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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Two Great Religions of the U.S. Attempt Alliance/Merger

I really try not to focus on either politics or religion in my posts. Really. Sometimes I just can’t help myself, so tune out now if you’d like.

I’m piqued by Newt Gingrich’s Twitter announcement that he will run for Grand Old Man in the next presidential election, citing a renewed interest in religion and conservative fiscal and social responsibility. This from the man who declared his great patriotism led him to his many affairs.

There are five dominant religions in the United States: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Republicanism, and Democratism. I don’t claim to adhere to any of these, though at different times in my life I’ve tried three of the five. In my experience, I simply can’t understand how anyone can claim to be more than one of them. I certainly can’t understand how anyone can claim both to be a Christian and a Republican. But then, Newt (and many Americans) seems to have a rewritten Bible.

In his version, when faced with an angry mob and a prostitute about to be stoned, Jesus doesn’t say “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Instead, Jesus hurls large boulders at the mob, putting them in their place, then goes off and sleeps with the prostitute. The Golden Rule is edited so that instead of saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it now reads simply “Do unto others.”

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that Democratism is any more compatible with Christianity than Republicanism. These two “isms” inherit their doctrines from Americanism rather than from any ancient Middle Eastern creed. The fundamental creed of Americanism is that America is the salvation of the world, whether it wants it or not. Americanism is rooted in power. Remember that the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution of the United States as an afterthought. When the Bill of Rights conflicts with Americanism, it is summarily dismissed. We apply these rights to those who are powerful enough (read also wealthy enough) to enforce their will on everyone else.

But deep down, we stay within our personal comfort zones. We go to church because we always went to church. Church tells us what to do. We vote Republican or Democrat because we always voted that way. The party tells us what to do. We stay in America because the unknown ills of another nation are worse than the known ills of this one. And we accept the oxymoron of Christian Republican or Christian Democrat or Islamic Christian or Judeo Christian because the words are familiar, cater to our self-interest, and don’t need to be critically examined.

Perhaps the most prophetic words of Isaiah when applied to America are that “All we like sheep have gone astray.” For we have truly become what William J. Lederer described in his 1961 book as A Nation of Sheep.

And we will accept any demon as our shepherd.