There is a growing phenomenon in Western culture of the non-religious. Where it once was understood that God/gods created the world and everything in it, many people today are comfortable with believing nothing in particular. Historically speaking, this is odd since all cultures, in all times, have worshiped some sort of god. And this continues with the non-religious even today.
Politics and the culture around us change constantly. But the God of the religious does not.1 And this may be where the current societal tension originates between the politically Right and Left. Like a pebble-in-the-shoe, it is causing an internal irritation and clash of cultures.
People — all individuals — were made to ‘follow,’ to acknowledge, to be drawn to something greater than themselves, to honor with deep devotion. Yes, Man has dominion over creation. But to use a political metaphor, we are meant to fill the VP spot, not the Presidency. Politics and civic interactions artificially fill the need for a deity in many people. And this becomes their religion.
In the USA, the politically far-Left have made politics (and all its associated strands) their god. They believe their purpose is to make the world a fairer place; to alleviating all suffering; to allow everyone to have the same enjoyable life experiences; to grant new privileges to those who fit their ever-morphing definition of ‘the oppressed.’ These goals become what they live for, all wrapped up in the hope of who wins the next election. They borrow the tenets of Judeo-Christianity, yet they deny the God behind it. They embrace the overt behavioral concepts, but reject the sacrifice that gives hope behind the aid.
While no one in the U.S. or any western nation desires a theocracy, the political Right sees the world through a prism loosely planted in the monotheistic religion of Judeo-Christianity. They argue that the Founding Fathers of America were men who acknowledged the God of the Bible, or who at least had sympathies toward the Deity described therein. These include honoring promises, living a lifestyle that you are able to provide for yourself, giving your fellow-man respect unless he is unworthy of it, and helping those genuinely in need (ie: the elderly, handicapped, widows, orphans and others along these lines).
They (the Right) believe that while circumstances & events do change in all times/places/cultures/nations, the periphery rules of life come from the Creator. And like guard-rails on a highway, they are there for our protection. The basic guidelines do not change.2
Contrarily, the Left sees mostly abuses when it comes to monotheistic religion (for instance, the Christian crusades of the Middle Ages or the Catholic Church martyring people of old for heresy3). And this helps the Left dismiss all religion as baseless, in addition to their robotic, group-think belief in evolution.4 But they forget that atheism is harsher and crueler than muddled religion when it infects a nation’s leaders: for example, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany or North Korea today. Whether it’s the view of the environment or seeking a government solution for all of the culture’s ills, the Left worships at the altar of discrepant fairness, defined by the fickle time in which they live.
We are not a united people anymore – those who agree on mutual goals but disagree on the steps to arrive at these goals. The schism is so entrenched that we disagree on what the goals actually are now.
The Right uses politics as a tool, to organize, to help people live next to and among one another, while keeping their religion as the beacon for interaction and policies. The Left substitutes the hole-in-their-soul for ‘something greater’ with politics. And since it does not fulfill, they are always agitated, pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable to fit their current state of mind.
Society is gripped every two-years in a titanic game of the static, solid, stable, moral prism that guides the Right versus the dynamic, flexible, emotional, malleable morality that shapes the Left.5
While most articles/think-pieces/debates do not persuade many minds to change these days, I can only hope that what I have typed here will cause some to think about their core, not their politics. One’s political views should come from a virtuous morality, not from a “morally perfect or articulate politician”. It should come from a conviction based upon something more than what a college professor espoused or the latest candidate’s promises of fairness. If this is all there is, the USA will crumble in time into the hands of a corrupt tyrant or a politically-correct politburo leader. But if we can get back to a place where our goals are mutual and where definitions of right-and-wrong are agreed upon, we would be stronger and more prosperous than ever before.
The only way I can see this happening is through a general acknowledgment of who the God is that is printed on U.S. currency, “In God We Trust.” And that, I argue — with lots of history behind me — is the God of the Bible. jrw
1. This does not mean that God is ‘stuck in a rut of old-fashioned nostalgia’. When it’s said that “God does not change,” this means His character does not change — Who He is. But of course He is the coolest, hippest, most contemporary One that there is, beyond anything you might possibly image or conjure up.
See Malachi 3:6, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 and Ephesians 3:20
2. This fact has implications beyond mere politics — it reaches into how a society is structured and how the rights granted by the Creator are recognized toward the powerless by the rulers.
3. The irony of “The Church” executing anyone is profound. This is much more in line with the religions developed by Mankind (for instance, the Aztecs or the Greeks) rather than the Way taught by Jesus Christ, who they were supposed to be representing.
4. Since the Left believes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution IS the origin of today’s humans, there is no room in their worldview for “a Creator” since we, mankind, happened by chance in the Big Bang, then sprang up accidentally after a ‘nothing’ became something, then morphed into a tadpole-fish-critter-monkey-man. For one source (and there many (and growing every year)) that debunks evolution, I highly recommend the book “Searching for Adam” by Terry Mortenson, Ph.D. This is a compilation of chapters written by various experts in the fields of archeology, paleontology, genetics, medical science, theology, and other fields, all providing evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” that evolution — the idea that man formed accidentally — is ridiculous.
5. For those outside the USA, while our President is decided every 4 years, we have national elections every 2 years that determine the make-up of our federal government.
Another point here is that I am not claiming that all on The Right are “static, solid, stable, and moral.” No one is all of these things all of the time. But this is the compass, that which is strived for in their personal & professional lives.