Counterfeit Salt - Who is Framing the Way You Think
Have you ever asked
yourself that question? That set of
beliefs that you hold, the principles that give direction to your
life - who is sharpening those for you? Who is framing the box in
which you find yourself? Have you ever watched someone lay
concrete? The mixture of sand, concrete, and water cannot become
a sidewalk without a box-like frame constructed to give the ooze
a chance to harden.
People are like that, too. Without a solid framework around
us, the knowledge that we acquire will ooze in all kinds of
different directions. In order to control the flow, we need a
framework, a box if you will, to give us shape. The more you
read, the more you listen, the more you ponder, the more the
concrete of your foundation begins to harden.
But it is not the concrete that shapes the sidewalk. No, it is
the frame. Who is framing the way you think?
I cut my political teeth on Rush Limbaugh. Like most
Americans, I really didn’t become interested in politics
and politicians until I was well into my thirties. When Rush
burst onto the scene in the late 1980’s America was ripe
for a rightward turn, and he became the purveyor of a new
political ideology, modern conservatism. A product of the hippie
generation, and recently born-again, I was drawn to the new-truth
that Rush was espousing. Rush Limbaugh, more than any other
American, has helped to steer the nation back to sanity.
Speaking of sanity, Sean Hannity burst onto the scene a few
years later. A fresh voice with all-American good looks, Sean
began to invade our living rooms nightly on the start-up Fox News
Channel. Full of enthusiasm and chanting the "Republican good,
Democrat bad mantra," he began to "Hannitize" America and helped
us focus our guns at the evil "liberals." "Conservative good,
liberal bad" became the second stanza of the song he sang in
galvanizing America’s rightward drift.
Enter the "No-spin zone" a safe haven for independent
thinkers, or so we were told. "We’re looking out for you"
was the tag-line upon which Bill O’Reilly hung his hat, and
by the millions we tuned in every night to hear Bill comment on
the problems of the day. Like a pressure value in a steam engine,
these three men took to the air-waves and provided a "venting
station" where average Americans let off steam. This triumvirate,
as much as anyone else, gave us President Bush and his new form
of government. "Compassionate conservatism" became the magic
carpet that carried President Bush into the White House.
Fast forward to 2006. The same Republican cheerleaders,
(O’Reilly claims to be independent), who greased the skids
for Bush’s magic carpet ride, today are the same voices
that pooper-scoop away the debris the Bush presidency has left on
the rug. Rush leads the pack with over 500 radio stations.
Hannity is no slouch with hundreds of stations and a nightly
nationally-broadcast TV show. O’Reilly is the darling of
Fox News Channel, and for three hours a day sits behind a
microphone and broadcasts his radio show all across America
sharing his spin on the news of the day. These three men dominate
the AM airwaves in most American cities. Invariably, if you are
having a conversation around the water-cooler at work, the names
of these three opinionators are sure to come up as well as a "Did
you hear what Rush said" introduction to an opinion about to be
offered by a talk-radio sycophant prepared to tell you all that
is bad about the "Liberals."
Here is the problem. Most churchgoing Christians are more
likely to quote Rush, Hannity, or O’Reilly, than they are
Mathew, Mark, Luke, or John. As many Christian leaders have gone
silent on the great issues of the day, choosing instead to focus
on "Your Best Life Now," a "Purpose Driven Life," or the latest
Dr. Phil drivel, slowly but surely The Three Puppeteers, (Rush,
Sean, and Bill,) have become the American-cultural thermostat,
explaining to us who and what is right. Trusting in their "gospel
of conservativism" we found the magic carpet was nothing more
than an old throw-rug.
Most pastors and church leaders are Johnny-Come-Lately’s
to the idea of Christian involvement in politics. Convinced for
years that the church should stay away from political influence,
their recent engagement with the culture has been steered by
veteran "conservatives," and novice church leaders have been
unable to spot a fraud. Unsure of their role, and uncomfortable
in battle, they have hired mercenaries to fight the battle for
them. These mercenaries come to church speaking Christian-ese,
unknowingly the "evangelicals" have allowed the salt of
conservativism to frame their principles.
You see, conservativism is counterfeit salt. It looks like
salt, sounds like salt, reacts like salt, but it is a phony.
Conservativism is not Christianity. Christianity challenges evil.
Conservativism blends in with evil. Christianity dogmatic -
Conservatism pragmatic. Christianity draws a line in the sand.
Conservativism wants to own the sand. Did you ever wonder why
some folks call themselves "Christian" conservatives?
Unfortunately, thanks to The Three Puppeteers, more Christians
are likely to identify themselves as conservatives, than
Christians. Why not? They get most of their ideas from the
Puppeteers. I’ve heard Rush slyly associate himself with
the name Christian. Hannity is a "Catholic Christian," and the
O’Reilly’s religious foundation is also Catholicism.
Only God knows the condition of their soul, but I think it would
be safe to say that Bible reading is not high on the list of
priorities of any of the three as they guide their flocks. They
are conservatives who identify with Christianity. They are not by
any stretch of the imagination Bible-believers. They are
spreading a gospel that is void of the Spirit. Yet the
foundational beliefs of millions of Christians are being formed
by the "gospel of conservatism" from Pastor Bill, Pastor Sean,
and Pastor Rush.
How else can you explain the fact that so many Americans think
that President Bush is Christian-in-Chief? In a startling survey
of 614 Senior Pastors by George Barna, President Bush was ranked
third when pastors selected those having the most influence on
the church. That’s right, President Bush, according to the
survey, influenced the church more than Dobson, Maxwell,
Robertson, and Falwell. Pardon me, but shouldn’t the church
leaders be influencing President Bush? Don’t we have it
backwards? Is it any wonder "conservativism" is the new religion,
and Christianity has moved to the back of the bus?
Conservativism, as preached from the pulpits of The Three
Puppeteers has become the salt of the church, and President Bush
has becomes its Pope.
I spent five years hosting a talkshow on a large "Christian"
radio station in Columbus. Pass The Salt was billed as a "look at
today’s issues from a Christian perspective." From 2000 to
2005, I spent my energy railing against the unholy alliance
between the church and the Republican Party. Calling the church
to stand for Truth, to come out of their stained-glass
fortresses, to oppose evil, and to be God’s spokesman, made
me scores of enemies. The final straw came when I began to
question the Christian golden-boy, George W. Bush. That was
almost too much for the church to take. Pointing out where his
walk did not match his talk, and chastising Christians for
blindly toeing the party line, bordered on blasphemy. He was
God’s man, and compassionate conservativism was our new
religion. Why would they want to hear me point out land mines
when they could listen to The Three Puppeteers tell them
everything was all right? Weary of fighting the "church of the
status quo" I happily moved on to a less "republican"
Put on your dreaming cap with me. Imagine Jesus Christ was
president of the United States. What would his presidency look
like? What would his agenda be? I would wager, (oops, not very
Christian) that his first executive actions would involve:
- Protection of unborn children and the sanctity of the life of
- Preservation of marriage as one man and one woman for
- Teaching truth to our children.
- Exposing the true meaning of separation of Church and State,
and returning morality to govt.
- New budgetary restraints…..no more borrowing and
- Where do President Bush and the conservatives stand on these
When South Dakota passed a ban on all abortions President Bush
opposed it because he is "pro-life with exceptions." In other
words, he is prochoice, same as O’Reilly. When Americans in
eleven states passed marriage amendments defining marriage as a
union of one man and one woman, President Bush said he was for
civil unions. When a terrorist in a black robe in Dover,
Pennsylvania said that teaching creationism in public school was
unconstitutional, President Bush talked about appointing judges
who were "originalists," whatever that means. Shortly after Judge
Roy Moore lost his job over the posting of the 10 Commandments,
President Bush appointed Judge Moore’s prosecutor, Bill
Pryor, to the Federal bench.
And, in the name of compassion, the Bush administration has
spent money in a way that would make Michael Jackson quiver.
Instead of tax and spend, it has become borrow and spend. To
steal a line from the President, the conservatives are either
with us, or they are against us. Now all of the polls say that
the Republicans are in trouble. Compassionate conservatism turned
out to be nothing more than "Democrat lite." No matter how much
The Three Puppeteers tell us everything is great, that the
Republicans have a plan, that the economy is booming, and that we
are winning the war, the counterfeit salt has been exposed for
the fraud that it is.
But the Republicans do have a plan. As the election draws near
they will once again back their trucks up to the doors of the
church and beg their "conservative" friends to please help them
fill their trucks with genuine salt. They’ll begin to talk
about abortion, gambling, marriage, and spending then watch
pastors open the tipples and fight to prevent evil "liberals"
from gaining control of the government.
The Three Puppeteers will sing the praises of the Republicans
"finally finding their message," warn us of the evil Democrats
and their diabolical plans for this nation, and urge us to fall
in line and keep "conservatives" in power. Appealing to our need
to be important, they will enlist the aid and support of
evangelical leaders, and hold on to the House and the Senate. In
the meantime, unborn babies will continue to die, perversion will
continue to be legalized, and our nation will continue to slowly
drift into the sunset. "Conservatives" will be in power, and
Christians will be left holding the bag. We will be told, once
again, to move to the back of the carpet.... er bus.
But all will be fine. Hannity will continue to paraphrase the
only Bible verse he knows "let not your heart be troubled." Rush
will announce to us that his "talent is on loan from God," and
O’Reilly will assure us that he is "looking out for us."
The "gospel of conservatism," spread by The Three
Puppeteer-pastors, is rapidly becoming the foundation upon which
the American church is built.
A former FBI agent once told me that when they are learning to
spot counterfeit currency they spend most of their time studying
the real money. Once you become familiar with the authentic, it
is easy to spot a fraud. Conservativism is counterfeit
Christianity. Why can’t Christians spot a fraud?
Who’s framing your foundation? "If the foundations be
destroyed, what can the righteous do"? - Psalm 11:3.
© 2006 Dave Daubenmire -
All Rights Reserved. Printed by permission
Coach Dave Daubenmire, Founder and
President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and
Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high
octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio. In 1999
Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams
while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy
fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.