Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the significance of religion in politics

8/24/11

It has become more and more common for politicians and political candidates to wrap themselves in the mantle of Christian Orthodoxy as a means to solicit supporters. Some seem to see these claims to piety and even divine sanction as a positive sign, while others just cringe.

Certainly, no one- candidate, politician, or voter- can leave their religious, moral, and ethical beliefs behind as they engage in the political process. The real question for me is whether these religious proclamations in the midst of the practice of politics are meaningful and helpful in evaluating candidates for office. We have all seen numerous examples of high profile religious leaders exposed as living a religious sham. One would not expect politicians to be less inclined to operate under a religious pretense. 

In addition, nothing is more disconcerting for me than a politician who claims a mandate from God to govern the rest of us. Such an obvious lack of humility should automatically raise very serious questions about that person’s ability and even desire to participate equitably in the democratic process. Notions of moral superiority and the attendant exercise of moral authority associated with all religions of exclusiveness are essentially the antithesis of the equality upon which democratic institutions are supposedly based.

In the final analysis, I remain very skeptical of all political claims to divine callings and moral superiority. The pursuit of a political career is rarely an exercise in nobility, regardless of one’s party. Prestige, power, and a tremendous benefits package