Thursday, March 29, 2007

If For No Other Reason

USNews & World reports ......

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared to throw cold water on a
possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone
interview Tuesday

Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things
that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I
don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added,
saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect
with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP

In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary
Schneeberger stood by Dobson's claim. He said that, while Dobson didn't believe
Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless "has never
known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his

Dobson's phone call to U.S. News senior editor Dan Gilgoff Tuesday was
It marked Gilgoff's first discussion with Dobson in over two years,
since the magazine's political writer began work on The Jesus Machine: How James
Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America are Winning the Culture
War, published this month by St. Martin's Press. Dobson had agreed to answer
only written questions for the book. (emphasis added)

The Religious Right have not helped the Republican Party. Every announcement they make spurs the Left to raise money with screaming fears of the coming Christian-American Theocracy. Their Do-What-We-Say-OR-We-Stay-Home attitude has not assured a solid unchallenged Republican domination of the House, the Senate or the Presidency. Their leaders want the control of power without the ugliness of exposing themselves to examination or vote.

Politicians pandering to preachers is ugly. It may also violate some tax and election laws. If The Rev. Dobson was to lose his TAX EXEMPT status, his political aspirations and machinations would be very much quieter. The same goes for those religious leaders and houses that support the Democrats. Peddling tax exemptions for religious dispensation should not grant political access or power.

Religion as politics has not brought good to any nation. We witness the daily warfare in the Middle East. We have read of the horrors in Europe and other places around the world. We don't need an American Pope, Mullah, Ayatollah, Headman, or Voice of the Divine Spirit in our politics. We are fragile humans with flaws struggling and following our conscience towards our own solutions. We allow and promote religious diversity. We encourage people to choose and follow their own conscience. We have, pointedly, made it a part of our foundation that the state shall have no role respecting the establishment of any religion. We do much better, at being American, when we elect humans who share our frailties and foibles. We remain true to the American spirit when we change out our leaders on a regular basis.

Religious organizations could use a Herculean stable cleaning on a regular basis... Why are religious leaders given lifetime power and influence? If it is good to change political leaders regularly why is it bad to do the same for religions? Why is it so seldom done?

Does the Religious Right really want to stay-at-home and be out of a Democrat controlled government? Do they care so little for their values and positions that they would abandon them out of spite? Positions and values so lightly held should be ignored by any leader worthy of the name.


Smrty said...

Religion as politics has not brought good to any nation. Andy

Andy, I'm curious if you know of ANY major (or minor) nation that doesn't have a religion as it's primary moral/political underpinning? Do you know of any?

Andy Johnson said...

Countries with strong personal religious instiitutions do well. The problems occur when the politics and religion get intertwined. We look to each for different needs. They fulfill different societal goals... Individually, each of us can agree and accommodate anothers religion (the human sacrifice and cannibalism thing are pretty much gone).

The conflict between politics and eonomics that I posted today follows a similar path. Politics is about controlling (restricting) human activities. Societies work best when the individual's activities are restricted by self discipline...

Unfortunately, it seems much of human endeavour is directed at dominating, controlling others or resisting such by ourselves.