The Good Ole Days. The Culture War the way it used to be.
This is the first part of a six-part essay. Here are the six parts.
- Why Did I Write This Series?
- Capitalism Versus Socialism And The Culture War?
- What Does The Bible Says About Private Property?
- What Is The Problem With Collectives?
- When Is Socialism the Best Moral Choice?
- When Is Capitalism The Best Moral Choice?
Why Did I Write This Series?
Not too long after the election of Barack Obama I saw newspaper column wondering why Christians do not defend Capitalism. I thought the question interesting. However, there was not much more to the column than that. So it did not hold my attention. In fact, when I started writing I could not find the column again. Nonetheless, the question itself stuck in my mind, and I decided to do a post. So I guess with respect to one person, at least, the author accomplished his objective.
Many Americans pride themselves on separating politics and religion. Frankly, I think separating one’s politics from one’s religion next to impossible. Religion gives our lives purpose. Our religious beliefs should affect virtually every significant decision we make. When you vote, for example, you will most likely vote for the candidate that most shares your religious beliefs. Otherwise, why would you expect that candidate to make moral decisions?
Nonetheless, most Americans maintain the belief that we must keep religion and politics separate. And they cite the authority of Thomas Jefferson. Because this conventional wisdom is so common, that is one reason I fear most Americans are poorly educated. When Jefferson wrote about the wall that separates Church and State, he was talking about a wall that protects Church from the State. Here is what he wrote.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. (from here)
While it might be presumptuous for one political party or the other to claim that God is on their side, there is nothing wrong with a politician saying that he has made a moral choice based upon his religious beliefs. Consider this ironic example. The first act of almost every elected official is religious act. Each official takes an oath of office, most with one hand on the Holy Bible. Why do we value this oath? Don’t we believe most taking the oath know that God condemns oath-breaking? Otherwise what good is the oath?
So in spite of what conventional wisdom says about the wall of separation between Church & State, we do have religion in politics. Likely, if the ferocity of the Culture War is any indication, we have quite a few people inserting their religious beliefs into politics. Isn’t the Culture War in essence a religious debate? Isn’t that what is frightening about the Culture War? Don’t we each believe that other side will use government to impose its religious beliefs on us?
Consider what each side argues. Each side argues the other either intends to or has already breached the wall of separation between Church & State — as Jefferson actually described it.
With the election of Barack Obama, has the Culture War ended? Not likely. Instead, what has happened is that Conservatives are regrouping. What is our objective in the war? How do we promote our ideas to the public?
What this series will do is focus on one aspect of the Culture War, how each side is using government to promugate its beliefs through our economic system. This series will address why Christians need to understand and defend the role of Capitalism in our society.
Continued — Capitalism Versus Socialism And The Culture War?
A soldier’s perspective.