Religion & Politics

Across Lafayette Square from the White House sits St. John’s Episcopal Church. Long known as The President’s Church, this one building perfectly illustrates our relationship with Christianity in America. Given our penchant for poverty and prisons, it seems an odd choice of religious touchstones, but I’m a fan of cognitive dissonance as much as the next guy.

As the republican field for 2016 takes shape, Jesus plays his requisite role. I can’t help but wonder if he was faithfully represented by these reprehensible representatives all the years they’ve been in office. What makes them think they can sleep with the Devil all week on Capitol Hill while claiming the counsel of God in their churches on Sunday?

The democratic party spends their time in the pews as well, but at least they pay more than lip service to those lofty ideals. They care about the same group of beggars and fools that Jesus did, though their policy choices show a decided inability to envision a better way of doing business in America, one that would not please their corporate masters.

If we had the courage of our oft-stated convictions, the 2016 presidential race would be Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton in the general rather than in the democratic primaries. If each party represented its 20th century progressive roots, we’d be arguing over the best methods to address catastrophic climate change, not whether or not it exists.

A belief in some sort of God seems an odd quirk of life on Earth. I am willing to admit the possibility of anything, but what continues to strike me as odd is our professed faith as a people and the continued bloodshed and misery done in our name. How could we hold creation in such little regard given humanity’s love affair with religion?


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