Faith in Politics
The Republican Party has made great electoral progress by exploiting and distorting the Christian faith. Separation of Church and State has been the single most important element in making America a great nation. This tradition is the greatest contribution toward worldwide political thought to develop from the American Revolution and our Founding Fathers. This tradition defines the spirit of America. This tradition is under severe attack from the "so called" Christian Right at the direction of the national Republican Party.
Separation of Church and State protects both from the corrupting influences inherent in mixing them together. Republicans seeking to exploit faith to achieve political ends are damaging the Christian religion and our democratic nation.
Many Christians understand that the doctrines of the "so called" Christian Right arise out of a misunderstanding of Christian theology. Christianity differs from Jewish traditions by emphasizing the personal and internal nature of salvation. Christ taught that merely following external Law would never provide salvation. Just following Laws of Behavior does not make us free from sin. The "so called" Christian Right is trying to ignore this revolutionary doctrine by emphasizing the changing of laws to make us a more Christian nation. This is simply impossible. Salvation is personal and internal. According to the Bible, salvation is only achieved with the help of Jesus Christ. A law book provides no help in achieving salvation. Laws belong in the realm of Caesar instead of God.
The Christian doctrine of "Free Will" is ignored by the political activities of the Republican "so called" Christian Right. We are given the choice to select sin or salvation by God. Legislation is simply irrelevant to salvation. Salvation is the purpose of Christianity, not legislative or political victories by Republicanism.
Christianity also teaches us to care for the poor and helpless. This is not reflected in the lobbying or electoral activity of the "so called" Christian Right. The Republican agenda is a political statement that essentially glorifies Greed. Since when is the Christian religion an advocate of Greed?
The Democratic Party agenda more closely reflects mainstream Christian values than does the Republican agenda. The Democrats do this while protecting our Constitutionally mandated Separation of Church and State. We need to explore the radicalism of the "so called" Christian Right.
We are all aware of the outrageous comments of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson after the September 11th attacks. These political preachers seem to think that God is opposed to civil liberties and Free Will. God is not a Republican or supporter of Republicanism. God is the only source of judgment regarding sin according to the Bible. This right to judge morality is reserved to God. Political preachers have no right to usurp God's authority in this manner. The "so called" Christian Right has set itself up to judge the morality (the sin) of our political figures in violation of this authority. The "so called" Christian Right does not show a tendency towards Christian forgiveness when judging Democrats. The political preachers and their organizations like the Christian Coalition routinely forgive Republicans. Why the double standard? Is it because it promotes Republicanism?
We recently located some interesting quotes by Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson on "The Conservative Hall of Fame" website (click here to read). Ralph Reed was formerly the head of the Christian Coalition and now head of the Georgia Republican Party. In a speech to the Christian Coalition, he said, "Tell em what they want to hear; when elected do as you please. Lie if you have to." Ralph Reed must have missed the Ten Commandments.
Pat Robertson said " I think one man, one vote; just unrestricted democracy would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent now, and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights." Pat Robertson attacks democracy and advocates white racism. There is nothing Christian about these comments by Ralph Reed or Pat Robertson.
We recently heard anti-Clinton zealot and Republican commentator, Ann Coulter, defend the comments of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson concerning the September 11th attacks while addressing the College Republicans in Oregon. Her comments included a spirited defense on our treatment of the American Indians as being an advance for Christianity. Her most outrageous comment advocated placing in detention, under John Ashcroft, anyone who criticized the use of references to God in our schools. She seems to be against the Freedom of Speech provided by the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. We do not imprison anyone for his or her religious or political views in America.
The "so called" Christian Right is acting like an American Taliban. Their political agenda is both un-American and un-Christian. They have become nothing more than a tool of the Republican Party in their quest for power. Voters beware! Christians beware! It is time to exercise our Free Will in the ballot box and in our Churches.
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