I was in a discussion group at my church the other week. The topic was “Christianity in the American Political Culture”. I made the following statements, which I thought might be controversial, but which seemed to me to be obvious.
The first statement was that God isn’t particularly interested in democracy as a form of government. The manner in which we govern ourselves isn’t as relevant to God as the character of the nation which is being governed. That is, God is concerned about the righteousness of a nation, not how its leaders are elected.
The second statement was that although we hear a great deal about America’s Christian HeritageTM, we are in the end a people who rebelled against our rulers (Britain) and threatened to kill them if they wanted their land back.
Now, I thought the second statement would be somewhat controversial, given the embrace we Conservative Evangelical Christians (whatever that means) have given to this idea that we live in a Christian nation. However, isn’t the former statement completely obvious and an absolute given? Or have we brainwashed ourselves into thinking that democracy is one of the Ten Commandments?
What really disappointed me, though, is that some of the others in the meeting started immediately trying to pinpoint my political stance. And apparently, by the things I said, I was identified as a Democrat. One guy said to me, “I can see we see things differently. I’m a Republican.” Now, of course it’s not evil to be considered a Democrat (or a Republican), but what could I possibly have said that would lead anyone to make this conclusion?
Since when are the concepts I mentioned above party platform issues? This is absolutely ridiculous, but it seems we have been brainwashed into thinking …. what? If you believe God signed the Declaration of Independence, then you’re a Republican? If you think God doesn’t care about democracy, you’re a Democrat?
God save us from those who believe God has chosen sides in our political debate.