Saturday, August 20, 2005

God and Politics

Sitting at a stoplight yesterday, I noticed that the car in front of me (a Volvo SUV, go figure) was donning a window-sticker that read, "God is NOT a Republican." Interesting. I suppose that this insight was supposed to imply that God is, actually, a Democrat. Or maybe a Green? "Repent capitalist heathens lest thou be stricken down with all the force of the heavens..." In any event, notwithstanding the red-state/blue-state divide, I think that it is probably safe to say God is not likely to be a libertarian - too heavy on the "do whatever you please" and way too light on the, well..., all else.

In all seriousness, I think that this is a fascinating topic. While I assume that the bumper sticker author's primary intent was to challenge the conservative-Republican's claim to God's endorsement, I am willing to bet that he or she is also of the "Jesus was a Socialist" crowd. Don't tell the French. Since we are undoubtedly talking about the Christian-God (and thereby excluding approximately 4 billion people worldwide), I think it is hard to conjoin the dogmatic teachings of the bible with a single political party. I suppose that the Republicans are correct in asserting that abortion is fundamentally contrary to Christian teachings, but then again, so is capital punishment. Square that one. And while Weber's "Protestant-work-ethic" cast away the traditional stigma associated with commerce and affluence, I think it is safe to assume that Jesus would feel quite uncomfortable swilling single malt with the old boys at Augusta National (considering the whole, "blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth" thing...). I could go on and on as the contradictions on both sides, within both major parties, are abundant and quite obvious. But, that is exactly why religion and politics should remain separate. The culture wars and the bitter divide between Americans are exacerbated precisely because both sides have attempted to employ the power of government to implement their respective beliefs (consistent or not) on the rest of us by force. Put another way, but for the involvement of government, the fight between culture warriors would most likely boil down to, "my Jesus-fish is bigger than your Darwin-fish..." (more car art). The Founders of this nation knew what they were talking about and accordingly wrote a nifty little bill amending the Federal Constitution to prevent this very conflict. Oh yea, but who wants to be loyal to the words of that old piece parchment anyway...?
As for my thoughts on God's political preference - I think, in all likelihood, God would oppose our form of government entirely. Afterall, I don't think that the "Kingdom of Heaven, here on Earth" can be interpreted as a ringing endorsement of a Thoureauvian wonderland, constitutional-republic or even Greco direct-democracy. Rather, I paint the biblical God as partial to a "benevolent" dictatorship of the theocratic order - think the Holy Roman Empire circa Urban II - burn, hedonist, burn. All of these ramblings aside, I do not claim to be an expert on these matters - but who is? And as opposed to all the bumper-sticker pontificators out there - at least I know enough not to claim to understand God's political leanings, let alone, his will.


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