Bible Politics

“The Most Friendly To Religion”

America has given to the world a precious jewel.

It has shown that a government whose concerns are purely secular and which leaves to the individual conscience of its citizenry all obligations that relate to God is the one which is actually the most friendly to religion.

It is a precious jewel that we have. We should guard it well.

– Leo Pfeffer, 1910-1993, jurist

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  • Valuable observations, bookaholic. But shouldn’t we judge the Christianists are “less violentâ€? only because they need not be so on their own, as they have a powerful collective arm to do, promote or tolerate the violence for them? Isn’t this only the apologetics of the Christianists themselves which says that nothing but personal violence can establish individual responsibility to refrain from or object to it?

    I agree with what you write on an honest moderate’s heart feeling the urge to disown the fanatics’ misuse of a common cause, but I’d like to extend this pattern on the members of a (formally) democratic society. There IS no such thing as a ‘diffusion into nothingness’ of responsibility and guilt as individual worldviews condense into political moods, and political moods catalyze or facilitate government (or corporate) actions and schemes.

    We are not yet fully arrived in the ‘clash of civilizations’ ideologues’ promoted reality of asymmetric conflict, at least we are not so as moral entities. Any adult person knows from his or her personal experience: He who has the larger resources in power must also be the one more resourceful in finding ways for generosity and conflict resolution – if the Lord’s commandment for working peace be honored. It is an anti-humanist notion – with no biblical warrant for it! – to assume this to be completely different once entire nations or civilizations are concerned.

    The same people who promote this view of nations as a ‘morally external factor’, which does not involve personal responsiblity of any of its members, are usually at the same time the ones who most vigorously call on people to identify with their nation via real or so-called patriotism. (Are these people thinking Christ is watching?)

    Christianism, not Christianity.

  • Nobody here has yet mentioned the Jewish family whose lives were made so miserable by aggressive Christians in the public schools, they moved to another town. When the Jewish boy said he didn’t like being called “Jew boyâ€? by fellow students, one of the grownups (?) said if he didn’t like it he could give his heart to Christ. Yeah, that’s the way to win hearts for Christ!!! These must be the same people running our foreign policy and winning so many hearts for America.

    Recently I heard the term “Christianist� used to describe the philosophy that causes Christians to act like the north end of a southbound horse or worse. That term makes sense to me because of its similarity to the term “Islamist.� Currently the Christianists are less violent than the Islamists, but bad behavior can always escalate if the heart is so inclined and if those inclinations are nurtured by the wrong kind of leadership.

    When Islamists behave badly we expect regular Muslims to speak out against it and we are unhappy if they don’t speak out strongly enough, quickly enough. How many Christians have spoken out about what happened to the Dobrich family in Delaware?

  • Thanks, Richard, that’s very nice. I longed to hear from someone that I really “sound funny at times” in groping for words.

    You know, I really like “creative misunderstandings”; they’re the morning beam of spirit in dreary doldrums of speechification.

  • I agree with you fully. Even the worse sinners are made Imago Dei. By the way, in a previous post, you talked about a “bank” neighbor, I think you meant “Bench” 😉

  • A precious jewel, that’s right. And it’s in dire need of defense, presently and even more so in the times ahead of us.

    I write these lines as a German who has grown bitterly critical of what America accomplishes in these days (nay, years, even decades) to the point of having until recently doubted there is any good in the original ‘idea’ of what your nation or ‘dream’ stands for. But during the most recent weeks I’ve come learn I was wrong. It’s even now still an enviable piece of cultural inheritance, in a certain basic way, compared to our ‘Old European’ polities.

    So, it’s the perversion, it’s not the original that is so utterly bad. Yet what’s written here has a plain note of humanism, and a lot of Christians hold starkly negative views of humanism to the point of making it the very source of corruption of present day spirituality and morals. I’ve always disagreed with them by heart , but it was only upon suspecting the strong Calvinist note in the fundamentalist present-day semblance of Christianity to be very different from the (more biblical, as I say) Lutheran conception of evangelical faith that I came – again very recently – to realize there is no such fundamental difference between saying man is good in his core (in principle!) as humanism does, and saying with the bible he is evil in his heart (in actuality). It’s only the Christian MUST translate the ‘good core’ into the ‘image of God’, which is corrupted by sin, but not in a way as to obliterate God’s love, – and assert that the ‘typical’ humanist who is not also a Christian as well will fall short of true humanism for the very reason that he will not be able to see the practical inevitability and the Satanic power of that corruption of the ‘good core’ which (regularly) comes from the evil heart.

    So I’d like to invite the American readers of this blog to accept these lines by heart, and don’t be ashamed of them, not even in the sixth year of Bush/Cheney – and in the final imminence of (the threat, at least, of) World War III and a super-great depression. They are true. But the ‘precious jewel’ is utterly perverted, and horribly imperilled. So, I would like us all to stick to humanism, but pray in our hearts to God, the Lord of Hosts, the father of Jesus Christ, who alone has power to change our fate, – if it pleases Him, – that it will be a true humanism reviving in our culture, a spirit compatible with the spread of His gospel, – and not a secular self-reliance of impious man or the rationalism of a Luciferic so-called Enlightenment.

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