The United States of 'Jesusland'? [Most commented]
Politics and religion can mix, wrote Charlotte Allen in Sunday's Opinion pages. "Every time a Republican candidate for high office surfaces who is also a dedicated Christian, the left warns in apocalyptic tones that if you vote for him, America will sink into a 'theocracy,' " she wrote. Um, no wonder! But, says Allen, we needn't fear the Christians on the right any more than we fear President Obama because he has an evangelical spiritual advisor. Here's what readers are saying on our discussion board.
Religion and politics can't mix
Yeah ... oil and water can mix too if you put it into an ideological blender and keep it whirling. But when you step back and let the mess settle, they re-separate. Why are we taking seriously calls for an unregulated free market and the marriage of Jesus to the body politic? Those who ignore history are always forced relive it! What price real progress??
Separation of church and state is at the core of the United States
If politics and religion can mix, as Charlotte Allen claims, our founding fathers would not frame the principle of separation of church and state. Perhaps because we do not want any certain religion or any certain religious interpretation embedded in our national policy, we become perspicacious about politicians who interject frequent and fervent religious dogma and references among policy and political debates.
Many of these religious-minded politicians are no doubt good people. They have done wonderful things for us. They could very well proselytize our government and our daily living for the religion they believe. George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan did not and could not because of the sacrosanct principle of separation of church and state. They would have ratcheted up their plan to Christianize our political system if they were to do what they said religiously and if there were no strong opposition to their so doing.
Perhaps because her religion has not become the practiced religion of the State, Charlotte Allen vituperates those who have cautioned us about the politicians with fervent religious agenda. It is not unfair to descry that Charlotte Allen wants politics and religion mixed so that her religion would one day direct our politics.
A politician's religion shouldn't matter, but…
Let's be clear; church and state should be separated in this country. Any president who attempts to bring their personal beliefs into their political decisions would be wrong.
That said, it should not matter if a politician is religious, liberal or conservative. Those are just their personal beliefs. Those of you liberals scolding religious politicians need to realize that it is the same level of hate and distrust that is keeping us from having an atheist president.
I don't care if my president is black/white/blue/purple/religious/atheist/disabled/gay/straight, so long as their political principles reflect my own, and they respect our constitution.
A warning for non-Christian America?
Candidates who think separation of church and state is a myth, and who align themselves with hate groups such as the American Family Association which believes that the only people in America with religious freedom are Christians, are indeed just fine, I don't know what the heck we were thinking.
Hey, why not throw in a husband who's had a pray-away-the-gay business, and a woman who believes she has to be subservient to him.
Now, add in a governor who would rather pray for problem relief than do something constructive, a governor who apparently has Christians like the author of this article thinking we don't need to vote for candidates with an actual plan, all we need to do is vote for a guy who prays.
Nope! Nothing to worry about non-Christian America!
Hey, how about a couple of candidates who think we should teach religion in science classrooms, instead of teaching science in science classrooms? Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?
Suggested listening for Allen
The most annoying part of this op-ed is the author's tone — "there they go again, those paranoid, religion-hating liberals, hatin' on Jesus again." Spare us. And maybe actually read some of those books you quote here. it's the actual policies and the hypocrisy practiced by fundamentalist politicians that is so frightening.
Listen to Terry Gross' interview with Rachel Tabachnik, who has researched the New Apostolic Reformation, a global religio-political movement driven by an anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-conversion of the Jews agenda in order to bring about Armageddon. These are the dominionists. Seriously mind-blowing:
Suggested reading for Allen
The author of this article SERIOUSLY needs to read "The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church," written by Gregory A. Boyd, an evangelical pastor with his head screwed on straight.
The right-wing very misguidedly confuses what they want, and what they (very often questionably) see as "moral," with God's own purposes -- which are not about politics... and believe it or not, which are not centered on America's (or any nation's) interests, but on Christ.
Yes, I am a left-voting born-again, Spirit-filled Christian. The right wing would have you believe I can't exist, but I do. The very fact that they have put politics at the core of their belief system says a lot about where their true priorities lie.
*Spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
Photo: Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry. Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters