A reviewer observed that “30 Days evokes a direct, visceral experience of evil in its purest form as the all-devouring, empty movement of life without purpose or order.”
Russian Orthodox cleric Yuri Kononenko observed that the distinctive feature of the “postmodern condition” is “its relativity to everyone and everything.” Beneath the superficial gloss and sensationalism of modern society, “detached from God . . . [l]ife has acquired a cold, grey color of inner despair.” That “cold, grey color of inner despair” is nihilism — a state of spiritual impoverishment in which there is no higher or lower, in which the higher aspirations that have motivated mankind over the ages lose their attractions for the human soul and there is no fundamental meaning or ultimate point in human life.
Indeed, Marlow the vampire’s somber declaration that there is no God gives expression to the existential despair of nihilism — an affliction of America’s secular post-Christian culture where God increasingly is banished from public life.
At a recent chapel service at John Brown University, a private Christian college in Arkansas, Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, put words to the sentiments of millions of Americans when he noted:
“Even in our government today, you can’t pray to Jesus in many public meetings. You can pray to God or a god. You can mention Buddha or the name of Muhammad — but you can’t pray to Jesus Christ.”
As reported by David A. Patten of NewsMax on January 20, 2011, Graham specifically referred to the January 12 memorial service for the Tucson shooting victims. [H/t beloved fellow Tina]
In an op-ed in the Washington Times, Graham wrote:
The University of Arizona service – seeking to show support for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 other wounded citizens, while remembering federal Judge John Roll, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwin Stoddard, Gabe Zimmerman and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green – was different from any other I’ve ever seen….
I’m…embarrassed, by what else took place in the McKale Center. I was disappointed by an audience that often sounded and acted as if it was at a political rally…. Anyone expecting or wanting to see a somber service of prayer for comfort and hope for those struggling to come to grips with family members lost or fighting for their lives instead found something more resembling a boisterous pep rally…. But this was not the most disturbing sight to me.
Carlos Gonzales, a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, was introduced to offer a blessing amidst loud cheering…. Rather than calling on the God of heaven who made us and created this universe, which He holds in the palm of His hand, [Mr. Gonzales]…called out to “Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy” and “Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy.”
How sad. Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort Capt. Mark Kelly, who had been at the bedside of his wife, Rep. Giffords, wondering if she’d ever leave her bed. Or Mavy Stoddard, who was only alive because her husband sacrificed his life by shielding her with his body. Or the family, classmates, teammates and friends of little Christina, whose life was snuffed out before she could play another season of Little League….
I wish someone could have prayed to the One who created all of us, Almighty God…. My question: Why were the clergy of Tucson – the men of God – excluded?….
To those in Arizona who are trying to make sense of the senseless, I say: Know that millions of people are praying for you…to the God of heaven, who hears and cares, and not to the northern door or Father Sky, who sees not, hears not and knows not. I pray God will heal our land, bring peace and civility to every heart, and forgive our sins – especially when we exclude Him from daily life. Amen.
Franklin Graham was banned from a Pentagon national day of Prayer event last year for expressing his opinions about Islam. He predicted the persecution of Christians will get worse in coming years, and encouraged students to use the new media and the Internet to spread the gospel.