The Politics of Moral Superiority

27 10 2008

I am bothered by what I hear from some Republican evangelicals…that they are the only ones who are religious, moral, and right and their way of thinking about God is the only one that counts. Their self-annointed supremacy means that they should also be in political power in the country because the rest of us are (as one of my commenters said) “atheists” and “immoral.” Really? Last time I checked, I was neither one of those things and I’d say most people aren’t.

I watched a special I recorded from HBO today about the evangelical movement. They made no judgment…just travelled the country and talked to people in the movement. I admire evangelicals’  fervor, their passion for what they believe, and their belief in family and God.

What troubled me, though, was that they speak of their role as being spiritual warriors. That they have to fight. It reminded me of McCain’s ridiculous and inane “Fight, fight, fight” at the end of his RNC convention speech. What was he suggesting people fight? Haven’t we had enough fighting? What about joining hands together and finding common ground and the good in all people instead of preaching to fight against those who aren’t like you?

There was also a call to the members of evangelical churches to elect only people who were like them and would promote their causes. It sounded like preaching politics from the pulpit and no separation of church and state. There are YouTube videos, blogs, and more about Sarah Palin being part of the spiritual warfare movement. The New York Times even did an article about this entitled “YouTube Videos Draw Attention to Palin’s Faith.” Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“What is known, however, is that Ms. Palin has had long associations with religious leaders who practice a particularly assertive and urgent brand of Pentecostalism known as “spiritual warfare.” Its adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that “spiritual warriors” must “battle” them to assert God’s control, using prayer and evangelism. The movement’s fixation on demons, its aggressiveness and its leaders’ claims to exalted spiritual authority have troubled even some Pentecostal Christians.”

The idea that people even have these beliefs is troubling enough, but to have them insert themselves into politics to foist that ideology in a subversive way on others…and especially at the national level with Palin…is particularly disturbing.

The ironic thing is that the very people who hold themselves up to be better than others are often the ones who are spewing hatred in this election (like my commenter who has a religious blog). Where’s God’s love in that? Ted Haggard was interviewed extensively in the HBO special and he railed against the immorality of others (and particularly homosexuals).

Near the end of the documentary was a written statement that Haggard had a sexual affair with a male escort. Haggard was president of the influential National Association of Evangelicals. In a letter read at his New Life Church, he said: “I am guilty of sexual immorality … I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life.”

I certainly am not implying that all evangelicals are hiding some deep, dark sinful secret, but this just shows that they are human like the rest of us and certainly have no moral superiority. I’d like to suggest that anyone who thinks they are better than anyone else consider this: 

We need leaders who care about all the people in our country, not just those who think they are spiritually superior. Come down to earth and join hands with the rest of us and quit fighting us. We’re all in this together.




One response

27 10 2008

I agree. The right wind agenda has a double standard for themselves and the laws they vote against.

There is a very fine line between being a church and a political advocacy group. They only reason some churches don’t go farther in pontificating their purity is they could loose their non-profit status by using their funds to endorse politicians. There needs to be more watchdogs to pay close attention to religious monies that come through the back door regardless of agenda.

Fact is, week in and week out, politicians and evangelicals are found out to be gay. Denial is the cornerstone of hypocrisies. That’s why ultimately many state and county hiring practices are often more minority friendly than that of the church community. This is changing. Change is slow because there is so much money prevaricated by lobbyists on the left and right, it has become an industry unto itself.

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