God’s Politics


Nothing like a mix of religion and politics to get us going on a Monday morning. I was reading this weekend from “God’s Politics” by Jim Wallis and thought I would share this section with you for discussion.

The politics of God is often not the same as the politics of the people of God. The real question is not whether religious faith should influence a society and its politics, but how.

As the Democratic candidates for president attended religious services during the 2004 election campaign, their worship was tempered by an uncomfortable fact: Churchgoing Americans tend to vote Republican.

An overwhelming majority of Americans consider themselves to be religious. Yet according to a study released in late 2003 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, people who attend church more than once a week vote Republican by 63 percent to 37 percent; people who seldom or never attend vote Democratic by 62 percent to 38 percent. This was borne out by the 2004 exit polls–people who attend church more than once a week voted 64 percent for President Bush to 35 percent for Senator Kerry; those who never attend voted 62 percent for Kerry to 36 percent for Bush.

This disparity should concern Democrats-if not as a matter of faith, then as a matter of politics. More important, it should concern anyone who cares about the role of religion in public life. By failing to engage Republicans in this debate, the Democrats impoverish us all.

This chapter goes on to detail the two histories of faith based movements in our country’s recent history: The black-led civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s and the Religious Right movement of the 80’s and 90’s. Both advanced their “moral agendas” based in faith and sought to influence the direction of American life and culture.

The Civil Rights Movement operated first and foremost from a morally based and politically independent foundation. The Religious Right Movement sought immediately to gain political power and, in short, it’s desires were to “take over” the Republican party.

So here’s the questions (and I am sure there are more which we will get to).

1) What role, if any, should an individuals faith play in politics?

2) What role, if any, should the church have in politics?

19 thoughts on “God’s Politics”

  1. the liberals have won, they have destroyed the pledge of allegience… ALL BECAUSE OF ‘GOD’!!!and when the democrats come out of the woodwork, and say: “We had nothing to do with this”…find out who athiest Michael Newdow voted for the last election, and all the ones before…DEMOCRATS!and there, my friends, will be your answer:GOODBYE GOD…THE DEMOCRATS DON’T WANT YOU AROUND NO MORE!

  2. Here’s my question for those who criticize faith-influenced politics…Aren’t THEIR politics influenced by their lack of faith? What’s the difference?Everyone has an agenda of some sorts… usually fueled by their beliefs. What is interesting to me is that the “correctness” we hear espoused in the media is instantly forgotten when the rights of Christians are at stake.We owe it to ourselves to act according to our beliefs. It’s who we are, as Christians. To act any other way would be inauthentic.

  3. Wow, Rover, it must be sad living in that paranoid little world of yours. If you ever decide to let your delusions about the ‘evil left wing media’ go, feel free to let us all know that you’ve overcome your psychosis.Love,BrandonP.S. I’ll have a post up on this topic tomorrow.

  4. if ya’ll wanna see what i was talking about listen to the hearings today and see how democrats are defending the right to kill babies nationwide with the same gusto that our founding fathers once defended all of our freedoms, as humans, to live in this country and not to be killed before we have the power to fight back

  5. 1. a persons faith or lack thereof ultimately makes them who they are. how can you honestly remove the very essence of who you are when it comes to something as important as the policies that may and will govern your life?2. i guess that all depends on how you would define “church”, what it means to you and what it’s purpose is or should be about.eddieO

  6. the most important thing in my rambling monolog is this:it’s not who you vote AGAINST, it’s who you vote FOR…but i am a hypocrite, because I have to admit, I vote AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA and HOLLYWOOD, who demonize Christians in their fiction and in their selected news stories, and who have been more protective of Muslims since 911 and more hateful of Christians, while it was a group of radical muslims who burned the towers down…so i gotta admit, when i vote republican, i am NOT VOTING FOR GOD, but rather, i am VOTING AGAINST SATAN…amen!

  7. C’mon Rover…. you aren’t one of those that really believe we can “vote” God out of existence?So the Democrats have that much power that they can get rid of God? Do the Republicans have the power to keep God around? You really give “man” a lot of credit and power my friend.

  8. I am a Christian Democrat. I oppose my party’s stand on abortion and I take that stand in my communication with other Democrats.What I don’t understand is why people who say they are pro-life don’t generally challenge the Republican Party’s many policies that result in the death of postborn people.Be honest. There is no pro-life choice in politics now. If there is to be one, Christian Democrats need to challenge their party’s position on abortion, and Christian Republicans need to challenge their party’s position on war, health care, capital punishment, environment, supports to children whose families are poor, and so on.Actually, I don’t think the Democrats have done great on these things either lately. But all in on, it’s the party I choose to affiliate with.If we always identify 100% with one party’s positions and 0% with the other’s and call that Christian, chances are we’re letting politics affect our faith rather than the other way around.Meg

  9. <>If you are voting democrat, you are voting to keep abortion not only running strong, but you are supporting a party that is giving abortion a purpose, and if you can live with that, so be it.<>In addition to being a gross oversimplification, this is a lie. Pure and simple.The rest, well, beyond this comment you just start sounding shrill and ‘Ann Coulter-ish’.Do you have a point about Democrats using faith to pander votes? Of course. But the dishonesty and ‘uninformed’ lies you tell, frankly, they turn my stomach, Rover.

  10. Faith must inform every part of life, else it cannot be considered genuine. How can I say to Christ, “You are the source of everything. My life is in Your hands. Now stand over there while I go vote.”?Don’t use the President as an excuse, either. IF he lied to the world so that he could start a war, then he betrayed his faith, he didn’t employ it. You can’t hold up hypocrites and say “Faith and politics don’t mix.” They don’t represent real faith. It’s probably more accurate to say “Religion and politics don’t mix.” Religion is its own law, and it hardly resembles Christ. On the othe hand, Jesus didn’t worry about politics because politics is, by its nature, about power. He knew that what he was bringing transcended governments and temporal power. That’s why He preached that, if you want to be powerful, give away power. Become the servant of all. There has never been a law against demonstrating love and grace. If we, the Church, would stop posturing and actually make ourselves of real benefit to mankind, we would have all the power we ever wanted.And then we would have to find some other way to screw things up.

  11. 1) WHAT ROLE, IF ANY, SHOULD AN INDIVIDUALS FAITH PLAY IN POLITICS? A Candidate/Politician brings to any campaign/position his entire life: belief systems, decision making process, hopes, and dreams included. As much as the Candidate/Politician chooses to play up his/her religion is up to them–though as we see with the current President, at times there is something cynical and sick about it. Haven’t we had enough of President Bush’s “lies to support a foolish war”? One minute, we are fighting because of Iraq’s alleged support of Al Qaeda and 911, then its because of the threat from Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, later on it’s to spread freedom from dictatorship and to promote democracy. Of course, none of the above have turned out to be true. But the best was when Bush said he wanted to eliminate the world’s “evildoers”. Now frankly, Christ Jesus himself didn’t “eliminate the evildoers” when he was incarnate on the earth, and yet George W. Bush said that he thinks that he can it?? Bush says he’s a Christian (and a War President), yet judging by what he does, then that must mean to be Christian is to be a liar and to conveniently bend the truth as it suits you. Bush put his religion out there, so I say we judge him on it. If the public continues to elect such hypocrites, then shame on America. 2) WHAT ROLE, IF ANY, SHOULD THE CHURCH HAVE IN POLITICS?No role at all; the Church has NO business in politics. If the Church becomes involved in politics, shame on it/her/them (however you view “the Church”). I am frightened by the thought of a Church that is more interested in “saving the country” than saving lives and saving souls. That is the very belief structure that allowed slavery to go on in this country for hundreds of years. AND it is the same belief structure that feeds current discrimination today. As an African American, that offends me greatly.State mandated religion is not freedom (and it’s not salvation either), and yet that is just what we are creating in Iraq, on this very day. It’s like Southern Slaveowners in the South going to Baptist Sunday Services to worship and pray to God, but meanwhile back on their plantations…their salves are being whipped, ‘buked and scorned–and sometimes killed. Just think about it.–good Christian slaveholders that were accessories to murder. WWJD?Today, how can Christians in America believe we are over there to advance freedom and democracy when Iraqi women are losing their rights by the minute? Under Islamic laws, women lose out, and lose out big time. And also out the door goes freedom of expression, freedom of belief, oh and the big one: freedom of religion. Shame shame shame…on America.That is exactly why I think the Church has no business in politics. Let the people decide: one person, one vote. And if the majority’s outcomes line up with the Church’s beliefs, so be it. But at least that way, the people have individually and collectively made choices, rather than some bishop, cleric, imam, pope or even a president, dictating for the masses in the name of some chosen religion.I strongly believe the Chrisitan Right (which is neither) would preach an entirely different tune if the majority religion in this country was Islamic or atheist…

  12. Rover… so is there no such thing as a Christian Democrat? Can a “Christ-follower” support any other political viewpoint other than the Republican party?Bracing myself for your response…..

  13. Of course I don’t think you, as a Christian, HAS TO be Republican. this is all just hogwash. Bush NEVER said that he was a Christian to get votes. he was simply stating a FACT. Clinton, on the other hand, singing in choirs with the camera on him, and sticking bibles in cameras during sex scandals, WAS doing it for popularity. tell me: have you ever seen Bush in Church? (didnt think so) What you’re getting at, and what many christians who don’t like Bush say is: “Since I am a christian, am I forced to being Republican?”and the answer is: NO WAY!or: OF COURSE NOT YOU LUGHEAD!because Republicans and democrats are ALL sinners and all fall way way way short and there is no ONE PARTY that truly stands for God.but dude, all I am telling you is that if you vote democrat (forget about voting against Bush, I am talking about who you vote FOR, not who you vote AGAINST)… If you are voting democrat, you are voting to keep abortion not only running strong, but you are supporting a party that is giving abortion a purpose, and if you can live with that, so be it.frankly, if i were you, i’d vote for NO ONE. and realize that politics are all just hogwash, and the fact that we put God’s name on the root of all evil (money) should tell us that we, America, are NOT God’s country at all… for it is the Devil’s world.but, a Christian Democrat?too funny.The Democratic party is all for killing babies, and now are all for killing them for what they think is RIGHTFUL. when the stem-cell research is under way, women will be getting abortions for a ‘good cause’, for to ‘save lives’, and i guarentee you, pal, there will be factories for abortions, and then, my friend, you will know: the end is coming quite soon.The Democratic party is also against God being taught in schools, and teaches kids evolution as if it were fact, and not theory, which it IS JUST A THEORY!The Democratic party also destroys God in America until they run for president, and then they want to fool people like you who think COLDPLAY is the second coming of John Lennon by acting as if they are defending the rights of EVERYONE, while the truth is, they defend EVERYONE except those of us who believe in a God who CREATED CHILDREN THROUGH CONCEPTION, AND NOT WHEN THEY ARE SPANKED BY THE DOCTOR.who knows but, I don’t think Jesus, the guy who the corny O.C. bumperstickers are based, thinks much of a party who believes that killing his creations is a GOOD thing! mind you, im not saying he “Wants you to vote Republican”, that’d be silly and it’s just a tactic that democrats use to divide people. but i’ll tell you what: Republicans get axed by the media for sticking up for those massacred babies, and that, my friend, is why i love being republican, just so i can stick it in the face of the evergrowing liberal media who RULE THE WORLD just like Satan! in fact, they are right by his side, doing his work for him. ie, liberals are the devil’s paperweight!thank you for your time, and remember: drink TANG because if it’s good enough for Buzz Aldrin, then…

  14. I believe that what is supposed to distinguish Christians in a democratic society is that we are model citizens. Obedient to the law, respectfully engaged in the process, full of integrity and honesty. The kind of people other people would want to be in a democracy with.No comment further than that, but I’m now conjuring up images of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell in my mind, and wondering whether I would want to be in a democracy with them…

  15. From my perspective, faith enters strongly into my political decisions. My primary motivation is the preservation of “freedom”. I affiliate with the party who believes in personal freedom, and national liberty. Unfortunately, there really isn’t one. Probably the Libertarians are closest, but they can’t win anything because most people really don’t want freedom. People want someone/something to insure their existence even though they have to give up much freedom to have that security. The way I see it, on one hand you have people who are willing to give up personal freedom for the collective good (they must place themselves in bondage to the system for the sake of all). Then, you have those who seek freedom, even though they must be willing to accept failure in order to have a chance at success. Freedom and personal responsibility are frightening to most folks. We know we can’t trust ourselves, we are reluctant to trust a God we cannot see or understand… so what’s left? Trust government. If we give them what they want (which is nearly everything we have), they will give us what we need (or at least we HOPE they will). Thing is, we think we have a better shot with government than we do with ourselves, other people, or God.I’m not sure I understand why people would want to give up freedom for security, but they sure seem to…

  16. here’s a fact (and dorsey, thank you):every four years, democrats, who usually are backing abortion and canning God out of schools, become God-fearing Christians and/or Catholics, ie, they imitate republicans TO GET ELECTED…meanwhile, every four years, at the same time, republicans act like they always do… and DO NOT IMITATE LIBERALS…in a nutshell:democrats act like republicans to get elected, and NOT the other way around…just like:mormons, and scientologists, and witnesses, and many other cults, all try to imitate Christianity to get followers… or to get some kind of validation…either way, originality rules…as do I!

  17. 1) What role, if any, should an individuals faith play in politics?if republicans are Christians they are killed for it. strung up by the heels and left out to dry. Bush has been destroyed for siting Jesus as a mentor. meanwhile, Bill Clinton can walk out of church waving a bible in his hand during a sex trial and during 3 seperate bombing campaigns (all of which Michael Moore DIDNT protest) and no one says that he, Clinton, is wearing his religious heart on his sleeve. and John Kerry can come out and say: “Life begins at conception” and no one questions his love for killing babies, and Al Gore and Hillary can have pics of themselves singing in black churches, and no one gets on them about it. that is, no one of the ‘mainstream media’ which is ALL LIBERAL.the bottom line: republicans are killed by the media for being Christians, and meanwhile, when democrats USE christianity every four years to get elected, none of the media makes a PEEP about it. it just seem natural to them.2) What role, if any, should the church have in politics?you cannot seperate the two, because as Christians we believe that life begins at conception and liberals want to kill babies now for a reason, ie, stem cell research. so when this is finally passed, there will be abortion factories because woman will think that they are killing their fetus’ to save other people’s lives. this will happen as soon as a democrat is elected, because with stem cell research liberals want to have a REASON to kill babies… a right and a cause!and you cannot ignore God as a polititian if you truly believe in Him, as he must be in your decision, just as if you were a, say, salesman or writer or musician, filmmaker, what have you.so when Bush stands up for God, he’s hated for it. but when Frankenstein John Kerry says: “I’m bringing God into the White House if I’m elected to guide my every decision”, no one, and i mean NO ONE, not even this site, questions him, or ever will question a democrat because they act as cool as COLDPLAY.liberals rule the world and act as if they are trying to save it. it’s like superman acting like he has a sore toe.and remember, drink TANG because the astronauts drank it, and look what they accomplished.psI RULE!

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