Political TheologyJun 16, 2014
Many on the Left, especially the Secular Left, set up a caricature (or straw man) of Christian conservatives in order to demonize them as determined to set up some type of religious theocracy. The hyperbole goes on that Christian conservatives want to "impose their values (religion) on the rest of us" and "don't believe in the wall of separation between church and state." I've always found this humorous because the Left characterizes Christianity as one religion. There are 40,000 Christian (protestant) denominations in America which don't agree on much and they all disagree with the Catholic Church. Imposing this generic "Christian religion" on America would take a miracle more impressive than the Resurrection itself.
What all these faith traditions do have in common, however, is a sense of justice and standard human morality that can be found even in the most elemental humanist understanding of fairness, kindness and compassionate treatment of others, wrapped in thousands of years of human understanding. That these basic precepts of humanity are rooted in Judeo-Christian values adds legitimacy to this understanding can be saved for another day and another argument.
But what the Secular Left obfuscates by its relentless mantra against conservatives is that it wants (and is succeeding at) imposing its values on the rest of us, and does it by using the Bible! It's often a twisted and grossly misinformed interpretation of the Bible, but it cites the Good Book nonetheless. Let a conservative cite the Bible for the reason for a public policy position and the wolves on the Left, especially the Mainstream Media, are furiously unleashed at you.
But there we were last Thursday, as the General Assembly finally adopted a budget — and throughout the Obamacare/Medicaid budget debate starting in January — listening to Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) say that he considers expanding Medicaid a basic Judeo-Christian value that represents our nation's traditions. This bit of theology comes from a man who stated a news conference this past winter that Holy Scripture actually condones, even encourages, homosexual marriage.
Yet, Senator McEachin, who has a divinity degree, doesn't believe it is an American value (not to mention a Judeo-Christian one) to protect military chaplains from government harassment and censorship of their sermons. Even more perplexing is that he voted for a bill during session that would have done just that, only to reverse himself to uphold Governor Terry McAuliffe's veto of it.
Theology is fascinating to study. Comparisons of various thought on Scripture can be difficult. Throw in worldly political considerations and trying to create a secular theology can be a mess. That's why man-created theology will always be flawed. We already have more than 2,000 years of tradition to guide us. Selective theology on Obamacare and chaplains is nothing more than a political concoction meant to undermine our traditional understanding of how man should treat his fellow man.