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Nov 10, 2012 by MARK DANIELS
I hope so. I hope the same for liberal Christians. See here. Be warned: The post is explicitly Christian, but might be of general interest. If not, that’s okay too.
They were losers when they latched onto conservative economists under the delusion they would do anything for conservative Christians.
What have Christians gained from the Republican party?
Re: ShannonLeee’s question: A loss in credibility for one thing. If a religion can’t transcend politics – more specifically, if it’s followers can’t see why a religion becomes stunted when it can’t transcend politics, then they are worshiping a poor substitute.
While I do not share your religious beliefs, I thought your piece was thoughtful, well put and important to understand. You make a compelling case from a believer’s perspective. Those who claim Jesus as their Messiah should read your piece and heed your words.
Yes, Mr. Daniels,
I have a close relative who considers herself a born again Christian, but she doesn’t approve of the way members of her Church have been regimented by their leaders to support conservative values in a very political way.
Although I am not of any particular faith, I would think that a loving creator would truly represent apolitical interests involving faith, hope, love and sacrifice rather than encourage believers to engage in petty fights over who has the most “right or wrong” point of view. As I believe Michael stated (in so many words) that this can easily create a “God is on our side,” mentality that not only marginalizes Christians belonging to other denominations, but may also arbitrarily deny any worth to the beliefs of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindu’s etc.
In my opinion the leaders of all the worlds religions, have strayed from the pure love and enlightenment themes that seem to be at the corp of what their founders taught. When dissolving these corp teachings into a seething cauldron of warring theologies, I would think it would be very easy to begin losing sight of what each faith’s founders really intended.
When one examines the basic teachings of the worlds religions there is a great deal of consensus about what values are spiritual and what are illusory, transient, and hateful. Unfortunately when political leaders use religion to support their views, the people in those faiths becoming unwitting tools for religious bias and narrow-mindedness. Either way, molding religions for the use of politicians, or molding politicians to adhere to and use specific religious doctrines to advance their agendas, does not benefit anyone. I would rather have church leaders meditate on the words of Jesus which transmit the idea of “giving unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and giving unto God what belongs to God.” If Christ died on the cross in order to teach us all the importance of loving one another, then it is tragic to see our fellow human beings attempt to politicize such a universal and transcendent message!
The issue is not the separation of church and state. It is the separation of religion and spirituality/faith. Religion, like the state, is a man made framework that is not to be inherently trusted nor obeyed…same with our political party’s. Their driving purpose is control, control for what they deem is the greater good for all…their souls…their decision making…their security.
Faith is not about control. Faith is about choice, a choice to follow and the freedom to dissent. The more control a religion has over its people, the less faith those people are allowed to practice. True faith in one’s God does not come from one’s parents, church, or party…it comes from having the complete freedom to disagree and walk away, yet deciding to follow.
I agree. I think most often “religion” has less to do with faith, than with psychological and/or political regimentation. However there are many people who benefit from affiliation with a particular church, and who have the benefit of being able to communicate with others with the same,or similar minds. (preferably open ones).
I think that one need not belong to any church to be spiritual or to have faith, and the freedom to form ones own unique theological values. And,if one is not defined by membership to a particular Church, Synagogue, Mosque, etc. then one is probably going to have little interest in establishing a State approved religion, or a State that dispenses a particular philosophy and rejects others—Otherwise we are then, as a civilized society, in trouble. However, I have known many people who prefer to define themselves as being members of a particular church or denomination, who also use their beliefs in positive ways that involve caring for others and developing the spirit of love. I know that there are many others who don’t have these positive qualities, but, I think it is fair to include the term “religion” along with faith because there are always people who really Practice what they preach, without wanting to convert or put down others. They may represent a minority, but, they are never-the-less present–even though exclusively subscribing to the principles of one particular religion.
Some of the most wonderful people I know hold church memberships. One of the most influential male figures in my life was a national leader of a major conservative protestant denomination. That did not change the fact that his denomination was just as corrupt and hypocritical as the Catholic church. It did not change the fact that a couple within that denomination felt so much pressure to conform, that trying to getting away with murder seemed like a better option than dealing with the public guilt of divorce.
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