In a thousand different ways different groups are promoting divisiveness and disunity within our society. First and foremost among them are evangelical fundamentalists. That fact is not at all surprising. The theology of this religious group is by nature partisan. They claim to be God’s chosen and accepted people to the exclusion of all others here and abroad. They are God’s ambassadors and administrators on earth, destined to rule and reign, now if possible and later for sure. Their doctrines are supposedly unimpeachable, no matter the consequences for society or its citizens.
While paying lip service to the democratic concepts of freedom and equality, they fervently attach to the need for everyone to conform to them or suffer the consequences. While those consequences are often said to be God’s doing, what we witness continuously is that these religious partisans want to administer a little personal wrath on the non-believers, using the power of the state.
Not infrequently this religiously inspired partisanship takes on a more secular tone under the guise of patriotism, a prevalent secular religion in our society. Just as under the auspices of Christian Orthodoxy we have inherited sacred, required beliefs, attitudes, and rituals, so too patriotism is defined as adherence to a certain historical view and compliance with certain rituals. A failure to comply with the requirements of ritualistic patriotism results in virulent condemnation and attempts to coerce through fear, reflecting how ritualistic religion wants to legislate doctrinal compliance on everyone.
One has to question why anything of real value and meaning has to be advanced by fear , columniation, and ostracism- all basic elements of partisanship in every instance. Whether in religious fundamentalism or secular patriotism, an appeal to divisiveness and exclusion will never exalt a nation.