Political Religion - Grinding my Gears

Does anyone else out there have any defense for this politicizing of church that seems to be so prevalent?

Personally (and this is not the topic under discussion), I think that abortion does have a moral component, and so somewhat falls into the church’s arena of “expertise,” but it really bugs me when Christians just assume that you have a certain political view because you’re at their church, homegroup, etc. And I really get smouldering when it comes from pastors.

I went to my girlfriend’s church, and the head pastor (!!!) of this extremely large (five services a weekend in a big building) made a joke about Al Gore during all the recount in Florida fuss.

He said something like “And if you’re depending on recounts to give you the election, give it up.” (It made some sense somewhat in the flow of what he was talking about, he didn’t just bring it up completely out of nowhere.)

I seemed to be the only person not laughing. It bugs me when people assume my political view because of my religion. My church only has voter registration, and some factual “These guys stated their positions to be as follows:” type of pamphlets. They go out of their way to not make wisecracks or endorsements based on party, etc. The only derogatory comments of any kind I can remember about Clinton made by a pastor had to do with things like his (let’s just call it) adultery and lying.

Maybe this isn’t the kind of topic to spark a wild discussion here, because this board has kind of a libertarian-get your stuff out my face-type attitude, but I just wanted to get that off my chest.

So, any evangelicals got any defense of that at all? It’s one thing for James Dobson to assume you’re concerned about family issues (and even he may go a little far in politicizing the whole thing), but I’m sick of people making others feel uncomfortable by just assuming their thoughts for them. I think I’ll go send an email to that pastor right now.

Two comments, Dave. First and foremost, it can be generally stated that libertarians feel you have the right to state your opinions - just don’t try to cram it down another’s throat. Secondly, ministers are people, too, and therefore will express their opinions frequently or from time to time.

I would advise you to “get over it”. Church is not the only environment where you will run across the situation of others assuming your thoughts for you. The news media is full of it since politicians and newspersons do it all the time.

You would be justified in feeling uncomfortable if others determined for you how you must think and made decisions for you. Outside of that, you’re wasting energy choosing to feel uncomfortable. Tune it out or turn it off, IMHO.

I’m from NJ, so my experience may be region specific, but…

In my experience the most politically active churches tend to be black churches shilling for the democrats.
Personally, I think that churches should have every right to preach about whatever they want, politics included if they so desire.

Religion is dead if there is not a real life application of it, and the laws that govern us are a valid point for a church to be concerned about.

Of course, I don’t think we should live in a theocracy. There is a delicate balance somewhere in there between religous people having a say in how the country is run (just like atheists, agnostics and every other religion) and maintaining personal liberties.
If you think is too politically active, get another church.

Well I’m from Virginia and it looks to me like the churches down here are shilling for Republicans. Looked like it worked too the religious right gave Bush the election and now he’s paying them back with appointees.

I haven’t been to church in awhile because of this. The last Sunday that I attended the church of my sister and brother-in-law the sermon centered around, increasing your donations, allowing the man to be the sprititual “head of the household”, and signing a petition to block same sex marriages in another state!

It appears to me that we will never be able to separate religion from politics.

Needs2know

Religion does not exist in a vacuum. Monotheism was designed top-down by feudal elite interests to spread the ideals of submissive peace, artificial love, and elitist-peasant charity, all in order to defeat the Hellenistic ideals of freedom, justice, and equality. But ever since the necessity for God has been disproven by medieval logicians, the enlightenment brought us out of the dark ages, but there are still powerful interests that seek to demonize the public and lower expectations.

Interestingly, there is not one speck or shred of morality in modern fiscal conservatism, but Christians have hijacked the term “moral” through their vapid self-righteousness and they easily force others to believe that withholding healthcare, food and shelter from people is somehow righteous and enforces God’s will. This is why Christianity is not a religion, and never was, but is an anti-religion based on destruction of nature, demonization of humanity, and enforcement of foreign feudal hierarchy that in ancient times has systematically destoyed every standing religious temple and all public Hellenistic art by decree.

To make matters worse, the gospel Jesus is all written in feudal code (symbolism) that features the institutionalizing of poverty and the revering of wealth and power as divine (“love thine enemies” is a blatant pacification towards wealth and power). Note: The gospel Jesus evolved during a wave of mercantilism when money and coinage were spreading as ideas. On one hand the parables were pro-wealth, and on the other hand, the dogma was pro-communalistic. If one examines the brotherhoods that sponsored these ideas (Egyptian priests, Orphic botherhoods (monastaries), Buddhists, Essenes, Pythagoreans, etc) one will find that they were attracted to wealth as a celibate group, but shared it within an enclosed hierarchy, the leaders living in more luxury than the novices. The game seems to have become how to renounce the world in style. But their methods were dubious. Ancient Greek Thasoi, pre-Christian end-of-times zealots, were always despised for the way in which they went around demanding money from cities and towns or else threatening their immediate heavenly destruction.

The reason the gospel Jesus succeeds historically is two-fold. It allows for an atomized society made of competing individuals with few limits on exploitiation, and then offers a promise a triumph over death and nature based on the idea that there will be no future generations (anti-religion). So, Christianity is a self-seeking self-interest in self-salvation, since there is nothing else to live for (Christians actually pride themselves on having to be told to be nice and charitable, under threat of their salvation, because their humanity has been naturally stripped from them via their “religion”). To the ancients, love was compassion was righteousness. To the Christian, self-love is self-pity is self-righteousness.

To answer your question, many authors cite the fact that Christianity overcame Mithraism/Manichaeism in Rome, after desperately adopting the cross, Sunday as sabbath and December 25th as Christmas (the Birthday of Mithra, born in a cave of a virgin with three shepherds attending), because Mithraism did not pretend to want to take over the state and force people into it, even though Mithraism is almost identical to Christianity and was more popular at times. Christianity succeeds because IT CLAIMS TO BE THE ONLY PATH, thereby turning zealots into productive soldier-missionaries. Any Christian leader is forced by scripture and tradition to force their beliefs on others.

There is, in my experience, a kind of moral smugness on both sides of this dispute.

Obviously no Republican can possibly be interested in the benefit of the individual, poorer citizens, since he does not feel that it is necessary to expend major public funds in human services aid for them. And it is clear that the Republican is against human rights: look, he refuses to pass laws criminalizing specific forms of antisocial behavior that we Democrats favor.

On the other hand, no Democrat could possibly stand for the freedoms that are part of our American heritage, and be clear-eyedly willing to pay the cost in social disruption in order to preserve them; obviously we’re too blind to see that what we need is more stringent laws aimed at pressing people into espousing the Moral Code that Made America Great. Nor can a Democrat be made to understand that fostering a climate where a business can be successful is beneficial to all citizens in the long run.

And, quite obviously, somebody tried to steal the 2000 Presidential election. Who, and whether he succeeded, is the subject of dispute between the parties.

And, wow, the demonization. You all are of course aware that there is no middle ground between Fred Phelps on the one hand and NAMBLA on the other, right? If you don’t believe me, get a vehement member of each party (separately – you don’t need rabies shots from when they start scrapping) and note the points they make about the opposition.

[sub]Portions of this post have been pre-sardonified.[/sub]

Polycarp,

I completely agree that religious conservatives don’t have any moral or ethical ground to stand on, even on a relatively simple issue abortion since they refuse to allow state assistance for a state-forced fetus delivery. On that we agree. But on the complex economic issues, I don’t know what you mean by Democrats thwarting some great Republic with non-heritage ideals. Even the venerated preamble of the US constitution mentions welfare. The post war economic miracle that made America synomous with greatness is a Democratic inspired success story, as is Europe’s and Japan’s economic success. It all goes back to avoiding the narrowness of planned economic depressions which characterized pre-WW2 America (which were caused because some money baron was afraid to give someone he laid off an unemployment benefit). What moral code made America great? It wasn’t religion, because only 17% of the population in the first census claimed a religious sect). Slavery? Women not voting? Monopolitst zillionaires putting their industrial competition out of business by violence and extortion. It’s not that I don’t think America is such a great place, I think it is great because it once bought into the idea of progress, not past glory.