Trouble has arisen in another small corner of the extremist Christian right. I've already posted the fascinating misadventures of the hapless college Christian bloc in Sacramento. Now a new dust-up comes to my attention. The Young Christian Leaders' Alliance in South Carolina has suffered a schism. Its charismatic president and founder, Josiah Magnuson, has suffered the loss of the organization's vice president and co-founder. He has been visiting websites that referred to the YCLA and posting a crystal-clear denunciation of the group he helped to start:
I, [Name], former vice-president and officer of the Young Christians Leader's Alliance (YCLA), do by this writing; officially denounce any public association with the YCLA. I do not hold any association with the YCLA as an organization, and although I believe the YCLA was founded with good intentions, I have forsaken the absurd, heretical, political and theological philosophies promoted by the YCLA. I do not necessarily endorse any ideas, doctrines, documents, persons, candidates, or other material created or promoted by the YCLA. I remain in the fundamental beliefs that I held before association with the YCLA.It follows that the young man is still a right-wing Protestant fundamentalist creationist, but he dissociates himself totally from the “absurd” and “heretical” version espoused by Josiah Magnuson and those that remain allied with him. Interesting. (Heresy is always more fun for Protestants than Catholics because everyone gets to play; they don't have to worry about the pope ending the game by taking the ball home.)
Whence this tragic schism? I can but hazard a guess. One possible factor is Magnuson's peculiar devotion to the politics of Ron Paul. While one suspects that Magnuson would be loath to give up the anti-drug and anti-sodomy laws that would be swept away under the libertarian policies of a Paul administration, perhaps he thinks that such a laissez-faire government would merely open the way for gangs of Christian citizens to establish local moral codes on a freelance basis. (This approach has been extremely successful in many Islamic nations, where self-appointed guardians of public morals splash acid on the faces of women who aren't hidden behind veils.) The former vice president, on the other hand, has taken a more conventional stance in his endorsement of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee, you may recall, has bragged that he, unlike other candidates, is willing to amend the U.S. Constitution to make it more Christian. Despite this attractive bait, Magnuson denounces Huckabee as a tax-and-spend liberal (“Huckabee is not the answer...”).
One can see how the former YCLA leaders came to a parting of the ways.
The Future Lies Ahead!
The former veep posted his denunciation of Magnuson and the YCLA on this blog early Saturday morning. On the same day he posted an identical message on Pharyngula. That is, he chose to publicize his departure from the YCLA ranks by posts on the blogs of a pair of atheistic evolutionists. Does this make any sense?
Sure it does. Magnuson's little brown-shirt brigade got more attention from us than anywhere else. Once PZ Myers linked to my article, the floodgates were opened and Magnuson was giddy with delight.
In the past few days the number of visits here has thus become quite astronomical. Thanks, Zeno! :-)You're welcome, Josiah, but did you stop to consider that it's not exactly a positive benefit when your hordes of visitors are there specifically to mock you or shake their heads in dismay?
Fame is fleeting, however. Although the rush of unbelievers to Josiah's website produced almost (but not quite) 900 hits in the month of September, it's been downhill from there. In February of this year he had only 81 visitors. The revolution will not be televised. Heck, it won't even be blogged.