Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Easter Sunday And Religion In Politics Edition

From this Ross Douthat editorial on the New York Times,
In this atmosphere, religious differences are more likely to inspire baroque conspiracy theories, whether it’s the far-right panic over an Islamified United States or the left-wing paranoia about a looming evangelical-led theocracy. And faith itself is more likely to serve partisan purposes — whether it’s putting the messianic sheen on Obama’s “hope and change” campaign or supplying the storm clouds in Glenn Beck’s apocalyptic monologues.
Americans have never separated religion from politics, but it makes a difference how the two are intertwined. When religious commitments are more comprehensive and religious institutions more resilient, faith is more likely to call people out of private loyalties to public purposes, more likely to inspire voters to put ideals above self-interest, more likely to inspire politicians to defy partisan categories altogether. But as orthodoxies weaken, churches split and their former adherents mix and match elements of various traditions to fit their preferences, religion is more likely to become indistinguishable from personal and ideological self-interest.

2 comments:

D.E. Bishop said...

That is especially visible in the Prosperity Gospel mega-churches. I think they began in Texas, and are spreading like a virus.

Prosperity Gospel claims that it's God's desire for us to be rich in money and possessions. Handy, eh? More like sickening.

LK said...

My history may be off, but I've always linked the prosperity gospel to Oral Roberts and his Seed Faith sermons of the late 1970s or early 1980s. Give to the church, in this case Oral and his ministry, and money will come back to the giver.

I with your description. I'll add dangerous.