Interesting Flotsam and Jetsam…
Most interesting was this piece by Steve Chapman at Reason. It strikes at the heart of why there is a separation of church and state:
It may have started in 1979, when Southern Baptist minister Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority to mobilize evangelicals behind conservative political causes. Reagan and other Republican leaders were more than happy to make use of religious sentiments to attract votes.
It looked like a perfect match: Evangelicals gained political influence, and the GOP acquired a loyal bloc of supporters.
But today, it looks increasingly like a bad bargain that dramatizes the risks of interweaving politics and religion. As these believers became more vocal and visible in the Republican Party, they sent an unmistakable message: If you’re not a conservative, you’re not a Christian.
So a lot of people who are not conservative but once would have gone to worship services have decided they don’t belong. They see the GOP claiming to represent the will of God and run the other way.
“Each year, fewer and fewer Americans identify as secular Republicans or religious Democrats,” write political scientists David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. “Formerly religious Democrats (except among African Americans) have drifted away from church, and formerly unobservant Republicans have found religion.”
That may sound like a reasonable trade for conservative Christians. Who needs skeptics and scoffers anyway? But it has some side effects they may come to regret.
If we are defining Christianity politically or the other way around, both lose.
Also very interesting, was Ross Douthat. I kept alternately agreeing and disagreeing with his analysis, but this was particularly good:
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.
One more interesting read.
In light of Douthat’s analysis, who cares? Speaking of which, why is this in Politico? IN is a purely theological statement with no political ramifications other than those the left-leaning press want to try and create.
Santorum said that Republicans should nominate him now instead of repeating the mistake of 1976 by going with the moderate Ford, who lost to Jimmy Carter, but West said Santorum’s underlying strategy for staying in the race appears aimed at 2016 as much as 2012.
“Santorum does not appear concerned about hurting Romney,” West said, noting that Santorum ran “very tough ads” in Wisconsin against Romney.
“If he weakens Romney and Romney loses the general election, Santorum benefits in 2016 because he can say, ‘I told you so,’ ” West said. “That clearly is his strategy, because otherwise he would soften his rhetoric and drop out of the race.”
Think about that – Santorum seems willing to give us four more years of Obama for his own chances in 2016. That’s just ugly.
Speaking of other candidates, Newt is singing a new tune.
Did you know, “big oil” was really a Mormon plot? “Ask oil lobbyists, oil executives, and former employees and board members of the American Petroleum Institute how they describe API President Jack N. Gerard, and one thing they don’t say is soft….A longtime supporter of fellow Mormon and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Gerard has repeatedly castigated Obama for his energy policies.”
How long before this “woman thing” becomes a “Mormon thing?” Gonna happen you know.
Ugh, just ugh.