Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Religion, Politics and the mid-term Elections.

Now you may think that with the results of the US mid-term elections, we have seen the demise of the mixing of politics and religion, but if the influence of the Christian Right may have waned, they remain strong enough - too strong in fact.

Rick Perry was for instance successfully re-elected governor in Texas, in the footsteps of another governor – George W. Bush. Gov. Perry agrees with Rev. Hagee who said non-Christians are “going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket.”

Perry said he believes in the inerrancy of the Bible and that people who fail to accept Jesus as their savior will go to hell. (Dallas Morning News)

The idea of Bible infallibility makes no sense to me. As a text, albeit a Sacred one, it is interpretable. In fact, no one follows it literally, not even creationists. Besides, no one but God knows what’s in people’s hearts so isn’t it a bit of a blaspheme to speak as if they were God Himself?

Apart from theological questions, the problem of mixing extreme religious views with politics, is that the former is exclusive while the latter should be inclusive. The consequences can be dreadful. In fact, as it has been argued many times before, religion has played a crucial role in the recent American pro-Israel policy.

As you can read on our blog, John Hagee- the man who had Perry as a guest in his church - is a minister whose theology is based on a Dispensation Premillennialist interpretation of the end of times (which claims that the Jews are a distinct people, irrevocably entitled to the promises of God and that they will undergo trials or Great Tribulation, until they finally recognize Jesus as their promised Messiah.).

Now, Perry is not a unique case in the Republican party:

Mr. Perry sat on the red-carpeted stage next to the Rev. John Hagee. Mr. Perry was among about 60 mostly Republican candidates who accepted the invitation to be introduced to the megachurch's congregation of about 1,500, plus a radio and TV audience.

Now, you may think, well, this is Texas after all. But even in Democratic Minnesota, Republican Michele Bachmann who thinks God asked her to run, campaigned in churches and mixes religion and politics with absolutely no shame, was actually elected senator.

That would (almost!) make you wonder….

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