Akin for Religious Relief
Religion and Politics will always be at odds because they have the exact same goal; for a small group of people to control a large group of people and, this is key, their wealth and other resources. Historically, this battle has raged throughout the ages. Think back to the monarchies of Europe. Their power was allegedly derived through Divine Right of Kings; but who, pray tell, spoke for the Divine’s selection? The Clergy! This gave them nearly unlimited power that had to be backed by the monarch as one word from the head of the church and that ruler fell. As such, the only way to maintain this fragile balance was to form a quite unholy alliance, ultimately giving rise to American essayist and novelist Charles Dudley Warner’s famous quote, “politics and religion make strange bedfellows.” Knowing this as we do, why do we tolerate the hijacking/diverting/obfuscating of political discussion in the name of religion? Are we really the shortsighted who repeat history because we forget history? How sad.
Instead, why don’t we determine to keep this discussion where it belongs; in Bible/ Qur’an /Book of Mormon/ Scientologist’s Handbook class? Of all people, Akin and his fellow Christians should be leading the charge to do so. Why? Please allow me to let Jesus explain.
Jesus was once asked by the Roman’s whether he advocated that Jews living within the Roman Empire should pay the mandated taxes. Of course, it was a trick question. They thought he would say that the Jews did not recognize Caesar’s (over God’s) authority and therefore should not pay taxes, thus giving the Roman’s cause to arrest Jesus for sedition. However, Jesus’s answer swiftly and succinctly put things into perfect perspective. He said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). Even Jesus understood that there were two separate sets of laws; those of God and those of man. Yes, all of man’s law is modeled after God’s, but Jesus understood that man’s laws should be created by men, judged by men, and enforced by men. As such, he was the very first to legitimize the separation of Church and State. How do Christian’s not see this?
If they do, this then reveals their true purpose, and the situational malleability of their ethics. In short, they intend to do whatever it takes, regardless of the immoral nature of their words and deeds, to either gain or maintain power. As such, anytime someone tries to inject religion into the political conversation, especially those claiming that they know what God would do or say in any particular situation, that person’s comments should be, to put it in biblical terms, cast out. As deeply religious as the founders were, they understood this too.
Many of the people that helped found this country were escapees of countries and regimes that persecuted/prosecuted those committing crimes against the established national religion; and ironically, the great majority of them were Christians. Still, the founders were so aware of the oil and water relationship between politics and religion that they wrote a specific clause into the constitution; not banning religion, but stating that the government will not force people to practice a specific religion. Yet here we are, debating, amongst other things, a “Christian’s” statement and how “Christians” and others should react to it. Sure, it makes for lively conversation, but does it belong in a dialog concerning the potential election to a body which specifically has, as a mandate, the separation of church — not synagogue, not mosque, but of church and state? NO!
I believe that any candidate that speaks to his or her religious background as a bone fide for holding office should be automatically disqualified as what they have said is, “to hell with the constitution, I am going to govern religiously”. As such, there will never be a religious plank in a Party Recon platform.