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Commentary :: Politics
When Politicians Become Messiahs
19 Jul 2011
As long as there has been an America there have been people making connections between God and politics. Yet it is almost assured as soon as this started people also made separations along theocratic and political lines both as groups and individuals. Side “A” said their person was doing the divine's work and “B” claimed another thing. People have claimed saint and sinner, angel or devil of both their's and their opponent's candidates (and from time to time candidates have even claimed it of themselves). This nation was founded by Christians and then as is probably the case now, the Bible was the most widely read book in this country, and certainly at that time the primary source of education for many Americans. It made sense people linked their political candidates with Biblical allegories, references, comparisons, etc, though it was technically blasphemous to do so. Yet neither democracy nor republicanism are intrinsically religious in and of themselves.
WHENPOLITICIANSBECOMEMESSIAHS.jpg
Side “A” said their person was doing the divine's work and “B” claimed another thing. People have claimed saint and sinner, angel or devil of both their's and their opponent's candidates (and from time to time candidates have even claimed it of themselves). This nation was founded by Christians and then as is probably the case now, the Bible was the most widely read book in this country, and certainly at that time the primary source of education for many Americans. It made sense people linked their political candidates with Biblical allegories, references, comparisons, etc, though it was technically blasphemous to do so. Yet neither democracy nor republicanism are intrinsically religious in and of themselves.

In today's America claiming a candidate is chosen by God can be detrimental to that candidate's progress, though sometimes discussing a candidate's religious background makes sense. If brought up it makes sense to say yes, they're a spiritual person if in fact that's the case. If their spirituality is unfairly attacked setting the record straight may be prudent. To discuss their house of worship can shed light on their political beliefs in a limited manner.

However, that isn't even always so. For instance, there are candidates that happen to be Christian and attend church services regularly and are pro-life. There are others that that do so and are pro-choice. There are candidates attending church on a regular basis that are anti-gay rights. There are those that also attend church regularly that are very pro-gay rights like the current president. Both examples are contentious current political issues in many different religious circles and both have dedicated Christian supporters on either side.

For the last few decades Republicans have been associated with claiming their candidates are the candidates of God or religiously correct most often. The religious right – in America the typically Christian right – has been supportive mostly of the GOP that have claimed them in return. Democrats have attempted to stay away from claiming one side or one God that represents their party acknowledging the multiculturalism and all that goes with that in today's society.

However, recently on a cable news channel one of that channel's regular Democratic pundits insinuated the current president is perhaps appointed to his position by God – as opposed to oh maybe the 2008 electorate though she did not say or infer the last part, I did. When discussing recent political events the Republican pundit/ strategist she was debating compared President Obama to President Carter. As this progressed and as a subtle defense of President Obama she inferred Carter was doing God's work. Thus through inference she was saying the same about President Obama. (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1107/15/sitroom.01.html)

It is one thing for people to feel privately in their own hearts, among family, among friends, etc that they believe their candidate of choice was anointed by the holy spirit as the commander in chief. But for actual strategists of any current political party expecting to be taken seriously to be saying or even implying their candidate for president has been selected by God and carrying out work chosen by the all-mighty starts to sound less than professional and a whole range of other things.

We are a nation that has grown beyond the limited demographic scope of the late 1770's (nostalgia for the philosophy and fashions of the day notwithstanding). We are multicultural, multiethnic and a religiously pluralistic society. For prominent spokespersons of any major modern political party to claim their religion is the one dictating to the nation the direction it will and should go in isn't in keeping with the America we live in today. It just sounds out of touch.

Where does it say in the Bible that the God of Christianity ordained either of the two major American parties as of 2011 as the preferred choice? I haven't seen the words Republican or the words Democrat written anywhere. Was Jesus Democrat or Republican? Does it make sense how silly it is to even ask the question itself?

Was President Clinton more Christian at any point during his presidency than at others? Was President Nixon closer to Jesus at any one point as opposed to others? Was God less present during their presidencies at certain points when compared with others? How practical is it really to try and parse it? If we can't, why make it a part of any public adult conversation?

As we live in a religiously pluralistic society do we just mean Christians when we say God? Are the rest of Americans kinda just out on their own - “whatever man?” Which denomination of Christianity is more favored by God? If our president is the chosen one does God choose presidents for every other country on the map or just ours? Does that include countries with socialist presidents also?

Does the lord's work the Democratic pundit inferred the current president is doing refer to the Christian God only? Thus, is he only doing work for Christians or are Muslims covered also? Are Jewish Americans covered too? Are Buddhist Americans included or are they left to contemplate their future on their own? Is this lord's work the Hindu lord's work? If so which Hindu lord and does it cover their manifestations also? Keep in mind some Hindu Gods have both male and female manifestations so things may get a little dicey depending on your church's views. Are Taoists covered or are they left to find their own way? How about Pagans, Wiccans? How does your church view The Native American Church or peyote? Are those that subscribe to New Age movements covered or do they believe they are just too hard to see in their clouds of spiritually refined incense and candle created crystal prisms?

If we say they are doing one God's work does it apply across the boards or not? The point is, perhaps in a modern society as advanced as ours to say a candidate is the candidate chosen by the God of one religion thus making them right for the job is instantly recognizable as perhaps implying other religions are less than. It's no different than saying one particular race is more fit to be president than others or one particular gender, or one ethnicity, etc. It's insensitive and in a nation founded on a document in which the first amendment of it states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In this nation politics was meant to be distanced from religion somewhat - though so many of us pray, reflect, contemplate or otherwise observe in our hearts. No one religion is to be favored through law or discriminated against – not that I feel or have been designated the chosen one to say so because I don't and I'm not – I'm just sayin so.

Each religion is in many ways a collection of adherents fasting a bit here to allow room there. Whether we agree with the emphasis of any religion outside of our own or not, we all have a right to be. That is fundamental to true Americanism at its very core. Let us remember to observe tact, lightheartedness and tolerance for the religion in each heart be it like ours, theirs or be it no religion at all. At the end of things as a country we are all in it together – no matter what person is elected to the highest office in the land at any given moment in history.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.
See also:
http://www/lawsuitagainstuconn.com

This work is in the public domain
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