Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Religion and Politics

Recently I was reading how some Americans worried about JFK being Catholic. Religion should not be part of leadership in the country was the mantra back then. Amazing how things have changed-- especially within the Republican party. 

On the other side of the debate is a concern that runs deeply in the American psyche that a religion run amok is a danger and the reason the first colonists left Europe. But it's a rather schizoid philosophy in America as some admire the Puritans (religious power run amok) and consider its fundamentalist time of ruling a community as one to idealize. 

Barry Goldwater spoke of his concern of those who would use Christianity as their hammer:
“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.”
Goldwater was a conservative in the time where the word meant something. Not so much today. For many on the right, the belief is strong that America needs a theocracy. In the Republican party, its leading candidates for the primary are all religious speaking men. The loudest of these probably is:

Huckabee is Ted Cruz's nightmare

Should men like Huckabee, who spout a version of Christianity, that Andrew Sullivan named chrisianist, worry the rest of us, those of us who are not religious? The big concern is, I believe, the fact that what Huckabee and men like Scott Walker label as Christian has little resemblance to the words in red in the Gospels-- i.e. Jesus' words as others remembered them-- or God made sure they got recorded (depending on what you think about the New Testament).

So, what would it be like if a fundamentalist, who comes across as a populist and good old boy, one who claims that he gets all his wisdom directly from God, had real power? How would he use it? If many religious fundamentalists get their way, the nation might find out. Before, you are quick to say never happen, take a look at how that has impacted one religious college:

For me, the issue with Christians is not with those who believe in the Gospels, because anyone who has read the Sermon on the Mount knows it's very progressive and concerned for the poor. If Jesus was speaking today, in many of the churches that call themselves after him, they would toss him out or shun him. Today's christianist only knows the political Jesus, the one who would kill one person because of another person's sin, who would bring Armageddon onto the world based on not appreciating the 'wisdom' of someone like Michelle Bachmann.

I know she's not a serious candidate for the Presidency, but she makes money going around the country spouting off such nonsense. People like her are part of why so many religious people don't worry about climate change. They visualize a God who will punish those they want punished and fix anything that goes wrong. They teach others that is who God is.

Recently, elsewhere I wrote about the Third Commandment and how it's been misinterpreted. Bachmann's spiel above is just what I meant regarding it being forbidden to take the Lord's name in vain. She is making money doing it. Those who have a shallow understanding of any religion always go for the simplest possible meaning, but IF they saw it for what it was, they'd be a lot less prone to go around Pat Robertson-ing!


Ingineer66 said...

Myself and my conservative friends all wish the republicans would focus on fiscal and economic issues and stop all the religious bs. As long as they keep spouting off about religion and abortion and gay marriage they will never win a national election so you won't have to worry about that.

MandT said...

I'm all for the Rapture, having cornered the market on salvation rights: gold, silver, titanium hips and knees, not to mention fillings and bridges.

Rain Trueax said...

lol MandT... And good, Ingineer. I heard today that some think the candidate will be O'Malley on the left. What do you think of him? In the end, they think the dishonest stuff in the Clinton past, where money was everything, will sink them especially with the suspect dealings with their Foundation. If O'Malley is fiscally responsible, and that's possible, he could be just the guy to stop the Clinton juggernaut!

Anonymous said...

I read about O'Malley on Wikipedia last night. He seems like a decent guy, but I will have to read more. He certainly seems like a better pick than Hillary or Obama.

Ingineer66 said...

How did it say anonymous? It was me. And I was logged in. Darn Gremlins.

Rain Trueax said...

lol Ingineer. and so far O'Malley sounds that way to me too. I sure don't want a Clinton or Bush again. Social liberal and economic conservative :) Practical wisdom is what I want