pagan teacher’s salaries is no Biblical reason for picking somebody’s pocket through increased taxation Mark.

Taking exception to my views Tilly Stephenson left a comment,

As a Christian teacher in a public school who tries to be salt and light in a hostile place, I thank you for calling me a “pagan” who teaches an “anti-Christ” message.

I bring direct attention to this Tilly because this is an important issue for Christians to consider.

First, allow me to thank you for trying to be salt and light in a public school.

Second, in being salt and light do you teach your students in class how the Lordship of Christ affects your discipline? After all even something like Mathematics has been shown to be dependent upon a Christian World and life view. Similarly it would be easy to show how a Christian World and life view accounts for Science and how it alone can make sense of any of the humanities. If teaching the humanities (let’s pretend you teach social studies) have you taught your students how a Christian does social studies is 180 degrees different from how a non-Christian does social studies? Have you taught your students from the front of the classroom, as teacher, how it is that it is only the Lordship of Christ as set forth in a Biblical Worldview that can rightly make sense of all reality? Or is it the case that you go about teaching your discipline without saying anything at all about how pursuit of the discipline will glorify God when done in submission to His Word? It seems to me that you can only make a strong case for being salt and light in the government schools if indeed you are publicly pressing for the Crown Rights of King Jesus in your classroom, helping your students to think like Christians.

In a government school, I don’t know how you could explicitly do that and I am not sure how it is possible to implicitly do that. What our Christian children need is not simply more modeling on how to be nice but they must be taught to think as Christians and what it means to have a Christian World and life view and not the World and life view that the Government schools are officially committed to. If you are not teaching them that then you are, at the very least, acting like a pagan, teaching an anti-Christ message.

There is no area of academic study that does not call Christ Lord. Every field of endeavor should be taught with explicitly Christian presuppositions and the students should be exposed to what their discipline looks like if done from a non-Christian worldview. They should be taught to understand the false worldveiws in the discipline you teach and then counter them by being able to point out their contradictions.

Have you taught your children the components of a Worldview? Have you taught your students how all disciplines are dependent upon some kind of Theological presuppositions that drive the worldview and the discipline in question? Have you taught your students to identify those presuppositions when they come across them in the different academic disciplines? Have you taught the students, not what to think but rather how to think?

Look, Tilly, I love that teachers are trying to be salt and light but if they don’t do the kind of things that I have briefly laid out here I don’t know how they can contend they are trying to be salt and light, and if they do do the things I insist is the very essence of being salt and light, I don’t know how they could keep their Government make-work job. If a teacher did even a portion of what I have suggested here the State would descend on that teacher like farm cats on a leaky cow teat.

Further Tilly, we haven’t even talked about the educational training that teachers get and how they end up imbibing a Worldview that is alien to Christianity without even knowing it and who then turn around and feed that Worldview to the students they are teaching.

No, I suspect that the best that government school teachers can do in order to be salt and light in the schools is to be underground saboteurs and subversives within the system, working to give the beast they are working for a bellyache that it can never recover from.

Tilly, it is my conviction, (and legion is the name of those who disagree with me) that the best thing that could happen to this country is for the Government schools to close shop. Anything that Biblical Christians do to support this behemoth only serves to prolong Reformation and awakening.

Thanks for writing and if we can continue this dialouge in such a way that I can better articulate my concerns and so help you understand me please write back.

Further understanding on the truth of my italicized statement above can be found by reading,

The Messianic Character Of American Education
The Cloning Of The American Mind
The Underground History Of American Education
Teaching as a conserving activity
None Dare Call This Education
The Closing of the American Mind
Is Public Education Necessary
Education, Christianity & the State

Culture Defined

Culture is the outward manifestation of a people’s inward beliefs.

Culture is Theology incarnated.

Because the above is true culture is never neutral. Culture descends from and is reflecting some God or god concept. Cultures are hopelessly religious. Christians thus living in cultures that are not particularly Christian will therefore have a difficult time fitting into their culture.