www.herald-journal.com
Religion and politics
October 11, 2010
by Pastor Wally Glucklich, Elim Mission Church, Cokato

It is said two things you should avoid talking about in polite company are religion and politics. Yet these two subjects affect so much of our lives.

If they have such an impact on us, why don’t we talk about them? Is it that these topics are so personal and dear that when we are confronted, we defend our beliefs?

Religion and politics are unique, invisible convictions within us. They are founded upon inner beliefs that have been transmitted through family and community values. Many times they may not make sense, but we still believe them. It seems like logic, facts, and explanations cannot change these deeply rooted convictions.

Religion and politics do have a root and source. As you know, there are many denominations and each have their unique theological doctrines; for example, Catholicism, Lutheranism, Baptist, and so on. If we have been brought up under any of these theological systems, we find a great comfort and identity in them. It appears that no amount of convincing will shift us to believe differently.

In the same way, our political affiliations are also deeply rooted. Our political beliefs are founded upon our exposure to the Democratic or Republican party. If our family members were Democrat or Republican, then we became Democrat or Republican. Our political choice has been absorbed by our faith in our parents’ political beliefs.

Like religion, political views have a foundation in political theories and systems. Political beliefs have their roots in: freedom, democracy, a republic, a monarchy, a dictatorship, a diversity of expressions of socialism or communism. The values of these ideologies somehow permeated into our political thinking.

As you can see, it’s naturally hard to discuss religion, or politics, or both at the same time. If we are honest with ourselves, it’s probably even hard for us to discuss politics with ourselves because we may not be able to support our intuitive spiritual convictions and our political vote with logic and reason.

The Bible tells us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV). I wonder how many of us can explain to someone the reason and foundation of our faith and vote. If we were able to do so, would we be more likely to be consistent in our worship and our voting?

This mid-term election is very important. It is a referendum on whether or not America is ready to embrace the political slide to socialism. Our government has already nationalized health care, taken over automobile companies and financial institutions, and taken control of education and the environment.

Like our forefathers in Europe 60 to 80 years ago, we must make a choice. Will we choose freedom for our children or governmental control over all aspects of their lives? How you vote can hurt you.