Friday, September 24, 2004


Politics and Religion

Anthony Burgess, The Kingdom of the Wicked (New York: Arbor House, 1985), p. 355:
When God enters politics he turns into his opposite. Always has. Always will.
Perhaps Burgess should have said, "When God is dragged into politics." Here are two recent examples, one from the left and the other from the right.

James C. Moore, author of Bush's Brain, said at a Texas Faith Network conference:
If ever there were a bleeding-heart liberal, it was Jesus Christ. I think the carpenter from Galilee was the original Democrat.
Rick Blauvelt (not a teen-ager), announcing the formation of a Teen-Age Republicans chapter in Renville County, Minnesota, wrote these words, published in the Bird Island Union newspaper:
This group will be a grass-roots movement to learn about how America got started, the difference between Republicans and Democrats, why the nation is split, why God is detested by our opponents and will be a force for the Republican Party in Renville County, not to be ignored.
Examples could be multiplied on either side. It's almost enough to make one want to sign the Sojourners' God Is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat. petition. Although I don't endorse everything in the petition, I do agree with this statement:
We believe that sincere Christians and other people of faith can choose to vote for President Bush or Senator Kerry - for reasons deeply rooted in their faith.
I'm also sick of hearing thinly disguised political sermons at Mass on Sunday. Ronald C. White, Jr., Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002), pp. 138-139, quotes Lincoln as saying about Phineas Densmore Gurley (minister of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church):
I like Gurley. He don't preach politics. I get enough of that through the week, and when I go to church, I like to hear the gospel.
Amen, Brother Lincoln!

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