John Fea: Shot by Culture Warriors

I ran across this story about John Fea this morning and I find it truly disturbing. Fea is a history professor and Department Chair at Messiah College who recently made the cardinal sin of saying something positive about Barrack Obama. Fea wrote an article for Patheos.com that both points to Obama’s explicitly Christian rhetoric and criticized him for failing to follow through on some of his faith-based promises from the 2008 campaign. That article was then discovered and written about on Glen Beck‘s ‘The Blaze‘. The part of the article that really set people off was when Fea wrote:

Obama may be the most explicitly Christian president in American history. If we analyze his language in the same way that historians examine the religious language of the Founding Fathers or even George W. Bush, we will find that Obama’s piety, use of the Bible, and references to Christian faith and theology put most other American presidents to shame on this front. I think there may be good reasons why some people will not vote for Obama in November, but his commitment to Christianity is not one of them.

In Fea’s response to the firestorm, he wrote:

When I awoke this morning I had dozens of angry e-mails.  The voice-mail on my office phone was filled with nasty attacks.  The Blaze currently has 800+ comments and the originally piece at Patheos has about 160….  In the last 24 hours I have been called a lot of names.  I have been compared to Hitler, Louis Farrakhan, and Woodrow Wilson (yes, you read that last one correctly).  Several expressed wishes that I be cast into perdition.  A few demanded that the administration at the college where I teach fire me immediately.

Here are just a few samples of comments I pulled off the Blaze:

  • Either the Professor was paid enormously or he has been fooled by the devil!
  • Muslim groups and organizations have infiltrated our culture, seeking to establish Sharia (Islamic Law) across our great nation. With the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President, our political leadership has installed Muslims in powerful and key positions across the federal government.
  • Are you kidding me? I think someone is looking for stimulus money.
  • Evil is suductive. [sic] Obama is suductive. [sic]
  • Obama and this professor are both frauds!
  •  this Self Proclaimed Christian Professor is full of crap.
  • Yeah, right professor! How much did the OBAMMY Admin. pay you to lie like a dog?
  • As a Messiah graduate, I hang my head in shame.
  • Maybe that statement was meant to be a satire. I can’t believe anyone can be that dumb.
  • Well since a typical communist professor (don’t care what college-if he’s spreading such propaganda he’s a communist) said it, it must be true. What an absolute crock of propaganda. No true Christian would be fooled by this.
  • A wolf in sheeps clothing is still a WOLF!
  • Gimme a break, seriously, is there no end to the crap these vile ill informed pinheads will spew?
  • Holy Freak – this guy is smokin crack – He must want something from Obama because there is no way Obama is anything but a heretic.
  • Wow! What flavor kool-aid is that moron drinking?
  • Obama’s goal is to destroy any and all resistance within his Kingdom!!!! DON’T DOUBT IT !!!!! Websters new definition of EVIL= OBAMA
  • This guy does not fear God! He works for the evil One. Whether he knows it or not!

Wow! And there are still 792 more comments on the Blaze not to mention the 186 comments on Patheos.com.

This vitriol is unbecoming of professing Christians. Is there any wonder that the world does not see the church as an extension of Christ’s love? One problem with war is that it produces collateral damage. Without proper discernment, Christians spray rapid-fire into the crowd, hitting anyone who does not stand perfectly beside them ideologically.


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  • I find this incredibly disturbing as well. Not necessarily WHAT these people said, but WHY they said these things. And the “why” is; one political party distorting the truth, and even making things up, just to empower their own party line, and then stating this misinformation as fact to a broad audience via cable news networks (yeah, I’m talking about Fox News duh!), all for the sake of the almighty dollar. And these poor recipients of this crap just eat it right up. I think it goes to show how desperate humans are to A) be absolutely “right” when it comes to their beliefs in politics/religion/whatever at any cost, and B) how badly people just HAVE to fit into a mold of some sort. Whether it’s a punker, a mountaineer, a bus driver, a Republican, a hippie, a nurse, an alcoholic, a soldier and on and on and on. When people try to be part of a mold, an identity that’s assumed and expected, they blind themselves to many other possibilities, and then don’t have the courage or strength to show humility when they are presented with a truth outside of what they previously perceived to be true. People just want to be right and enjoy the feeling of euphoria of being the “winner”.

    I wish more people of Faith were like you Rondall. I remember reading an article in a magazine a YEAR BEFORE 9/11, about how the Pope at that time was getting a bunch of crap from people for saying something along the lines of “It’s time for Christian and Muslims to put aside differences and build a more positive relationship etc etc”. I just find it very weird that people would NOT want to get along with others. So what if you’re a different religion? Who gives a flying frak? You still have to wait behind me in line at the grocery store. You still have to finish pumping gas before I can move forward and put gas in my car. You still have to get your kids ready for school in the morning. You still have to go to your crappy job. You still watch the same garbage on tv as everyone else.

    I could rant all week, but I should stop for now. Back on topic!

    So, as a Christian, where and how do you think things went wrong in order for people to behave in this manner? And what’s the solution?

    • Wow! Sorry for taking so long to get back to this. It is amazing how fast time flies if I am not forcing myself to blog.

      Thank you for the nice words. I do really appreciate it.

      I think the problem is that we are human. :) We all want to be write and we all want to be better than others. The solution, from my perspective, is the Gospel. The Gospel tells us that we are broken but incredibly valuable to God. Christ came to rescue a lost and broken people. He didn’t come to condemn us because or brokenness has already condemned us. If we keep that in mind why would we not show love to others? And what about that makes us think we are better than others. Pride and hate are the opposite of the Gospel. The problem is that so many people use religion as a cover for their pride and hate.

      • No worries! I know you’re a busy person with family/career/school etc etc. Glad to see you on here, always look forward to your posts!

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