Ryan Helfenbein’s Twitter bio says that he is a “Christ Follower,” a “Husband and Father,” and a “Texas native.” He also uses the Latin phrase “Soli Dei Gloria” (“glory to God alone”). Helfenbein holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. And, most importantly for our post here, he is the Executive Director of the Liberty University Standing for Freedom Center. This center was formerly known as the “Falkirk Center.” It’s founders were Jerry Falwell Jr. and Charlie Kirk. “Fellows” at the center include Mike Huckabee, Mike Pompeo, and Eric Metaxas.
According to its website:
The Standing For Freedom Center exists to uphold the Christian faith and defend America’s Constitution. We honor human dignity, individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. The Center serves to inform all Americans in matters of faith and liberty, and then deploy these faithful men and women across every medium and platform to protect and defend our strongest-held beliefs in every facet of society.
I have read this statement of purpose before, but today, after reading a recent tweet by Helfenbein, I am curious about this line: “and then deploy these faithful men and women across every medium and platform to protect and defend our strongest-held beliefs in every facet of society.”
Here is Helfenbein’s tweet, which was retweeted by the Standing for Freedom Center:
Last night I tweeted this in response:
This guy responded to my tweet:
Now I am even more confused.
Warren Throckmorton put it best:
Understanding a strange phenomenon usually involves putting it into some appropriate context, drawing an analogy, or tracing a lineage. I find my imagination fails me with every one of those strategies. Who are these people, and where did they come from? Nothing helps. They aren’t behaving even remotely like Christians. There’s little precedent in mainstream–or even non-mainstream–American politics. The best I can do–and it’s an inflammatory analogy I understand–is the Taliban and their “night letters” that they deliver as warnings to those who are acting outside their approved modes in some way. If anyone has a better way to get at who these folk are and what they’re up to I’d love to hear it.