Yesterday I assumed the role of John 3:16 for the US Department of Art and technology for the ongoing series America on the Brink: A Season In Hell. We traveled to Lynchburg, VA to witness the 50th anniversary of Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church and the accompanying festivities at Liberty University.
Our documentation began at Rubs, a biker bar in town, where we were able to interview Pastor Steve Diaz of Iron Horse Ministries about his mission to build a bridge between bikers and Christians, bringing bikers who accept jesus Christ into their hearts closer to the church, and bringin Christians closer to their fait by being able to accept bikers.
He then talked about the United States as a Christian nation, and unifying the United States under Christ.
At the rally, Thunder on the Mountain, at the Liberty University stadium, we watched the bikers circle the track, showing off their steally pride, rubber side down. they revved their engines and smiled with pride and the love of Christ. Before they took to the field I heard one of the choir members of teh Thomas Road Baptist Church remark with fear that the reserved seats she wanted to sit next to were reserved for the bikers. "I don't want to tangle with them. They scare me. Maybe if enough of us sit in their reserved seats they won't feel welcome to sit here."
We wandered the grounds scattered with signs supporting George Allen and voting 4 marriage between one man and one woman.
The field alongside the newly erected 1,000,000 square foot church had an *awe*some display of flags waving in the wind, one for each fallen soldier in Iraq, and resting in the morning shadow of a flag typically flown above a pancake house.
A separate interview with a casual bystander yielded the remark about the return to a Christian nation "as our founding fathers intended."
What does that mean?
If the US were to become a Christian Nation, does that mean all citizens have to accept Christ as their personal savior? Does it mean that all citizens must acknowledge the trinity? What happens to those who do not?
The evangelists express concern for those who will be "left behind." But how will the evangelists persuade those who do not believe? Will the non-believers be shunned? Turned away? Will they be persecuted for their lack of belief and prohibited from jobs, education, health care, or property? What are the consequences? And should all confess belief, what truth and value is there in forced attrition?
Based on the reaction of the woman afraid of Christian bikers, what will the dress code be? Will we be prohibited from long hair, torn jeans, t-shirts and dirty faces tanned by the sun, stained by the wind rushing by at 65, the crunch of asphalt, or the splat of a junebug?