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Christians and Politics

Yesterday, my family and I went shopping, and in the parking lot of a superstore we passed a car with a bumper sticker which read, "Who Would Jesus Torture?" Like so many bumper stickers, this one was a trite attempt to suggest that Christians who support the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan are hypocrites. I could have written a lengthy article on why the bumper sticker was itself hypocritical and malicious, but there is a larger, more important issue to be examined here - the political character of the Christian in the United States.

Lately, it has become fashionable for Liberals to pretend that Jesus Christ would prefer Barack Obama to John McCain. In so far as everyone has a right to make their case and have an opinion that is fine, but when someone who is not a practicing Christian decides that they have the authority to speak for the Master who warned "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36), they show a disappointing arrogance which cheapens their position. Also, there are dozens of significant denominations, and each holds strong beliefs which differ in various ways from other associations; the idea that a single political opinion on a controversial question would be monolithically held through all Christian churches betrays a simplistic and biased view of the Christian mind. Further, the American character of Christianity is distinct from the rest of the faith; not better or worse because of its differences, but ignoring those differences is to ignore History. American Christians have often taken stronger positions than other Christians on political issues, though in the main the decision has always been individual, not so much institutional. And in the past generation, those religious "leaders" who demand a specific political stance from their denomination have more and more been those individuals whose work has been almost exclusively political, and thoroughly lacking in pastoral acts of charity and, well, feeding their flock.

I have studied the Scriptures extensively, and from what I see it is very difficult to find a political position that is perfectly, hmm, "Christ-like". Take war, for example. Jesus is known colloquially as the "Prince of Peace", and Scripture tells us that he warned His disciples, that "all who draw the sword will die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52). Yet it is also written that when a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant, Jesus not only did so, but strongly praised the faith of the Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13). What's more, there is not a single verse in the Bible where a soldier is condemned or war itself is condemned. There are verses, actually, which suggest the Lord thinks well of honest soldiers (e.g. Exodus 15:3, Deuteronomy 20:1, Judges 3:10, Judges 6:12, Revelation 19:11). That is not to say that God thinks war is always a good thing, or even usually a good thing. But it is a fact of this world that wars happen, and that good men have to fight in them. From there, reasonable people can differ about the decision to go to war, or the decisions made by leaders. But it is plainly arrogant to claim that Christ sides with your own political position, especially if you are not a practicing Christian.

There are a lot of issues like that, where there is no clear political position which a person can properly say God advocates. It's easy to rip out something you found in the Bible that seems to say what you want, but in many of those cases the actual context of the Scripture is less obvious, especially given twenty centuries or so between the time they were written and today.

Both major political parties have been guilty at one time or another with playing the 'God likes me better' card. From where I sit, it may play out to a temporary advantage, but for the tens of millions of Christians who do their level best every day to walk in Christ's teachings, it mocks who we are and what we stand for. It's fine if you hold different beliefs from me and honestly express your own opinion, although I may say that I think you are wrong. But if you try to pretend that a faith you don't even believe in teaches morality according to your political position, that is simply lying arrogance. And it's not fooling the people you think it is.


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Comments (36)

amen DJ!... (Below threshold)
MF:

amen DJ!

for the tens of millions... (Below threshold)
sue:

for the tens of millions of Christians who do their level best every day to walk in Christ's teachings, it mocks who we are and what we stand for. It's fine if you hold different beliefs from me and honestly express your own opinion, although I may say that I think you are wrong. But if you try to pretend that a faith you don't even believe in teaches morality according to your political position, that is simply lying arrogance. And it's not fooling the people you think it

Thank you DJ. I have to say that it irritates me to no end when unbelievers cherry pick verses from the bible to prove the point that "they are right" and that I, for believing something else is wrong....and even more so when they claim that that means I am not a "real Christian" and therefore am going to hell.

Sometimes the difference is in how we believe something should be done. For instance I believe that as Christians it is up to myself, the church and community to help those who are in need....not federal programs that I do not see as working. Yet I have been call a "fake Christian" because I do not believe in creating more and more social welfare programs that require more and more money.

As you say "it's not fooling the people you think you are". While only God knows a persons heart and can say if he/she belongs to Him and only He has the right to judge that person, it is easy to spot those who are likely to be non believers (vs. those who believe, but have a different viewpoint from mine).

Politics is in a way in the... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

Politics is in a way in the very center of the Old Testament. God judged nations as a whole, and it mattered greatly who the leader was. Example, Israel did well (generally) under David, and after the internal division the Northern Kingdom (Israel) as a nation did very badly and was quickly defeated by the enemies, and all their kings like Jeroboam, Ahab, etc. were all bad and did not serve God.

Judah (Souhern Kingdom) you could say how well the nation did was directly related to their obedience to God. Asa, Uzziah, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah were relatively good kings that served God (although some not consistently for their whole lives) and the success of the nation was related to that.

Humanism is the idol of the Democratic party and the liberals. They are worshipping "idols", sacrificing to Molech (abortion), calling the good "bad" (publically worshipping God and fighting physically and spiritually FOR Israel are unquestionably good but bad in liberals' eyes); and calling bad "good" -- right to practice homosexuality, not being concerned much for adultery, pornography are unquestionably bad, but the liberals cite "freedom for art", "personal choice", etc. and therefore "good".

Yes, DJ, there are differences in different denominations, but if they differ on the core tenets -- Bible inerrant, Jesus being God and man, belief in the second coming, etc., then they are not a "different denomination" but a deviating sect.

It is incorrect to think who God will support. That is nothing but pride. He will instead, JUDGE. And let me just say, there have been much faster talkers than Obama in human history, and they had no chance.

Just to make sure that my p... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

Just to make sure that my point is not lost in the comment above: because there may be some that call themselves Christians and support liberal causes, we need to not be confused about the situation. The Republican Party platform is much closer in goal in pursuing what God says is "good" (it doesn't mean Republicans are good, just that the goals mainly are closer to good). The Democratic Party platform is much more in line with what God says is "bad" or "evil" (and this is true at this time -- I'm not saying that the parties have always been or always will be this way).

There is no "God likes me better card". You better be deathly worried instead whether you like God.

Sorry DJ, but you're wrong ... (Below threshold)

Sorry DJ, but you're wrong here. The Bible plainly teaches us to vote Republican.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 ~
"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left."

;)

The bumper sticker missed a... (Below threshold)
David:

The bumper sticker missed a very important point, God tortured His son for us.

DJ, you might want to tune ... (Below threshold)

DJ, you might want to tune in to Eternity Road On The Air this evening, as it appears that we've chosen roughly the same subject for the day.

About danged time. I was wo... (Below threshold)

About danged time. I was wondering how many pieces about Christianity I would have to write before you decided that such things ought to be addressed by an actual Christian, and not this born-again agnostic.

Seriously, DJ... superb piece. And that's from someone outside your targeted audience.

J.

One thing that is often for... (Below threshold)
Northwynd:

One thing that is often forgotten:

Jesus Christ is coming back as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords with a sword, and the armies of the heavenly hosts with Him. Often the very people who invoke Jesus as gentle and mild,never want to mention King Jesus the Warrior and Judge.

The other thing I've noticed is that the people who want to invoke Jesus to promote their social issues, never seem to care about the thousands of Christians who are being tortured because of their faith in Christ throughout the world. Although experts say that this century has produced more Christian martyrs than all the others combined, somehow their suffering for their faith is not important to certain people talking about what Jesus would do. It begs the question: Is is only Muslims or people of other faiths that deserve protection from any cruel treatment.

The last point is that I've noticed that those who will use the name of Jesus to influence people, often really don't want to talk about Jesus otherwise. It seems as if that they are using Him and His word, and will discard Him and it when they're done.
So hollow.
So obvious.

It has come up in the comme... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

It has come up in the comments of other recent Wizbang articles that some Obama supporters buy into the idea that taxing the wealthy in order to give to the poor is the Christian thing to do.

As Christians our relationship with God is as an individual. We get no credit for being related to someone who has a strong relationship with God apart from that person's prayers for us. Giving to the poor is an act of righteousness as seen in Matthew 6:1-4. Those who have studied the Bible know that God cares about what's in the heart of the giver, rather than the act of giving. The highest form of love is self-sacrificing for the benefit of others. That's what Christ did on the cross to the ultimate degree. Parents sacrifice for their kids, but true giving is when we sacrifice for those we have no legal obligation to support.

Dropping a large bill into a Salvation Army bucket in such way that no one sees what you gave is an act of self-sacrificing love for the poor; an act of righteousness right out of Matthew 6:1-4. Paying your taxes is a legal obligation done out of compulsion, and for some, done with a bit of hate and resentment. Beyond being law-abiding there's no righteousness in it.

When Obama talks about an obligation to the least among us, the poor, he's talking about replacing the Christian teaching of giving to the poor out of self-sacrificing love with a tax collector who will then decide just who the poor are. Not only is this plan devoid of the giver's love, but it's devoid of thankfulness of the poor as they feel entitled to their government support by virtual of their status, a status often self-imposed. The government can put you in right standing with God. There's nothing Christian about Obama's plan.

Paylin is on video telling ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Paylin is on video telling her church that it is God's will to build a pipe line. She goes on to lead the people of the church to pray for the pipeline.

This is no-joke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG1vPYbRB7k

A couple of problems here, ... (Below threshold)
dooz:

A couple of problems here, DJ:

1. Many today believe that truth is what you believe it is; this washes out much of your argument, because "that is merely your opinion".

The problem with that view, however, is that it's wrong. If I believe fervently that the Law of Gravity is Religious Right propaganda, and if I campaign bitterly to defeat it, my fall off a 10-story building will still result in my body falling at a predictably accelerating rate until I go splat.

Sorry folks, truth is truth. I'm not saying what you're probably hearing, that "my truth" is what you should believe. I'm saying that truth is truth, that reality is reality, whether we both believe it or neither of us believes it.

There are laws of nature that just are; things work the way they do because that's the way they work. Just the truth. Not negotiable.

2. If there are no absolutes, then I can't impose my values on you, because they're just the things I choose to believe. (Strange, though, how you'll assert this to me and then tell me how wrong I am for not accepting your values as absolutes.)

If there are no absolutes, war is usually (if not always) wrong (although how can anything be wrong if there are no absolutes?). War is wrong because it is a fight between parties over differing values, and neither side is wrong or right.

The trouble with this view is, however, that once again it is not supported by the evidence. Saddam was torturing and murdering his people (and btw was posing a demonstrated threat to world peace). Hitler was clearly evil.

(The French took the "liberal" view, and didn't fight. Didn't stop Hitler from oppressing them, inprisoning them, torturing them, exterminating many of them.)

In response to Rick Warren's question about dealing with evil, Obama waffled for several minutes (and it was a multiple-choice question!), and McCain said, "Defeat it." [end of response]. McCain could only say that out of a framework of believing that evil exists and can be objectively identified. Problem for many today.

Moving on, DJ, to your issue of "God is on our side": The best thing I've heard on this is the question to Lincoln, "Is God on our side?" and Lincoln's reply: "I hope and pray that we are on God's side."

God doesn't take sides. We either align with him or we don't. Nobody aligns with him always, and few of us align with him even most of the time. Of course, those of us who believe in God and have acted in belief to allow him to receive us as his children are aligned with him foundationally, as opposed to those who have thus far refused to align with God even at the starting point.

Therefore, we Christians need to be careful not to claim complete understanding of and compliance with God and his commands, but those who refuse to believe in God ought not claim that they know God's will better than we do.

Oh, and btw, if there is no god, as they claim, how can they possibly say that this non-existent entity opposes war? (Or supports it?)

Shortly after I finished my Master's degree in Psychology and Theology, I was talking with my father and he said some common-but-erroneous thing about God and the Bible. When I challenged him, he answered, "I know about this; I read a book." He was a life-long auto repair specialist, and taught it for many years, and I know how he reacted to people who thought they knew cars because they'd "read a book" or "someone told [them]". (I argued no further; he wasn't listening.)

Rule number one: Unless you actually know something, keep still. "A little knowledge is dangerous."

One final comment: Yes, Jesus was called "the Prince of Peace". But he also got pretty violent with the money-changers in the temple. And he wasn't all that "doing whatever it take to get along" with the Jewish leaders. (Calling people "a brood of vipers" is not recommended by Dale Carnegie nor in diplomat training.)

11. Dave:So what's... (Below threshold)
dooz:

11. Dave:

So what's your point?

Are you criticizing/mocking because she mentions God in public?

Are you mocking her for believing in God?

Are you disagreeing with her assessment of what God's will is?

Are you implying a belief that, as a commenter elsewhere claimed, "God could care less about pipelines"?

Can you argue rationally, factually, with evidence, that Palin was somehow wrong in what she said? Or are you just parroting something somebody said (or told you to say)?

Meanwhile, another question for you: If there are no absolutes, and if your beliefs are as valid as mine, how can you be mocking someone else's beliefs as you have here?

Awaiting your cogent reply.

Dooz,When politici... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Dooz,

When politicians tell their church that it is Gods-will that a pipeline be built it goes far beyond any of the examples that DJ stated in his article.

What makes it even more relevant is that it is being said by a politican using her religion to get public support on a completely non-religous issue. As DJ says, where in the scripture does God say anything about pipelines?

If Obama was on video telling a church it is Gods will that a particular bill passes it, it would be playing on the news 24-7.

Dave,She is speaki... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

Dave,

She is speaking here mostly as governor and speaking FOR Alaska to Masters level graduates (not the church). She's asking that the whole project go well and asking for prayers -- it'd be like President Bush asking Billy Graham to intercede for those affected during Hurricane Ike.

She also asks for prayers for our soldiers -- how dare she Dave???

By the way Dave, if Obama's... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

By the way Dave, if Obama's video addressing the congregation at his home church is played on the news, it will be because he asks for prayers that Ahmadinejad develops nuclear weapons of high caliber, and quickly. Now why would you not consider that newsworthy I wonder.

Nehemiah,... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Nehemiah,

She's asking that the whole project go well and asking for prayers.

She said a lot more. She said its God's will that the pipeline be built.

it'd be like President Bush asking Billy Graham to intercede for those affected during Hurricane Ike

No, it would be like Billy Graham saying that the Hurricane was gods will.

"Lately, it has become fash... (Below threshold)
daniel rotter:

"Lately, it has become fashionable for Liberals to pretend that Jesus Christ would prefer Barack Obama to John McCain".

Examples, please. Also, unless it is a typo, why is the seventh word in the above sentence capitalized?

Dave,You have now ... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

Dave,

You have now stooped to posting direct lies. She did not at all say that the pipeline being built was God's will.

Now let me ask you a serious question: why did Obama/Jeremiah Wright say that whites in America must all be killed?

By the way, the direct quot... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

By the way, the direct quote from Gov. Palin is (and in case Dave refutes this one, please get him banned after checking the above video yourself): "God's will is for people to be unified".

14. Dave:Still awa... (Below threshold)
dooz:

14. Dave:

Still awaiting your cogent reply.

You've only restated your belief, not supported it in any way.

You say:
"When politicians tell their church that it is Gods-will that a pipeline be built it goes far beyond any of the examples that DJ stated in his article."

How is this even a statement, let alone a statement supported by facts?

In what way does this "go beyond" DJ's examples? And how does that prove anything?

You say:
"What makes it even more relevant is that it is being said by a politican using her religion to get public support on a completely non-religous issue. As DJ says, where in the scripture does God say anything about pipelines?"

You are asserting here that: 1. She was speaking as a politician, rather than as a Christian, 2. She was "using her religion to get public support", 3. The pipeline is a "completely non-religious issue", 4. The scripture nowhere supports pipelines.

You've only stated your beliefs; you've not backed up anything with facts or evidence.

1. A Christian stood up in her church and made a statement; Christians do that. This one happened to be a politician, so that, you assert, makes it wrong. Why? On what basis? (Warning: If you answer, "Just because I believe it", you're going to be buried in replies here which say, "Well that's not what I believe, so shut up.")

2. Did she ever state her intent? If not, then how do you know what she intended? If so, then cite a reference.

3. It appears to me (but I cannot speak for her), that Palin disagrees with you whether this is a "religious" issue. I imagine she could argue that it would mean honest jobs for many people, who then would be better off financially and psychologically than if they had to continue to scrape by with not enough work to go around, and that God cares about people, and thus God cares about a pipeline that would benefit those people. I imagine she could argue that our dependence on oil controlled by supporters of anti-American, anti-Christian people puts the people of God in jeopardy. (Those are examples, howbeit pretty weak ones, of supported argument. Weak, but they trump your complete absence of support.)

4. First problem with your statement is the principle of logic that a negative statement cannot be proven. Have you thoroughly studied the Bible, so that you know it forwards and backwards? Have you carefully read through it looking for any statement pertaining to oil or pipelines? Or you made this statement because it sounds good to "support" your belief?

I can say that the Bible addresses a good many issues where it's not stated in so many words. They didn't have oil or pipelines when the Bible was recorded. You have to look at the principles the Bible does state. Concepts such as honesty, fair treatment of others, taking care of what God has placed in our charge, cover a lot of ground. I'm not going to take my time to search out support for an argument, since you haven't shown any evidence that you want anything more than to state your beliefs and expect us to believe you.

BTW, you've cited DJ saying "where in the scriptures doe it say anything about pipelines?", but I'm not finding any such phrase in his post.

You say:
"If Obama was on video telling a church it is Gods will that a particular bill passes it, it would be playing on the news 24-7."

Playing the victim card, eh? I remember hearing Al Franken say he was starting his own radio network because the mainstream media were biased for the Right. Yeah, Dan Rather campaigned for Bush! The MSM jumped all over the Monica story the first time they heard a rumor! The New York Times was the first to expose Kerry's lies about his military service, basing their attack only on the say-so of the swift-boaters.

I haven't seen anything in the MSM about Obama's ties to Bill Ayers or about the failure of Chicago Annenberg Challenge under their leadership. I haven't seen major headlines about the irregularities in Obama's home purchase or about it being arranged by a mobster. I'm still waiting to see an CBS exposé on Michelle Obama's huge pay raise and the coincidence that Barack supported legislation which meant millions for Michelle's employer. I'm still waiting to see an evening news report on the attacks on Kurtz for daring to investigate CAC.

It's just a really good thing the MSM is biased against Obama!!!!

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot: They haven't reported on these things because they're too busy with really important exposé: "McCain wears expensive shoes".

Those, Dave, are facts. Try using some; it's fun.

Still awaiting your cogent reply.

Hi Mac.Brilliant. ... (Below threshold)
ed davis:

Hi Mac.

Brilliant. Well said.

Very interesting to think about your last point made at 5:55, the government putting us right with God via Obama. I never thought of it that way. That perspective adds weight to the theory that Obama is a prototype (knowingly or not) for antichrist. So many things these days correlate with what little I know and am looking for. I am not trying to create fear or negativity. Just trying to encourage people to look for the birth pangs.

Nehemiah,Palin sai... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Nehemiah,

Palin said,

You have now stooped to posting direct lies. She did not at all say that the pipeline being built was God's will.

Here is a direct quote from the video:

gods will has to be done in unifying people with companies to get that pipeline built. So pray for that.


Now let me ask you a serious question: why did Obama/Jeremiah Wright say that whites in America must all be killed?


Obama did not say that. Now your telling lies.

Dave,Here's the ac... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Dave,

Here's the actual quote.

I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that.

You left off the "I think" part which turns her sentence from a declaration of God's will into Sahar's opinion of what's God's will is. Obama has certainly experssed his own opinions about it being God's will to care for the least amoung us.

Why did you leave the "I think" part off? It looks like an attempt to deceive and you've lost your credibility.

"Who Would Jesus Torture?" ... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

"Who Would Jesus Torture?"

How about everyone condemned to hell?

ed davis,Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ed davis,

Thanks for your comment.

The second to the last sentence in post #10 should have read: "The government cannot put you in right standing with God."

After noticing the mistake, I can see how it could be read that Obama is saying "The government can put you in right standing with God." Which anyone who has studied the Bible knows is false.

I was raised as Catholic an... (Below threshold)

I was raised as Catholic and attended Catholic schools much of my early life. But in later years, I would sometimes attended a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall because of my like for a pastor friend who preached there.

This church never involves itself in politics, and in fact most members do not even vote. They believe in God's upcoming kingdom as stated in the Bible, not some man-made counterfeit church-government like the old church of the Roman Government, the church of the English Monarchy, or some American made Protestant church preaching for another mankingdom counterfeit to counter God's kingdom.

Who know that Jesus favored wars for oil like Iraq? Who knew that Jesus supports tax benefits for the big oil companies? The fact of the matter is that no scripture supports such political nonsense.

Any mix of God, government and a state church is certainly an unholy trinity. The Christian Right is only the latest effort by some who want to rule to use God and religion to justify their rule. This has been done many times before in human history and is only a satanic counterfeit of God's Kingdom rule like all previous attempts in human history.

Paul-You are talking like t... (Below threshold)
sue:

Paul-You are talking like the paranoid liberal left when you talk (write) like that. There is very, very, very, very few Christians that want or are even interested in a "State Church".

And there is nothing that says that Christians can only have opinions on something if the bible specifically states it. (tax breaks for oil companies, specific reasons for war).

There is also nothing in the bible or in our Constitution that says that politicians or Christians need to check their beliefs that are based on Christianity at the door when voting or having an opinion on a political issue.

I know that liberals would like that to be the case because then our values would not be represented in govenment and our laws, but that's not the way it works however much you would like it to be so.

"...politicians or Christia... (Below threshold)
daniel rotter:

"...politicians or Christians...".

The two things are mutually exclusive? I thought Sarah Palin, a politician, was a member of an Assemblies of God church.

Your approach is skewed in ... (Below threshold)
klangston:

Your approach is skewed in that you assert that the choice for Christians is between Republican and Democrat. I don't think Christians should recognize the authority of the state over their lives. Jesus Christ should be the only commander and chief for Christians. I've heard Christian soldiers in the US Army complain about bombing Christians in the Balkans. Now our tax dollars are being used to kill Jews in South Ossetia. I think Republican's theme for the RNC, "Country First" says it all in terms of their message to Christians. Christians should rather "seek ye first the kingdom of heaven."

"And there is nothing that ... (Below threshold)
daniel rotter:

"And there is nothing that says that Christians can only have opinions on something if the bible specifically states it (tax breaks for oil companies, specific reasons for war)".

There is a big difference between a person WHO HAPPENS TO BE A CHRISTIAN having an opinion on something that the Bible doesn't touch upon and a Christian person who actually bases this same opinion on his/her Christianity.

Mac,When I read it... (Below threshold)
ed davis:

Mac,

When I read it I did a double take thinking it to be a typo and that you meant it to read "can't", but, as it ends up and the way I finally read it, that typo sheds an interesting light on how senator Obama presents himself (and may or may not view) and his lightworking purpose.

Yup. I agree, ANYONE who has studied the Bible.

I am learning how easy it is for "lightworkers" to twist the truth to serve and energize a gigantic and powerful politcal machine. And I see how many people are falling for this shit. The scary thing for me is that I want to believe that Obama means well but is just plain ignorant. Who cares if he means well! Lord, don't allow me to be fooled. Don't let me get myself caught in that trap.

Oops, sorry 'bout that. I shifted off to la la land again.

Where was I? Oh, I hope the momentive that has begun to expose both the agenda and the real opinion shaping power of our major media outlets keeps growing. I hope a lot of young people will get serious about American politics because of it. Because currently, there isn't much reason to identify with progressive liberalism. It is UGLY AS HELL. And the normal make up it wears can't stand up to the harsh stage lights shining on it right now. Dammit. I drifted again.

Good night, y'all.

There is a big dif... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
There is a big difference between a person WHO HAPPENS TO BE A CHRISTIAN having an opinion on something that the Bible doesn't touch upon and a Christian person who actually bases this same opinion on his/her Christianity.

I've seen liberals try to apply the non establishment clause of the first amendment to individuals before. As if a person must keep their religious beliefs and their political beliefs separate. Such a theory has no standing in law nor reason.

No one has the right to tell another they can't use their religious beliefs to formulate their opinion or how to vote. There's absolutely nothing in the Constitution or enacted law that says a person can't vote their conscious. Such a law would be both absurd and unenforceable. In fact, the first amendment guarantees a person has the right to express their political opinions, however formulated, in public or in other suitable forums. The only remedy for those who disagree with such an opinion is to express their own.

First and foremost, kudos t... (Below threshold)
Jamie:

First and foremost, kudos to DJ for a well-written post, then a round of props to 90% of the contributors to the comment thread for keeping with the theme of the post.

I, as a very nontraditional Christian, have seen the Bible twisted beyond belief in support of some of the most far-fetched doctrines in both theological and secular areas, and quite frankly it sickens me.

I realize it's the nature of belief to think that you're correct, and the opposite is wrong, else you wouldn't believe as you do. I think, though, that in absence of authoritative knowledge (as we all lack), we must keep a proper perspective on our beliefs.

The Bible, much as our Constitution, can be construed to say many, many things, and a right understanding of what either work actually means requires much more than a casual parsing of the text. Some theologians have argued that there is indeed no understanding of the Bible at all, except through the indwelling of the Spirit. I don't know that I'd embrace that idea wholly, as I think it speaks on some level to everyone, but there's likely some truth to that assertion.

To give a very brief nod to Dave, it's not uncommon for a Christian to believe that a particular course of action that seems to lend great benefit to a people is "God's will." Palin's statement is one of her own belief, not something that lends itself into being twisted into her saying that she speaks for God, as you attempt. You are displaying your own ignorance of the faith which you attempt to disparage.

And Dave, I still await you... (Below threshold)
dooz:

And Dave, I still await your cogent reply.

DJ goes his entire post wit... (Below threshold)
Herman:

DJ goes his entire post without answering the question that he poses:

Who would Jesus torture?

Well, what's your answer, DJ?




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Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

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