When I was younger you knew exactly when a celebrity's career had peaked and had begun to spiral slowly downward. That career reversal could be duly noted when a one-time big star was booked on The Love Boat.

So it is with some reluctance that I address the brouhaha surrounding the comments by talk show host Rosie O'Donnell. I am reluctant to discuss this because I think that Rosie is in the Love Boat phase of her career. To be fair, she has forged a career that garners her national attention. My career has made me a household name only in my household. Nonetheless, her comments conveyed a common misconception (make that "lie") about the "agenda" of Christians in this country. Here is what the always genteel Rosie had to say during a recent episode of The View:

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state."

Perhaps part of the problem is a lack of clarity in definition. Unfortunately the sacred name of "Christian" has been compromised. People who clearly do not follow the directives of Christ are still reported as Christians in many media stories. And frankly, many have taken the name on themselves who are not representing Christ in their lives or beliefs. So when Rosie throws out the term "radical Christianity," I really don't know what or who she is talking about. If she is talking about the millions of people in this country who call themselves "born-again" or Evangelical Christians then I believe she is sadly misinformed.

The predictable (and likely hoped-for outrage) is happening. Already there are calls from Christian organizations requesting her removal from the show. Some are demanding that Rosie apologize. Regular readers of these humble ramblings know that I take a different approach to situations like this. I don't call for boycotts or dismissals. I suspect ratings will take care of this particular situation. Instead I look to stick my foot in the cultural debate door that controversies like this inevitably open to discuss my faith. I was disappointed when The Book of Daniel was cancelled so quickly because I was having a field day sharing my beliefs with others because of that truly bad television show.

And now, because of this incident, I am willing to totally outline my "agenda" for Rosie O'Donnell. Am I a radical Christian? By my definition I would like to be, but I am still trying to get there. My definition of a radical Christian is one who lives everyday trying to become more like Jesus. That makes you pretty darn radical in this self-absorbed and materialistic culture.

I had written an earlier post after I had been outed by an internet blogger as being "apparently religious" in my viewpoints. I was stunned at his intellectual prowess in figuring out that a blog called "Confessions of a Bad Christian" was written from a religious perspective. How did I ever get discovered? I thought my cover was airtight! At that time I wrote about my agenda and those words are appropriate today.

When I became aware that word of my Evangelical Christianity was out, I went to the secret underground bunker where we all meet to plan how to advance our agenda...

"I have been Valerie Plumed!" I told the group.
"They know?", they asked.
"I'm afraid so. Should I come clean?"
They looked horrified. "You mean tell them your agenda?"
"Yes," I said boldly. "I am going to lay out my entire agenda so there will be no doubt."

So here it is. I certainly don't speak for all Evangelical Christians, but I think I just might represent a number of them. Rosie, I am coming clean. Here is what I believe and my entire agenda:

  • I believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God. I believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, His sinless life, and miracles. I believe in His atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. I believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

Let me tell you what this particular evangelical Christian does not believe...