Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is the NAE Becoming Like the NEA? Part 7

This is part 7 of a series of articles which I have written based on the December 2 (exactly 2 weeks ago today) interview of former official of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) on the NPR Fresh Air radio show. Richard Cizik resigned last Thursday, but I want to complete this series probing his public pronouncements about faith and virtue or the lack same.

In today’s article I will cover the priorities which Cizik espoused on behalf of the NAE. It is still a question as to what degree the NAE, itself, comports to Cizik’s liberal and secular humanistic view toward the issues. By his responses during the interview, Cizik deeply conformed to the world’s view of what was important. He lost sight of the things important to God. I suspect the whole NAE organization, likewise, has been so molded by the world.

CIZIK's (NAE’S?) PRIORITIES


Anticipating Barack Obama’s reign, Terri Gross asks Cizik what his priorities and plans will be post inauguration, “So what else is on your list of priorities now as the chief lobbyist of the National Association of Evangelicals? What are you looking forward to after January 20th?"

NUCLEAR TERRORISM & CLIMATE CHANGE

Cizik waxes ‘eloquent’ as he misguidedly responds, “Let me say that one of the bigger war and peace issues that I’m struggling with and attempting to find a role on is the threat of nuclear terrorism. A new report that just came out this week that said it’s greater and realer than we ever thought before. But I’m actually going to Paris to be part of unveiling a new movement called Global Zero, which is an attempt to understand that whereas the threat of nuclear weapons was a deterrent, and now it no longer is. In a world in which you have non-state actors who can potentially wield weapons of mass destruction, the mere possessions of weapons of mass destruction becomes morally problematic in ways unheard of before if this makes any sense.

"And so, therefore, this movement called Global Zero, supported by both John McCain and Barack Obama, will come forward I think in the next week and months ahead to communicate a strategy to begin to address this threat of nuclear terrorism. That’s one thing I want to be a part that I think is very important for evangelicals; after all, most would not make any connection but I’ve been with the NAE so long that I was on staff back when I actually proposed a letter to then President Ronald Reagan which became the evil empire speech to the National Association back in 1983. And while few remember it, that speech known for challenging the Soviet Union, included a line from the President advocating the abolition of all nuclear weapons. Most would not remember that, and yet it was true. It became a reality at Reykjavik in conversations that President had with the President of the former Soviet Union.

So, I happen to think this is one of the premier issues along with climate change that will impact the rest of life here on earth.

FINDING COMMON GROUND OR COMPROMISE?

Gross, repeating a theme, asks, “I do not want to put words in your mouth, but I think I have heard you say that you want to find, and you want your groups, the National Association of Evangelicals, to find some common ground with Obama and work with him. Is that going to be hard to convince a lot of your members to do?"

Cizik shamelessly, compromising, rationalizing, “Well, for those to whom all compromise is simply submitting, you see, to political correctness or whatever for them, it is going to be very hard. But for most evangelicals I don’t think so. After all, we believe, you see, that God is alive and real and He lifts up some and puts down others. And ultimately we have to say God is put this man in this position and it is our responsibility to pray for him, and to support him, and to work with him in whatever ways we can. It may require for some ‘bridging outward,’ – bridging outward, that’s Robert Putnam’s term—bridging outward to collaborate with Barack Obama to do what is right by so many different people who need the kinds of policies he’s espousing.

"That will be hard, yes, but should we do it? Yes. And will we hold him accountable when he happens to run against what we happen to think is right and good and proper and all the rest? We will do that, but we’ll do it in a nice way. And we’re not going to be, I think objectionable, in the way that we have been in the past, as I said, that led one Republican leader to call one of our members a bully and a thug. That’s not who we are."


STRAYING FROM THE TRUTH

Ironically, Cizik didn’t resign until last Thursday, until he took one last trip into liberal cause land. In the email correspondence I received on Friday from the NAE apparently Cizik wasn’t confronted sooner about his intolerable display of unbiblical positions, which he represented during the interview, because he was in Europe taking part in the Global Zero conference. Leith Anderson mentions in the NAE email in which he informed of the Cizik resignation, “because Richard traveled to a previously scheduled international conference in Europe shortly after the airing of the broadcast it was not possible to meet with him until his return.” It seems ironic that Cizik’s last official action was being one of 100 participants and signatoriesto Global Zero, which he mention during his interview, as one of his burning present and future priorities. Among the 100 international participants and signatories to that Global Zero conference attending along with Cizik included fellow liberals or socialists Presidents Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev, Sandy "stuffing secret documents in his pants to protect Bill Clinton" Berger, and Desmond Tutu. This was a part of Cizik’s problem, his priorities were messed up.

Another thing that stood out to me in the interview was the great compromises Cizik was willing to make. He did not point out any areas were he took issue with Obama. Nowhere did Cizik point out that Obama was wrong. It seems as though Cizik was an Obot, demonstrating a mindless machine-like devotion to the man who is one of the most radical supporters to abortion. Yet Cizik would seek to find common ground with a such man whose key principles and policies conflict with Biblical principles. Overall throughout the interview, Cizik’s positions were antithetical to Christianity. In order to get along and not be viewed as a fundamental nut-job I guess Cizik gave up any biblical convictions or principles he may have once held – most notably that of the sacredness and uniqueness of marriage and the God-given right to life that every human being has - even babies in the womb.

Journalist Bill Wilson said it best in his 12/14/08 Daily Jot article, where he provides an excellent, penetrating, and pointed assessment of Cizik, “He flirted with liberal causes considered by many to fly in the face of sound Christian doctrine , , , Global warming, homosexuality, illegal immigration, abortion and supporting candidates that were cross ways of Biblical standards marked the waning years of Cizik’s career with NAE.”

Tomorrow we will conclude our reporting and commentary on the Cizik-NPR affair.

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