Posts Tagged ‘theocracy’

In 1791 the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written.  It states that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion…”.  Thomas Jefferson later wrote that this amendment creates a “wall of separation” between church and state.  The founders of this country were well aware of the centuries of warfare in Europe that had resulted when church authorities meddled in the affairs of state or viceversa. The rebellious colonists of America were mostly emigrants from England where a former King, Henry VIII, had , in 1534, named himself as the head of the Church of England so that he would no longer have to deal with any interference from the Pope.

Separation of church and state is an anomaly in world history.  Caesar Augustus, besides being the emperor of Rome, also had the title of “Son of God”.  He was not the only Roman emperor to have this title.  Hundreds of years after the reign of Augustus, the Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the imperial religion of the Roman Empire and the rules of the Church became the law of the Empire. Theocracy has been the normal mode of the world’s governments from before ancient Judea to today’s Iran.  It isn’t difficult to understand why the world’s governments have always had such a close association between the state and religion. Both entities exert considerable power over the people and the union of these two creates a much more powerful entity that makes it easier for tyrants to create burdensome laws and regulations.  It also enables them to literally get away with murder.

For over two hundred years our nation was careful to attend to the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment; however, in recent times – particularly in the Bush administration, an attempt has been made to bring government and religion, particularly a certain type of “Christianity”, closer.  Beginning with an alliance with “evangelical Christians” during the campaigns and continuing with “faith-based” charities, the strict line between Church and State that Jefferson and his fellow revolutionaries envisioned has become blurred.  Our President has famously claimed that he could look into the eyes of Russia’s Putin and see his soul. Shortly after 9/11 he declared that the different countries of the world were “with us or against us”.  This President, a product of Anglican and Methodist teachings (which are derived from the Anglican Church), has chosen to let his religious beliefs temper his judgments. One can only wonder if it was his belief in Calvinist predestination that allowed him to sit back and watch while the people of New Orleans drowned.  One can only wonder what it was that allowed him to initially offer virtually no assistance after the South Asia tsunami struck Indonesia and Thailand.  One can only wonder why he did virtually nothing to help the people of Pakistan after their great earthquake.  One can only wonder how he can sit in his Oval Office and watch as the people of Darfur starve.

How does one justify doing nothing to help his fellow man?  How does a President of the United States quickly decide to give hundreds of billions of dollars to a few elite bankers (the Elect?) but is averse to helping the millions of people who depend upon the automobile industry?  Why is it that this man is so quick to help the wealthy class but so cold-hearted when the poor are suffering?  Could the answer be anything but his own personal philosophy? Could it be anything other than a grievous religious error that teaches that people are saved or damned from the moment they are born?

It is virtually impossible to separate a man’s religious beliefs from his philosophy of life, and it would be wise for voters in the future to question candidates closely to learn what is in their heart. Would they be a good and just ruler or would they be cold and distant, smug in the belief that they are saved no matter what?  As important as it is to choose a leader wisely, it is equally important that the people of America vigilantly guard their precious rights that are stated in the Constitution.  The strict separation of church and state is one of these. It is our right, but this and all of our rights can only be preserved by constant vigilance.  Over the past several years we have let our guard down and the nation has paid a terrible price.  Yet, this is not the result of a President’s stupidity, it is the result of his philosophy.  This Imperial Bush Presidency is the direct result of his arrogant, mistaken, ill-informed, and very non-Christian outlook on the world.  Now, as we suffer through the last days of the most unpopular, uncaring,  and theocratic President in the history of our nation, let us all make one resolution.

May America never make such a mistake again.

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