Thursday, May 22, 2008

Politician, Play The God Card At Your Risk

Almost 2 years ago there was a lot of talk about how the Democrats were reaching out to the religious community and emphasizing the role of faith. A year ago I made it clear that while there is no good reason to have a relationship of enmity with religion, there also was no reason to drag it into the forefront of politics. Now John McCain has repudiated John Hagee's endorsement over "mischaracterized statements". ***Update*** Rod Parsley now repudiated *** You know - God sent Hitler to drive the Jews back to Israel by slaughtering them. This straw broke the proverbial camel's back, no, it wasn't a gay parade causing the destruction of New Orleans or even Catholicism as the Great Whore, nope it finally took the slaughter of Jews. McCain's flip-flopping need for the whacked out religious right and his ignorance of it led him right into a bee's nest seeking endorsements from people he called in 2000 "agents of intolerance." Barack Obama's problems with Rev Wright have had a lot of currency and need no expansion at this date to make clear there are problems. Hillary has managed to keep above the fray despite her membership in a secretive fundamentalist Christian cabal in DC.

The real problem with dragging religion into the political fray is that most religion's books don't work well in relationship with governing. There are a whole lot of functions that government undertakes that are aggressively against the rules of the religions. Christianity is particularly troublesome for a couple reasons, it is the vast majority's religion so they are familiar with it and the quoted words of the guy it is named for are downright hostile to most governmental functions; short of the piece about rendering unto Caesar his due. That quote alone shows his recognition of the difference between the aims of each. Compounding the problems in Christianity and government are the schisms within it, you never know just exactly who is going to say what and worse yet what they are going to state as fact about the most unprovable of all statements, the thinking of God.

I am not going to pick a quarrel with religion, it is not the point of this post nor is it something I desire to do, regardless. I do not argue that religion doesn't have a part in forming many people's ethics and morals, it is supposed to. I happen to have a great deal of respect for the moral stances of many religions. I also happen to understand the functions of government and know full well that they collide with religious tenets. I also understand that no version of any religion works for everyone in this country and attempts to jam them down citizens' throats is suicide. Every time the attempts to cater to one or the other faith blows up in a politician's face I cheer. I would like to see it stop, I am tired of references to sacred books and invisible personalities when we are discussing the course and the future of this government. I am tired of the attempts to drag god into the blessing or damning of this country. I do not pretend to have god's mouth to my ear and I have a complete distrust of anyone who claims it. You should as well.


Phil said...

" . . . and I have a complete distrust of anyone who claims it. You should as well."

Oh, I do, Chuck, I do! It's commendable that religion helps to shape the moral and ethical characters of many, but the argument that one can't be moral or ethical without religion is a specious one at best. It's been my experience that people with professed deep religious beliefs are often the least trustworthy.

Chuck Butcher said...

The Republicans in DC seem to keep finding that to be the case.