Friday, August 27, 2010

Religion and Politics

Brian Griffin from "Family Guy"

Religion and politics are the two topics that cannot be discussed at most dinner tables. My mother-in-law once said (over forty years ago!), “You may discuss religion and politics at the dinner table, but you can’t go away mad.”

I took those words with a grain of salt at the time. As I’ve gotten older, they take on greater import.

Why are religion and politics grouped together in this fashion? Why are they such emotional and divisive topics? Why must we tread carefully in their presence?

I think it is because they are two sides of the same emotional coin. I alluded to this in the New York Mosque post, where the manner in which you perceive that debate depends on whether you think of Islam as a religion or as a political movement. I also noted that both religion and politics look to achieve greater power by combining the two belief systems. Religions strive to attain the power of political movements, and political movements seek out the elements of religious fervor. The most powerful (and destructive) historical movements have combined the two.

Where are the current examples? The convenient target is always The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons). The secular involvement of the church is frequently attacked, most notably by Jon Krakauer.

But the more intense comparison comes when you contrast the influence of Islam in world politics with the influence of the Democratic Party in the affairs of our American culture.

Is Islam really a political movement? Does the Democratic Party see its battles as a sectarian “fight”?

This blog points out the workings of our anti-Republican culture and allows its readership to connect the dots. However, one point is worth reflection:

A common denominator for Islam and the Democratic Party is hate. Islam uses Christians and Jews as objects of hate. The Democratic Party uses Republicans.

Adherents of each ideology use the word “moderate” as a descriptor for the less extreme advocates. What is that common denominator linking moderate Muslims and moderate Democrats?

They both eschew the hatred.

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  1. Islam isn't ALL about hate. It's more about intolerance for all but Islam (convert or die). The political movement that is the "Islamic Faith" stressed conquering peoples, taking their land and property (justified by Allah because they're infidels) and allowing them to convert or putting them to the sword.

    I think that liberals are smugly satisfied that others (conservatives) are naturally not as smart as they are and that they must be schooled and lectured (endlessly) about how socialist thought and action is so much more noble than Republican values. barack hussein obama (noted buffoon and famous liberal) decided that America must be socially reordered and that wealth must be re-distributed by his cronies in order to take the nation to a utopian state. Many disagree.

  2. LL:

    Nicely put. I'm pleased to see you on the "Islam as a political movement" side of the debate.

    I become agitated when I see a political movement generate its energy through the denigration of another group. We see Dhimmitude in the culture of Islam, and we see our American culture cast Republicans as buffoons for our entertainment.

    Maybe there should be a different word than "hate", but you've got to admit it's a strong emotion in play when true believers will strap on an explosive belt for the glorification of their ideology.

    A religion that tolerates the execution of aid workers, the beheading of journalists, the stoning of women, and the hanging of gays certainly needs to be concerned that people might question its precepts.

    But then, that would be considered intolerant...

    Thanks for your comment.