religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost
every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from
authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but
have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions
about them were not worth a brass farthing."
"The beginning of wisdom is:
get wisdom; at the cost of all you have, get understanding."
The statement above by Mark Twain may at
first appear to be harsh, but when we look at the note of caution in the
Book of Proverbs, we can better understand some of his frustration with
religion and politics. And as we can see from the passage
contained in the Book of Proverbs ... nothing is more important than
getting wisdom and understanding.
Yet, the people of the world, by and
large, are content to "follow" the assumed wisdom and
understanding of others. And no where is this more apparent than
in politics and religion and in some ways they are becoming more of the
same ... than ever before. Certain religious leaders even have the
arrogance to believe that they can "deliver" the votes of
their followers to a certain political party. There is not much
doubt that they can to some degree ... but, doesn't this assume that the
people who follow them don't think much for themselves? And with all
this preaching politics to their congregations ... the religious leaders
who do it must think their followers can't make wise decisions of their
own. And what does this tell us about the people who follow them?
... are they the "people" that Mark Twain describes in his
And once they believe they can tell their
followers how to vote ... they begin to think they can tell them all
manner of other things too. The following is from the American
Family Association's "Action Alert" dated October 13, 2006:
help us get this information into the hands of as many people as
possible by forwarding it to your entire email list of family and
Moves Ahead With Plans To Air Madonna Scene Mocking The Crucifixion of
are sexy because there's a naked man (Jesus) on them." - Madonna (did
she really say this?)
Member (name deleted for confidentiality)
Despite 740,811 emails asking the network to cancel Madonna's mocking of
the crucifixion of Christ in an up-coming November special, NBC still
plans to air the crucifixion mockery scene.
did these people ever consider just not watching the show? There
are millions of people who will watch this show ... even in Italy with
the Vatican's opposition, Madonna's shows sold out ... so why should the
show be cancelled because of 740,811 people who don't know how to use
their remotes? I guess they haven't learned much since their
failed boycott against "Desperate Housewives."
And more from the Washington Post:
Rally Against Bush Aide-Turned-Critic
Exposť of White House Scorn for Evangelicals Is Disputed
Conservative religious leaders described themselves as shocked
yesterday by a new book's charge that Bush administration staffers
privately dismissed evangelical Christian political activists as
"nuts" and "goofy."
But their dismay was aimed at the book's author, former White House
official David Kuo, rather than at President Bush or his senior
At 7 p.m. Sunday, evangelical leaders including Perkins and Dobson
plan to broadcast a 90-minute television special from a Boston church to
hundreds of other churches across the country in an attempt to keep
religious conservatives from sitting out the election ..............
At the same hour, CBS's "60 Minutes" will broadcast the first
interview with Kuo about his book, which is scheduled to go on sale
Monday. CBS and the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, tried to
keep a lid on the book's contents until the "60 Minutes"
exclusive. But MSNBC host Keith Olbermann obtained a copy and began
broadcasting excerpts Wednesday. [end]
articles above are extreme examples of what happens when we allow
ourselves to depend on the understanding of others rather than seek
wisdom and understanding ourselves ... soon those who believe they have
the power over us ... begin to think they can make decisions for
everyone. Some of the greatest tragedies in the world have
occurred because people allowed themselves to be blindly led by others.
Now, I don't have a problem with the Christian Right suggesting to their
followers not to watch Madonna ... but to try to stop millions of others
who don't believe the way they do from watching this show is gross.
And if the Christian Right truly believed that their followers
understood them ... would it be necessary for them to tell them how to
vote? And ... since they have shown a lack of respect for the
Constitution of the United States to forward their own political agenda
by flaunting the separation of church and state ... can the Christian
Right really expect politicians to respect them? After all, didn't Jesus
teach them, "as you sow ... so shall you reap?"
I believe that we
should question everything ... questioning our religion or spiritual
philosophy or politicians can only increase our wisdom and
understanding. No one can seek wisdom for us ... anymore than
anyone can understand for us ... or think for us. And this
is the Truth.
AND SO IT IS!