Monday, April 03, 2006

Is the Republican Party a Theocracy?

Moo Cow over at Dilatoryaction posted this in response to a Washington Post article outlining the many ways in which the Republican party has become nothing short of a Christian theocracy. She shares a simplistic and admittedly wacky version of a few Christian beliefs, assumes that all religious conservatives believe this way, and concludes that today's Republican party is disgusting based on this evidence.

A quick and easy response would be to claim that I am equally as disgusted with the Democratic party, which is merely a front for Socialist/Communist organizations who wish to bring the downfall of Capitalism and Democracy. I am joking, of course. But seriously. Since when did pointing out the worst members of an opposing political party become the standard for political discourse? You can provide many examples of conservatives who act like idiots, and I can counter with just as many stories of Democratic morons. This doesn't mean that everybody on the opposite side of the fence believes that way. How's about a little bit of common sense for a change?

Yes, there is a contingent of conservatives whose opinions on the Middle East are a bit nutso. But I'm not too sure that calling the Republicans a theocratic party is correct. I don’t believe that politics or religion can be so easily categorized and labeled. The contingent - and that's all it is: a contingent - openly uses religion as a means of wooing voters and staying in power. This, however, is distinctly different from a Christian theocracy. This group isn't interested in proffering any particular set of beliefs outside those which will keep them in power. They pay attention to those aspects of Christianity which speak of the power of Christ and his followers, but leave out the parts that speak of a necessary humility in action. They speak of the need to ward off evil and fight the hand of Satan, but they neglect the beatitudes which speak of the need to pay particular attention to the poor and the broken and the downtrodden. In short, they are modern day Pharisees intent only on attaining and keeping power at all costs. To claim that this is merely a theocracy is dangerous in and of itself because it assumes first that there is no Christianity outside that which you (and I as well) find contemptible, it assumes that all Christians are as easily manipulated as the suburban left behinders you mentioned, and it dulls the poisonous affect of the actions of these political bastards into “just another group of blind, religious nuts” as opposed to the truth, which is much more malevolent.

I, too, was raised in a Southern Baptist church, and while there were some things that I liked, on the whole it was far too legalistic. There were a whole lot of rules and not a lot of grace. That’s why I go to a hippie church, where we believe in the credo that God loves you no matter how f'ed up you are, and that we should make every effort to be all kinds of groovy to everybody we meet.

The problem for some sections of the Democratic party is that they have seemingly adopted a religion of their own. Their hurry to disassociate themselves from the wacko evangelicals has resulted in a tacit acceptance and predominance of secularism above all other forms of religious thought. There is almost no room in the Democratic party for a person who believes in God. We Christians who actively work to make the world a better place for the poor and who oppose governmental interests in foreign nations that support genocide and who argue for reasoned discourse in all matters of political and religious thought, even those with which we disagree, are laughed out the door not because we disagree with the larger percentage of the party platform, but merely because we believe in God. This from the party that preaches cultural diversity and tolerance.

I agree wholeheartedly that some contingents of the Republican party have aligned themselves with some bad folks in order to obtain power, and i believe that this problem is much worse than most conservatives would like to believe. The sad truth is that the Democrats are just as bad. And the nature of politics today is such that you either accept each and every tenet of your respective party, or you are an evil person worthy of the worst sort of humiliation. There is no reason. There is no discussion. There is only popularity and polar opposition to generalized ideas that nobody can accept in total unless they check their brains at the door.

This is why I voted for Curt Schilling in the last election. I figured that, all things being equal, I’d rather have a president who can throw a good fastball than the two clowns who ran. I don’t know who I plan to support in ’08, but the early money is on Dontrelle Willis.

I hear he has a wicked splitter.

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