Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

An Open Question About Yesterday’s Results

Posted by: John Schroeder at 11:00 pm, February 8th 2012     —    7 Comments »

Maybe I am too much of a Machiavellian, but one must wonder about a couple of things.

One, why would Obama level his blatant attack at the Roman Catholic church?  He HAD to know the blow back would be tremendous.

Two, were Santorum’s victories yesterday a Catholic sympathy vote in light of this attack?

Is it possible the questions are related?  For example, did Obama think he could could give Santorum a boost by virtue of the ruling and thus weaken the presumptive nominee Romney?  In his conversation with E.J. Dionne, Hugh Hewitt proposed an even more sophisticated possible tie in between the two questions, but essentially the conclusion that the ruling was a political calculation by Team Obama to weaken the Republican coalition remains the same.

But let’s ask ourselves this – what is it about us that even makes speculation of this sort possible?  We are riven along religious lines to some extent.  Whether it be Catholic/Evangelical, liberal Catholic/conservative Catholic, Evangelical/Mormon these divisions and others are being exploited by Team Obama.   What is it about Republicans that allow these divisions to be exploitable while we just cannot get a wedge in similar divisions inside the Democrats?

The answer is not easy to hear.  There is a form of selfishness involved here.  As Republicans, we tend to worry about the task at hand instead of the power politics around it.  Thus we become so focused on abortion or same sex marriage that that is all we care about, neglecting the enormous amount political reality that surrounds the issue.  This is most expressed by the natural tendency for people of faith to avoid conflict.  “I don’t want to have a fight with you, my stance is right, here is the evidence, now agree with me and let me get back to doing what I really need to be doing.”  Democrats, on the other hand, are all about the fight.

Our tendency to avoid the fight comes, at least  in some part, from Christ’s apparent avoidance of a fight when He allowed Himself to be crucified.  But we must remember something – Christ’s crucifixion was not a result of avoiding a fight, it was in fact, shifting the battleground to where it truly needed to be.  More importantly, it set up the Resurrection which is the “nuclear weapon” of the great war in which Christ was engaged.  The Resurrection ended the war – its just the mop-up phase now.

We cannot afford to shy from this fight.  We have to follow Christ’s true example and shift the battleground.  The petty divisions that the Democrats currently exploit are not the real battleground.  It is time to set them aside.  We have a real and serious war to win.

UPDATE: 36 hours later, The Fix wonders with us.  You know, you’d think these big time papers might give us a little credit.

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