The Long Game – Pervasive Persuasion

Brandon Morse has posted a piece titled “The Left Needs To Chill Out About Christianity” on  He cites people openly booing God at the Democratic National Convention, about the feelings displayed over Mike Pence and the display of his faith.  And points at the hate leveled at the Chick-fil-A sandwich chain being the locus of protests which actually saw the chain doing more business, a lot more business, as the result.

He points to Dan Piepenbring’s rant about the opening of a Chick-fil-A store in New York as being unconscionable: “And yet the brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism.  Its headquarters, in Atlanta, is adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet.”

Morse points out there are two facts that Piepenburg and the rest of the left need to face.  “Chick-fil-A has delicious food and excellent service, and the vast majority of America is Christian.”

I am not sure that this is a left equals non-Christian thing, though.  I think it is more wide-spread than to be so easy to define.  Believing in Christ is a very personal thing and I don’t see that as being a left vs. right political-style issue.  I think there may well be a “long game” which involves people who simply find it beneath them to believe in Jesus Christ, and who feel the need to somehow belittle those of us who do profess that belief.

I see this as what I would call ‘pervasive persuasion’ as the title indicates.  I believe that those who do not believe in Christ have a deep-seated fear they may be wrong and that this fear settles in somewhere in mid-life as one becomes aware that there will be an end to this physical life and begins searching for whatever it is that causes some to be unafraid, to actually be able to look forward to that next life.

Judeo-Christian values are such that it is not just Christians who practice those values, as Morse points out.  There is something I think that causes non-believers to feel the need to try to dissuade others from believing as something of a ‘self-defense’ tactic.  If they can even convince someone to question his or her faith, then they have helped to assuage their own doubts.

I think the author has missed the point with his title.  The “Left” isn’t the only place on the political spectrum where we find non-believers.  There are plenty of people on the “Right” equally as challenged in their personal belief struggles.  Oxford Dictionaries uses this definition of pervasive: (especially of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people. 

The word can be used to describe almost anything we might see as less-than-desirable.  I might use it to describe the lack of faith while the next person might use the word for exactly the opposite purpose.

We are surrounded by what I choose to call “pervasive persuasion”.  It is found in almost every form of advertising that beckons us to over-indulge or to dare to try something we’ve not tried before.  As a Christian believer, I resent the fact that some would boo, but more to the point, I know they lack an understanding that is essential to their salvation.  That is the real danger of pervasive persuasion.  We’re not talking about a chicken sandwich.  We’re talking about eternity.

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