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Religion in politics

In an  earlier letter I wrote to Stan that financial crime rose to a zenith during the Bush government because George W. Bush hugely reduced the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes. I commented on the irony that Christians so strongly supported a president under whom crime flourished to the point that it caused the fall of a nation. The following was Stan’s response to me that same day, April 14th, 2011. As a Christian, world traveler and political appointee to APEC, I thought his comment offers some insight on religion in politics.

 

Stan’s inside observation of religion in politics:

 

Thanks,,,,,..yes, the Christian label is slippery …..nowadays, for me subjectively “Christians” doesn’t hold much of any description of a person. Gotta see the person. Same goes for either you’re an elephant (GOP) or a donkey (DEM)…. don’t mean much… except, at best, it means one is in a box…..someone else’s box.

My two moments of change of heart with GOP were when I first returned to the U.S. in 2002, and attended a GOP PowWow … and wow … everyone there thought Bush’s the best thing since sliced beard! That’s dangerous!! I did asked a couple friends there why stick the party name, future and reputation on “a person” or a few persons. Very unwise. Human folly in full display.
Bush’s largest failure is his lack of sense in stewardship !!
Then, I was invited, by some long shot, to visit the White House in 2003, while doing the National Prayer Breakfast deal … and had a good visit with a friend who is fairly high up in the House assisting #43. Used to be with #41 when I was more active in this circle. Then, at that time, we heard of the preparation to go into Iraq, and I asked why go in???  “Why go into a war, as we are supposed to bring peace & joy? Is there a difference between Christian in leadership and those as average citizen???”
My expected answer was actually a no, there should be no difference … but of course, you can guess the answer: the party line from this friend whom I have not seen, ever since.

 

And my reply to Stan about religion in politics:

I see the danger the same way you do, Stan, and have recognized that you also see it that way, which I’m glad of. As Christians, I think maybe we should be neither Republicans nor Democrats, but support ideas that fit Christ’s philosophy, regardless of where they emerge.
Yet, so many Christian organizations have supported Republicans and Republican philosophies almost as if they are godly for being Republican. Then they treat Obama as if he is the anti-Christ — some of the most conservative Christians believing that he is exactly that — acting more hateful than I think Christ would ever act. Religion in politics corrupts the religion more than it purifies the politics.
While I used to vote Republican more often than Democrat, I tend not to vote anymore as both parties are whole-heartedly bankrupting our economy.
Rush Limbaugh is treated by many Christians like he is a godly creature for being the Arch-Supporter of Republicanism and giving nice strokes to Christians; but he does not ever sound very much like Christ and I think is really only interested in building and preserving his own wealth. With Christians, it is more important that Bush is a Christian AND a Republican than that he is too stupid to lead or too into cronyism to chase after crime in high places. Little does it matter that his policies cover up the sins of the wealthy.