Most people like to talk about politics and religion just as much as they like to have a root canal with only a shot of Jack to put them under. Other, like me, like my fellow bloggers and others, talk of it, but try to keep it apart. Some, though, don't even know they're preaching when they talk. These people, usually the far left, are astounded when you tell them they sound like a religious person. Welcome to political religion, folks.
For most of the existence of conflicting ideologies, religion and politics were pretty much interwoven. Got a problem with the monarchist next to you? Probably has to do with his God just as much as his ideas. Around the Renaissance, politics and religion slowly separated, though it was never fully pulled apart. During the 1700s and through the American Revolution, the idea to keep politics out of religion became a mainstay of our Founding Fathers. Jefferson's letter that talks about the separation of church and state was about limited government, not expanding government to suppress public religious expression, as the ACLU seems to think.
Arriving in the 20th century, we come across a new faith, a dangerous faith. This faith comes in the form of extreme nationalism, collectivism, ethno-centrism and secular fanaticism. Governments like the Nazis, the Fascists, the Stalinists, the Titoists, the Khmer Rouge, the Maoists, and so on. These so-called atheists, anti-Christians and pagans did not embrace the traditional religious view. In fact, they did their best to wipe it out. Italy imprisoned the Pope, Germany wiped out Jews, Christians and Gypsies, China annihilated traditional beliefs and monuments, Russia devastated the Orthodox Church; all this was done in the name of not another God, but in the name of an ideology. In the 20th century, political religion was born.
In today's America, we've recently seen political religion rear it's head in the historic election of President Barack Obama. A masterful organizer, the President rallied both leftists, liberals and moderates to his cause. He also had a following that bordered on a cult. School teachers had their students sing songs about him. Artists superimposed Obama on various religious figures. Smart kids like Ezra Klein couldn't keep from gushing huge amount of love onto their blogs, articles and speeches. Many may have voted for him because they liked his ideas, but there were plenty of people that were more enamored with future President Obama than with future President Obama's policies.
I bring up political religion because there are some true believers out there and the health care debate has flushed them back out into the spotlight. May it be Tweets that know the health care bill will "provide". Or the complete dishonesty of outlets like MSNBC who portray armed protesters as racists, but their example was an armed conservative black man who's ethnicity they cleverly cropped out of their footage.
Thanks to our system, we have yet to have a mass movement like that of the Fascists or Nazis or Maoists. Our decentralized society allowed for one part of the country to fall into the political religion trap while other, smarter folk realized the danger and voted the leaders out of Congress or the Presidency. Alas, the way our government is centralizing every year, it may come to a point in the far future where a fanatic ideological movement may have the ability to co-op the entire country. It won't be soon, of course, but I wouldn't doubt that by the time I'm old enough to not get Social Security, we may have to deal with such a movement, but only if nothing from now 'til then changes.
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