Monday, June 15, 2009

It is more important to serve God and to save your soul than to see your political party take power.

I have talked before about the fundamental disconnect between Christianity and the United States, and the failure of some Christians and some conservatives to see the difference between the two. There are people, including some of my friends and relatives, who believe that being a conservative Republican is just as important as being a Christian, that tax hikes are as detestable as gay clergymen. Rod Dreher has a phenomenal post about this, stating in much better language than I could ever manage, why this is a blatantly wrong, and indeed dangerous, belief.

I urge you all to read the entire piece, but I'll excerpt the choicest bits below. Rod Dreher, as most of you know, is my favorite blogger and political philosopher or all time. He usually makes good sense and unlike most pundits, he writes from a purely Christian perspective rather than a conservative-Christian one. Here, he shines.

If you read my book, you may recall my telling the story of sitting in a wine bar in Dallas one fine afternoon, engaging in conversation with some older liberals. They were nice enough, but at one point, started talking about how much good would be done in the world if a terrorist drove a truck bomb into Prestonwood Baptist Church. They were joking, in a way, but they also weren't. It was clear from the context of the conversation that they didn't really want to see a truck bomb driven into the church (just as conservative magazine editors don't really think Obama is a left-wing Nazi), but deep down, they derive a certain primitive emotional satisfaction in thinking of their opponents as being unredeemably bad. Worse, even, than it is reasonable to think that they are. Where does that lead? Among other places, it leads to the loss of our own souls.

Now, I don't mean to be read as saying that we cannot say the truth because the truth could hurt someone. I don't know how else to describe late-term abortion except in maximalist terms. If the dismemberment of an unborn child inside her mother's womb --as the abortionist LeRoy Carhart describes his own his own work here -- is not evil, then what is? Farther up the spectrum, the refusal of some media outlets to report on Islamic extremism, or to mention the color of an at-large crime suspect's skin, on the theory that releasing that important and relevant information might lead some people to illogical and anti-social conclusions, is plainly rubbish. The trick is to work hard to think through our own biases and emotions, and always to keep watch on our own minds, tongues and consciences, so that we speak the truth that is, not the truth that suits us emotionally, or that suits the people who buy what we're selling.

This is not a phenomenon exclusively of the right, or the left. It's the way it is with us human beings, especially when we live in an emotivist culture driven by a news media that profits from reducing every issue to a clash of irreconcilable opposites. It seems that if you are the sort of person who looks for wisdom, enlightenment and guidance in public affairs, there are fewer and fewer places and people to which you can turn. It is useful to get that learned, so that you can more ardently seek out those worth listening to amid the meaningless partisan din.

It is more important to serve God and to save your soul than to see your political party take power.

Again, I urge you to read the whole article and watch the video clip (Eric Liddell's sermon from Chariots of Fire, quoting Isaiah 40).

This might be the last Mosings post for a week or two. I will be at a journalism camp at Patrick Henry College in Virginia from the 21st to the 27th of this month, and I don't know if I'll get any blogging done before or during. However, when I get back I'll be sure to blog about the experience, and if I'm motivated here are some posts you can expect from Mosings during the rest of the summer.

1. Urbanism vs. Agrarianism: which, if either, is more conducive to a productive, Christ-centered society.

2. Book Review: Patrick O'Brian's 20-volume Aubrey/Maturin series. I'm almost done!!

3. Small houses vs. big ones: Which make more harmonious, beautiful and useful homes?

Until the next post, Sola Gratia