Religious liberty advocate Michael Horowitz says U.S. Christians can address their image problems by defining themselves instead of letting the media define them. With a few changes, he suggests, Christians could go from being widely viewed as "dangerous" and divisive to being recognized as the positive change agents so many of them are.
Hudson Institute senior fellow Michael Horowitz is urging Christians in America to define themselves, instead of allowing the secular media to define them. He says it is troubling that members of the Christian faith have allowed themselves to be seen as "dangerous" in so many eyes.
Horowitz, who serves as director of the Project for International Religious Liberty at the Institute, often works with Christian groups on a variety of social and public policy matters. He says followers of Christ can impact society, but too many often go about it in the wrong way.
To these Christians, the Hudson Institute scholar has this to say: "You've got to change some of the tone of your message, where you come out and you accuse the people who disagree with you, right off the bat, of being murderers; or you lack the confidence that you can reach them, so you act like you're a bunch of beleaguered, desperate people."
Instead of doing these kinds of things, U.S. Christians need to speak out more about the issues they are involved in, such as combating sexual slavery and doing prison reform, Horowitz advises. Having worked with Christian leaders and activists at the grassroots level on a number of issues, he says he has come to believe that the Christian community in America can reach out to far more Americans than it might think.
"This is a country where red America and blue America share values far more than people understand," Horowitz contends. However, if Christians are to build bridges between them and, at the same time, redefine themselves on their own terms, he says, they will have to work on changing the tone of their message.
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