August 19, 2022

Politics and Religion

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Unlike any election season that I can remember, this one has been filled with discussion about the place of religion in politics and how they line up. There are many reasons that this topic is being brought up:

  • A candidate who used to be a pastor.
  • The “values voters” that seemed to play a big part in the last Presidential election.
  • Liberals inability to understand people of faith.

It’s the last one that seems to be permeating the discussion, as of late.

This is the one area that liberals feel that they can have open season in the derision game– the one intolerance in what they claim is tolerance:

At a New York or Los Angeles cocktail party, few would dare make a pejorative comment about Barack Obama’s race or Hillary Clinton’s sex. Yet it would be easy to get away with deriding Mike Huckabee’s religious faith.

Liberals believe deeply in tolerance and over the last century have led the battles against prejudices of all kinds, but we have a blind spot about Christian evangelicals. They constitute one of the few minorities that, on the American coasts or university campuses, it remains fashionable to mock.

But there is hope, Mr. Kristof, author of this article states. It turns out that some evangelicals aren’t as illiberal as they were lead to believe. He goes on to list that evangelicals are actually making an impact in poverty and disease around the world. On that, liberals can agree with evangelicals– maybe even support them.

And this, is valid criticism. I’ve been in and seen too many churches that were too involved with ministering to the flock to reach out to the poor and needy of their area. I have been a part of congregations that fail to understand the power of the Gospel applied to those that need hope. Indeed, Christ ministered mostly to the poor and sick– and they followed Him.

The problem, Mr. Kristof, is that liberals believe in using the power of the government to accomplish their good deeds whereas the church believes that it’s their mission of love from God using free gifts. No one is forcing me to donate to Mr. Warren’s church, causing me to fly to Africa, or coming into my wallet to fund a mission to some poor people elsewhere.

Yes, there’s a big difference between reaching out a hand for Christ and taking money away from people to send it to your pet project. Hence the problem that liberals have with Faith Based programs to help people combat drugs, alcohol and poverty. We can’t possibly help people get physically provided for as well as spiritually– but I digress.

You see, liberals hold contempt for all things conservative or that have to deal with faith. And they prove this by consistently failing to understand America’s founding principles.

Take this article by Ira Chernus— it clearly misunderstands what this country is all about. Take for instance, this paragraph:

For starters, it’s a direct threat to democracy. The essence of our system is that we, the people, get to choose our values. We don’t discover them inscribed in the cosmos. So everything must be open to question, to debate, and therefore to change. In a democracy, there should be no fixed truth except that everyone has the right to offer a new view — and to change his or her mind. It’s a process whose outcome should never be predictable, a process without end. A claim to absolute truth — any absolute truth — stops that process.

First, we do not live in a democracy, but a republic. Why the distinction? Because the Founders knew that democracy breeds anarchy, and they disagreed with the central point of this paragraph– that there is no absolute truth.

Look at the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. [emphasis mine]

To the point, the first quote says that the founders believed that they were under the laws of nature and nature’s God. These laws were not up to debate– they were absolute.

Then there’s the second paragraph. Here is what they believed was absolute truth as stated by the founders themselves. What are the absolute truths?

  • All men were created equal
  • That their Creator had given them the right to life
  • That their Creator had given them the right to liberty
  • That their Creator had given them the right to the pursuit of Happiness.

There is absolute truth. Now, her whole statement contradicts itself– that there is no absolute truth except that there is one– that everyone has a voice. That’s not American. In fact, it is entirely American to understand that the founders of this country believed that its very existence derived from God.

Why is this important? Because religion will always be a part of politics in America because it’s part of America’s identity. Those that seek to remake America in another image will be the ones complaining that it should be out of the realm of discussion– but it is very much who we are.

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4 thoughts on “Politics and Religion

  1. And so my vote will continually be for Huckabee. I will vote on moral issues, it is too important. I want to live in a nation where the constitution will once again be embraced and honored.

    Our forefathers founded this country on biblical doctrine and therefore, is a part of this country, whether the liberals like it or not.

  2. I can certainly understand that, Leticia. I’m not a Republican, so I don’t vote in the primaries, but I definitely would not vote for McCain, and it would have been a toss up with Romney. I’m not too keen on any of these candidates, unfortunately.

  3. Mini, When you claim that “You see, liberals hold contempt for all things conservative or that
    have to deal with faith. And they prove this by consistently failing to
    understand America’s founding principles.”, you demonstrate one of the weaknesses of “conservatives”.  For Conservatives, everything has to be either black or white, good or evil,  Conservative or Liberal, Patriotic (by which they mean Republican) or unAmerican, etc.,  etc. Liberals know that the world is made up all kinds of colors, and even a whole range of grays between black and white. And they know that there’s all kinds of Liberals (and even all kinds of Conservatives).   I have been a lifelong devout Christian for 70 years and a clergyman since I was 30. And I have been a LIBERAL all that time, knowing full well that my Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, was one of the great Liberal teachers of all time, which is why I have been authoring http://LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/ on the www for the past 12 years.Most African Americans were Republicans so long as they viewed the Republican party as the Liberal party that it was created to be under Abe Lincoln. But ever since the two parties switched philosophies (in the first half of the twentieth century) they have switched to the more liberal Democratic Party (just as the white bigots switched parties for the very same reason!)Now you would have to be an ignorant white racist to believe that all of these devout Christian liberal African Americans “liberals hold contempt for all things . . .  that
    have to deal with faith.”As for your claim of LIBERALS ” consistently failing to
    understand America’s founding principles”,  I show in great detail at how Liberal most of  the founding fathers were and how Conservative authors can’t even quote these fathers honestly and accurately.  Conservatives would hate most of these founding fathers who would clearly be Liberal Democrats in our time!Rev. Ray Dubuque

  4. Point taken, Ray. I don’t think that I’m any less black and white than the typical liberal, however– we just disagree on what’s black and what’s white. We each see things and have to make judgment calls as to whether something is right or wrong– for ourselves and for the country.

    Now, to your points: Jesus was a very compassionate person, one that healed the sick, raised the dead, and worked other miracles. He left in place a church that was supposed to continue His work, and yet He did not expect government to do this work. He expected His people to do it while they were testifying of the Good News– that He was God, and that there is victory over sin in His name. Again, Jesus expected the church to do the good work, not the government– which is what liberalism wants. Jesus expected His followers to do it out of love, not forced from them by taking it from their paycheck before they even see it.

    In fact, Jesus had little to say about government, other then rendering unto Caesar what was Caesars. When he had the chance to take over the government, He said that His kingdom was not of this world, and called people to do what was right, not the government. And, considering that Jesus was God– the God of both the Old and New Testaments– when He set up a government, He allowed for the poor to take from the fields, and provided ways to work off debt (as well as a seven year expiring time for that kind of debt)– He actually used the fact that a king would come to take money as a reason that Israel should stay as a theocracy.

    As for the Founding Fathers, I find it hard to believe that a group of men that rebelled by throwing tea into the Boston Harbor, and fighting a revolution to keep government out of their lives would then turn around and give it the power to do all that liberals say that it should. In fact, the writing of the Constitution was supposed to limit government, not give it free reign to give out handouts wherever it wished. The government was viewed with contempt– as a entity that takes away liberty. I’m sure they wouldn’t have dreamed it would have gotten this large, have an income tax, etc. That’s why they revolted in the first place.

    Thanks for the comment, Rev. Ray. It made me think through all of this. We all have passionate beliefs, and I’m sure that we can agree that it’s wrong to mock those of faith because faith is part of the fabric of this country.

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