God and Religion in Politics?

How have we failed to move forward in our short history? Just over one-half of a millennium has passed since Columbus’ adventures and still our arguments have not changed.

Listen to our politicians today and read what they said 100, 200, even 300 years ago. Have we learned nothing?

I listen to pundits and citizens ask if the United States is ready for a Mormon president. We asked this same question in 1960 about a Catholic president and in 1800 about a president who may or may not have been an atheist. Certainly he was a deist, a non-Christian.

America did not fall apart in 1801 because we showed that our own mythologies are false, that our great leaders may not have been anything more than ordinary men in extraordinary times and that the guardians of the temples care not of the humanity of the planet.

America did not fall to the pressures of the Vatican in 1961, because we showed that religion and government are indeed two separate powers in our land of religious freedom.

When did the political movement for states’ rights and individual freedom deem their own leaders as “them,” and when did the federalist take up the arms for more state power and become “us?” Some have put that date at 1932, but I sure it was earlier.

One of America’s great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, under the Republican progressive banner, called for universal health care in 1912. Yes, the GOP chose Taft to run as their candidate, but Roosevelt was still considered by many a Republican and many of the party believed that Taft had fallen off their progressive bandwagon.

When did the GOP decide that their party was wrong? Was it during the election of 1912 pinning two former colleagues head-to-head, splitting the vote which allowed the conservative Democrat Wilson to fill the void? Did the change begin in 1912?

When today’s GOP presidential and congressional candidates call for the Republican Party to return to its roots, why are they not calling for a return to the party that believed in equality for all, help for the poor and down trotted, and that a strong America meant a healthy America?

When did the GOP lose its vision of cooperation instead of intimidation? Do they not remember that Republican Richard Nixon put aside his extreme hatred towards the communists to help open the doors for Chinese trade with the West? That it was Nixon who reinforced America’s dream of equality by calling for the government to take affirmative action in righting the wrongs of discrimination? Did he not extend the ideal of equality to women five years later?

When did the Republican Party find that their control of the people was not strong enough through politics alone and needed to call on God to tell the masses to vote the GOP ticket? When did they lose the faith in their own abilities to govern? Have they forgotten the mantle of the greatest Republican; Lincoln’s declaration that we are a government of the people, by the people and for the people?

When did the right-wing start to take three steps backwards for every step forward in science and education? When did they allow mythology to outpace science in the advancement of man’s quest for knowledge? Certainly not during the enlightenments of the 1790s, 1890s and the 1950s, when Republican leaders sought and gained funding for some of the most ambitious science the world had come to know.

When did the Republican Party lose its strong foundation and start to sink back into the dark ages, where incantations and secret codes that only a chosen few could interpret was the norm and expected?

To use a modern day mythology, when did this once proud emblem of the American political system move to the Dark Side?

Was it the same time that the Democrats discovered that their road of conservatism was failing the American people? When they saw the rise of corporate greed and the focus on individual financial wealth had become more important than the national health?

Did the Dems see the light; that government was meant to take care of all of its citizens? Was that not the reality of Jefferson?

From: SodaHead.com

Or was it when the Kennedy brothers sat side-by-side in the Oval Office in 1962 and recognized that maybe the man who would later be called the “American Saint” just may be right and that Jefferson’s declaration of 1776 was finally understood, that it is self-evident that all Men are created equal, that we are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?

Or has the power of disagreement become so strong that the two most powerful political parties on the planet cannot look at each other and come to a single agreement. That Republicans and Democrats, that conservatives and liberals, that theists and a-theist, can only throw stones and are no longer able to talk?

Has the power of persuasion become the tyranny of the argument of hatred; so when they say “This” we must say “That,” regardless of the destruction “That” may cause? Have we become our own enemy within because we cannot survive without a fight? It could be that the great American philosopher, Pogo, was right when he declared “We found the enemy and he is us!”?

Have we stopped looking forward because we have become too comfortable with a past, that has become its own myth? Do we really believe that things were better in the 1950s or 1900s or 1850s without looking at the entire picture; Disease, hunger, lack of education and, most important, the lack of human rights?

Have Americans become so afraid of our own technology that we refuse to give up the old ways that will inevitably dry-up and collapse below or feet, forcing the death of the planet? Are we so busy looking at the failures that we cannot see the solutions, that the good actually does out weights the bad, that sometimes the things we most feared are the very things that will save our civilization?

Have we become so closed minded that we cannot see the fallacies in our own arguments? That one day we will have no more resources to exploit? No more forest to clean our air; taken down only to misuse the lands to attempt to feed a growing population. No more oil or coal because we have not cared for our planet, but used it as an unwilling slave? Or do we simply expect that our mythological gods will take care of us in some factious “better after life?”

Is our time here, now, really that bad?

As the “Dark Side” continues to close into itself, sucking us down like the great Black Hole it is, we must rekindle that match that says “We are better than this.”

We are a great people who know how to change the course of our history, not just tomorrow but for the coming centuries. We can look beyond the myths, the lies and the priestly interpretations of manuscripts with no original sources and no means to prove or disprove their contents.

We must re-open our eyes and seek great expectations for our children and their children through education and science. Through what is real, what can be touched and seen. Through the imagination of our world of Ethos, Pathos and Logos. Through our collective ability to see a better tomorrow.

We must refuse to be pulled into another dark ages and seek the enlightenment and once again lead the world in the only religion that is – The belief in the human spirit to be better than it was.

 

 

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place). He is the winner of the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing. He is also an editor and award-winning speaker. His book, "A Christian Nation? An examination of Christian nation theories and proofs" is available on Amazon, com as a paperback and eBook.
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