What God, Where?: The Unfortunate Religiosity of Today's Political Landscape
I Hear Voices
What stood as the most striking query at the Republican presidential debates for the 2016 election was the final question that moderator Megyn Kelly posed from an Internet submission. Was it, “What is your philosophical understanding of policy?” Or was it, “Candidates, what is government, is government necessary to man, and if it is appropriate to man, what is its proper purpose?” No. It was none of these questions. Instead, the winds of mysticism blew heavily on that last hour as Kelly asked, “I want to know if any of [the candidates] have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.” This is clearly a question reserved for candidates running for president of the Joel Osteen fan club, not a inquiry to be presented to the potential president of the United State of America.
Controlling the Helm
The choice ought to be clear: either the New Testament or the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Unfortunately, the candidates seek to mix the ideologies into some mongrel form of government and faith. Instead of standing resolutely on the principles of selfishness as propagated in the Declaration with the most self-interested political statement of all-time, the right to pursue one’s own happiness, these candidates grandstanded for the opposite. They upheld the “family” while never acknowledging that a family is just unit of individuals. This means that the citizens of the only moral country in the history of the planet ought to not live for their neighbor, or their race, or their tribe or even their God. The Founding Fathers proposed a system of political soundness but came up short with the ethical grounds. For this, the nation has been at odds for over two centuries with the notions of a supreme being controlling the helm of all existence. As the candidates offered their justification for hearing voices, the fact remains that they overlooked the reality that if you are vying for the highest office in the land a qualification that ought to be obvious must be in place: sanity. To negate the profound significance that having a sound mind is to go against what is right, what is real. If any of the candidates had stopped for just a brief moment to consider that deciding what actions to take to guide the the sole superpower should come from a non-mystical, rational understanding of the real world, the debate would not have been the disaster that it turned out to be. The fact that the candidates would even allow themselves to entertain a question which has no real basis is quite alarming. With bitter quarreling and bickering over trifling matters, the last question just epitomized the utter nonsense and imprudence inherent in these discussions. Rather than present a measured line of thinking and a recognition of the primacy of reason, Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier lodged softballs the entire debate. Their feeble attempts at sparking a lively discussion and an engaging evening replete with honest, enlightening dialogue failed. And the candidates performed no better. From their positions candidates like Marco Rubio took it upon himself to declare that God has “blessed” this country with a military, and Democrats and a Republican party. He could have just shown that these are all man made institutions. No, he’d rather indicate that God purposed such entities into existence. Maybe he ought to visit a different kind of institution, one catering to the mind.
The Faith Factor
Do you believe in God?
A Seismic Shift
For the candidates to look to some extrasensory, supernatural force to navigate through the moral morass of current politics, shows the backwardness of all involved. The allegiance to this force is only a detriment to the constitutional republic which holds that there ought to be a separation of church and state. This is not the view of say Mike Huckabee who is a Southern Baptist minister or to someone like Donald Trump who claims to be a good Presbyterian. None of the Republican candidates are atheist. What would it take to get God out of the equation altogether? A seismic shift in the way that issues are handed down not from on high to be disseminated to the masses. No. It would require a balanced, thoughtful assessment of the topics that affect real lives. Earlier in the broadcast, the candidates received the question about abortion. Of course, most of them invoked their faith and based their answer on religious edict. As opposed to stating properly that a clump of cells in a woman's uterus are part of her body and not an actual human being, the candidates proclaimed that life is in her womb. That life begins at the moment of conception not the time where the baby is delivered. This is quite a serious matter that ought not be taken lightly. A precious life (the woman's) hangs in the balance during a time in her life where she must choose whether to keep her unborn child or cancel its potential. God ought to have nothing to do with it.