Politics and Religion: Intertwined
Chuck Doswell - 21 January 2011
Last week’s American Heathen had a decidedly political leaning and I
found myself wondering if we’d shifted from being a show mostly about
atheism to being just another political program, to join the myriads of
rantings on all sides by seemingly endless hordes of people with
political grievances to air. So I griped to RJ about that.
But, upon further review … I retract my complaint. The fact is
that politics and religion in many countries, including the USA, are
inextricably coupled. In nations with one predominant religious
orientation - be it christian, muslim, or jewish – it seems that the
majority seeks to impose itself on any minorities within their
political reach. I needn’t enumerate all the examples of
this. They’re so many, so varied, and so evident that I don’t
need to provide any supporting material for that.
In the United States, the predominant flavor is christian and it’s
obvious to me that many of these christians have become increasingly
aggressive in wanting to thrust their views, their customs, their
beliefs, and their morals on all of us. There’s one political
party that has evolved so far from its egalitarian roots of the Civil
War era that it now is pursuing a wide variety of efforts to impose
itself on everyone. We at American Heathen now refer to it as the
"christian nationalist party" (the GOP).
What does the word “conservative” bring to your mind? In today’s
world, this means a capitalist, a gun nut, a religious fundamentalist,
a fan of the death penalty, an opponent of abortion under any
circumstances, a homophobe, a ‘chicken hawk’ soldier favoring
jingoistic diplomacy and unlimited defense spending, an advocate of
welfare for the rich while staunchly opposing welfare for the poor, and
a so-called ‘strict constitutionalist’ who would eviscerate the
judicial branch and dominate both the legislative and executive
branches of our representative democracy in order to trample
triumphantly over the bothersome minorities: blacks, hispanics,
atheists, and the despised liberals.
What does the word “liberal” bring to your mind? In today’s
world, this means a radical left-leaner. A person who would
prefer socialism, strict gun control, an atheist, a fan of welfare for
loafers and a crusader for destruction of corporations, an opponent of
the death penalty, a fan of abortion for the asking, a homophile,
someone who hates our troops, a big supporter of ‘liberal’ judges who
turn criminals loose, a hater of democracy and the white race.
How far these labels have strayed from their original meanings!
The reason we’re forced to talk about politics on this show is that
Americans are increasingly polarized by political rhetoric. Many
of us demonize all who oppose our view and get our opinions from
others, rather than thinking things through logically and carefully for
ourselves. Religion has become part of the political package in
America despite the ‘separation’ clause in the Constitution.
Someone has to call attention to the implications of the divisive
politics that characterize the start of the 21st century. So
carry on, RJ and the rest of the AH panoply of stars! Fight the
good fight! If I didn’t believe in what was going on here, I
wouldn’t be a part of it.