Sunday, September 23, 2012

Three Cheers for God In Political Platforms and Politics

Baptist Pastor Alan Rudnick has an article up here at the Associated Baptist Press site called God is not a political football. Well I quite agree. Republicans and Democrats need to be careful in this regard.

In part Republicans are seeming to get some blame because many progressives in the Democrat party envision a very SECULAR political party. I think its fair to say Sarah Posner represent that wing as you can see in her post Nine Reasons Why Democrats Shouldn’t Invite Nuns on the Bus to the Convention . I am not sure Pastor Ruddick endorses that view but it's implications need to be thought about.

The major problem is I think there is a rush with judging intent as to the mentions of God in the platform. A actual list  of where its used can be seen here. Some seem fairly innocent and I am sure at all the intent was to spike the GOD football. I mean phrases like “. . .God-given natural resources. . .” which accounts for 3 of the 12 references is pretty common. But I would submit there are reasons why some phrase made added appearances this year. Those are :

 “. . .We offer our Republican vision of a free people using their God-given talents. . .”

“. . .God-given individual rights. . .”

"the primary role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable, inherent rights of its citizens. . .”

What we are talking about is something I mentioned before. That the mention of GOD serves as a reminder of the LIMITATION of Government. That certain natural rights can not be taken away. Some  American Progressives of course often get the hives when we are talking natural law and natural rights analysis though our country's history is soaked with it.

The opposing forces to this can be seen in a article at the Huff Post today. See The Divine Right: Conservatives, God, Politics and Policy

At the Republican convention, both vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan and presidential candidate Mitt Romney near the end of their speeches gave God credit for our constitution and the rights it contains. Candidate Romney put it this way, "That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator and codified in our constitution." Candidate Ryan went even further to state, "They are self evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government." We must have missed that lesson in our history book. But, as far as we know, our rights and our constitution were not passed down from on high on a set of tablets. They were painstakingly crafted by our founding fathers after much debate and discussion. The good and enduring work of the founding fathers shows that they definitely had divine inspiration during their deliberations but provides no testimony to divine intervention.

Of course Paul Ryan was not talking about things that came down from tablets. He was talking about about natural law and natural rights .

I expect we are going to hear more GOD talk like in the above mentions. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

Part of this is because of the positions of one party.

When one party pretty much opposes any move to that would return the abortion discussion to the States expect God , natural rights , and natural law talk.

When one Party wants to get into the Federal Marriage business and have such things as same sex marriage imposed in all 50 states throught the Full Faith and Credit clause it should be expected there is God , natural rights, and natural law talk.

Finally when one party seems to support through the HHS contraception mandate actions that limit down "religion" and may force people to violate their Conscience expect more God , natural rights, and natural law talk.

As the GOVERNMENT expands we are seeing a CLASH OF "RIGHTS" that are butting up against each other. This is  happening big time in the arena of gay rights and as we see in vivid color reproductive rights.

If gay marriage becomes a "Fundamental Liberty" the clash of rights become epic.Would housing laws for instance prohibit me from discriminating against a gay married couple. As to reproductive rights in order to pursue a living ( Pursuit of Happiness) would I have to offer lets say the morning after pill in my pharmacy? Whatever one's position on those matter that debate and more are coming and it will be pushed at the Federal level.

The fact that we are reminded that some of our basics rights come from God and not Government is a important part of the discussion. It is also still a needed check of Government to boot.

I have a feeling Pastor Alan Rudnick is not saying that all natural law, natural rights, etc discussion is off limits. Though I think many want them to be.


Alan Rudnick said...

The key here is seeing superficial mentions of God to pander verses authentic belief. I don't think a party can do that faithfully. Thank you for thinking critically about my piece.

James H said...

Thanks for reading !!

APOV said...

If any of these hypocrite politicians really believed in God, they would not disrespect Him enough to be trying to bring Him down to their level, to wallow in the muck and mud of human politics. What Romney, Ryan, et al are doing is taking the Name of God in vain to get gullible people to think they are voting for God, or at least with God, when they vote for Romney. This has been going on since 1980. I think Carter was a true Baptist believer, and was honest in talking about his faith in 1976. But those on the other side who took note of how that got him votes have been faking it big time ever since.