Thursday, August 30, 2012

Christianity And Political Degrees Of Freedom

Unlike Islam, Christianity has an awful lot of degrees of freedom insofar as political, economic, and social organization is concerned. 

It is exceedingly unlikely, for instance, that God cares a whole lot which incredibly rich (by New Testament Standards) group occupies the front or the back of the American status bus.
It is also exceedingly unlikely that God cares too much whether a candidate that will spend ruinously prevails over one who will spend insanely relative to our actual means.
It is further pretty unlikely that God cares too much whether marginal income taxes are a few points higher or lower.
He probably doesn't even have a strong opinion on whether one should have to present an ID in order to cast a ballot---or, for that matter, what qualifications suffrage is based upon.
Societies historically with a Christian majority or plurality have made a significant constellation of different decisions on these issues.  About all they would agree upon is that when Jesus returns, he'll be an Absolute Monarch.

St. Vincent's rule of thumb---basically looking for the commonalities throughout Christian Tradition, should be our guide insofar as taking positions on issues that are politicized.  If the direction of Scripture and Tradition is clear, go for it.  Otherwise, it is unwise and probably immoral to wrap it in the banner of Christ.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that Screwtape's goal not the corruption of "society", it is securing individual souls. Insofar as whatever political or social conditions on earth aid this end they are good, but they are in every place secondary. It is the salvation of individuals on which the battle is fought, not "societies".

God cares not for the state of the world, it will be whatever state he wishes in the end. He cares how men act. Job was not asked to make heaven on earth. He was not asked anything but to show faith in the face of a miserable earth.