Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Christianity In Politics

Living in rural Illinois, I sometimes feel as if I'm in the heart of Christian Country. The popular opinion around here is that our President is a good man because he has "good Christian values." (I know, the irony is stunning. I didn't realize starting a war of choice was sanctioned by the Bible, but I have to admit I'm a little rusty on my Bible history.) So anyway, I decided to write a letter to the editor of my local paper (republican rag). And what do you know, it was actually published. Here's what it had to say:

Unfortunately, the paper has a 500 word limit on all letters to the editor, so I was unable to really expand on much. However, there is no limit on this blog post, so here we go.

Since when did our political process become a contest to see which candidate can out-God the other? Each candidate has done his best to try and show that he is a God-fearing man. I want to know, why does this matter? Oh, the Bible-thumpers will tell you that this country was founded on "Christian principles" and is therefore a Christian nation by heart. But c'mon, people, let's look at these "Christian principles." Explain to me how these principles differ from that of Judaism. Or Buddhism. Or (non-radical) Islam. The answer is, they don't. Freedom and equality are not Christian principles. As I recall, women were to be servants to their husbands if we go by the Bible's law. I don't see many women rushing to go back to that day and age. So the argument is null. The truth is, this country was founded and settled by Christians who were unhappy with their homeland for one reason or another. In fact, many of them were dissatisfied with the religious confinement of their mother country. I would think that we could understand the concept of religious confinement and would try to do something the avoid that. But no, here we are trying to make sure that the person we elect is the most Christian man available and all other eligions be damned because how could we consider ourselves good Christians if we didn't.

As I said in my letter, this is selfish. We couldn't be any more selfish. This is the equivalent of voting for the man that will give me the biggest tax cut despite the fact that he can't pay for it. Oh, wait, that's already happening. Have we, as a nation, become so selfish that we are willing to disregard the well being of our country? Have we become so selfish that we are only interested in getting everything we can for ourselves and screw the rest of you? Are we really willing to say "Fuck 'em all, I want it my way," when in reality we know that it is hurting future generations? The sad answer is yes.

Over the summer I spent a considerable amount of time debating with a conservative relative of mine. Through a number of e-mails, we debated the virtues of the liberal and conservative viewpoints. I can't say that I converted him anymore than he converted me, but I did learn a lot about the other side. Their view is that if you've got it (money, success, opportunity, etc.) good for you, you should be able to keep it; but if you don't have it (money, success, opportunity, etc.) screw you, you're on your own. In other words, get your filthy fucking hands off of mine.

We have become a nation of greed and excess. A nation concerned about getting more and sharing less. If it's yours it should be mine, but if it's mine, you're shit-out-of-luck. This is the nation we have become under George W. Bush. Now I admit, it's not all his fault. This attitude has been growing for years, but Bush has done nothing to stem the tide. Look at our holier-than-thou attitude towards foriegn policy. It's alright for us to possess nuclear weapons, but not for others. It's perfectly acceptable for us to defy the will of the United Nations, but when a country like Iraq does it, watch out. It's completely understandable for us to use our veto power over the United Nations Security Council (which we do more than any other country) but if France or Germany or Russia even hint at it, they're siding with the enemy. It's no wonder our country is regarded as arrogant. It's no wonder we are viewed as bullies and the biggest threat to world security. We have become exactly what our founding fathers were fighting so hard to be free of.

How did I get to this point in my rant from Christianity in politics? I got here because it all falls under the same heading: Selfishness. As Christians or as Americans we do not embrace the diversity that we claim to endorse. Who is responsible? A lot of people. But as they say, a fish rots from the head down. Right now, we need a new head because ours is rotten. We need a new direction. We need a fresh start. John Kerry is the right man to do this. He has promised to make America stronger at home and more respected in the world. He deserves that chance. America deserves that chance. On November 2 we have the opportunity to put America back on the right track. We can't let that chance pass us by.

Vote on November 2 and cast your vote for America. There are plenty of things we can be selfish about, but our country's future isn't one of them.

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