Are American Politics Really about God?
How Does God Relate, if at all, to the Possible Government Shutdown?
This is the question Frank Schaeffer answers in fairly simple terms in an excellent article appearing today, here. As the article explains, Frank is uniquely positioned to have good insights on a number of matters of religion and politics in the United States. One of the most important of such matters is how God (beliefs about God, the Bible, Christian faith, etc.) factor into politics and economic/governmental policy. The short answer: Majorly. (Forgive the adverb invention… it fits well here.)
I’m encouraging you, right after this sentence, to click the link at “here”, read the short article, and come back to this point. If you’ve done that and also looked at the comments sections following, you may have seen my comment. It gives a mini-bio on my involvement with the influence of mainly Frank’s father, Francis A. Schaeffer (secondarily the young Frank and now the mature Frank… I’m just 3 or so years older than Frank). Let me first add that Frank’s analysis does explain a lot, although not everything about the intertwining of religion and politics in America.
Although we institutionally have pretty clear “separation of church and state,” which most of us consider vital, we still have major influence from our predominant forms of faith on our politics, which is inevitable. It is not “bad” per se. But to the extent our “faith” is dysfunctional or seriously at odds with science, including the “soft” or human sciences, it creates unnecessary and costly dysfunction in government.
Now, this is not the only source of dysfunction, to be sure, but it is significant. And all who consider themselves Christian (or any religion or anti-religion for that matter), have great responsibility to reconcile their religious beliefs with observations and facts coming from all sources… whether their own intuition or more objective, testable information via science and rational analysis. If more would do this, let themselves be positively stretched and keep growing, I believe we’d find ourselves creating a more functional kind of government. We’d get more positive things done, whatever direction that might take on the “conservative-liberal” spectrum or on other measures. As it is now, we are doing a lot of wheel-spinning, wasting precious time and resources going almost nowhere.
As I’m now wanting to post my above article, I’m not finding my comment (to Frank’s article) as through moderation in order to include here. I don’t have a copy elsewhere, so at least for now I can’t include it… Basically it was in agreement, adding that many Christians are, in fact, seeking to harmonize their religious beliefs with the often-conflicting data of science and personal observation or intuition. However, the reactions of fear seem to be getting stronger, perhaps as many traditionalists see the tide increasingly going a different (and to them, dangerous) direction.