If talking about religion can start fights, imagine talking about religion and politics. Except we’re not talking about religion and politics, we’re talking about spirituality — and politics. Not the same thing — just like spirituality and religion aren’t the same thing. Should one’s spirituality have anything to do with one’s politics? Should one’s politics have anything to do with one’s spirituality?
Many of America’s founders were deists steeped in the thinking of the French Enlightenment. They recognized the dangers of mixing politics and religion and tried to put strong walls between them. But America has always had a strong allure both to those seeking religious freedom and to those seeking to assert their religion over others. Perhaps the problem lies right where spirituality and religion diverge.
Sources & References
Deism & Deists — In the words of the Deism website, “Deism is knowledge* of God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. The designs presuppose a Designer. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a ‘revealed’ religion.” For more information about deism, please visit here.
Thomas Jefferson’s Bible — Jefferson literally rewrote the Bible. Per Smithsonian Magazine, Jefferson “…created his own gospel by taking a sharp instrument, perhaps a penknife, to existing copies of the New Testament and pasting up his own account of Christ’s philosophy, distinguishing it from what he called “the corruption of schismatizing followers.” The whole article can be found here.
Huguenots — The Huguenots were French Protestants escaping religious persecution (by the Catholic Church) in France.
Dominionism & Dominionists — Dominionism is a Christian political ideology that seek to institute a nation governed by Christians based on their understandings of biblical law. Here are a few pieces about Dominionism —
Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas) & his dad Rafael Cruz are Dominionists, David R. Brockman in the Texas Observer, June 2, 2016.
The Book Of Revelation, King James Version
John Wycliffe (1330 – 1384) — English theologian; promoter of the first complete translation of the Bible into English.
Justin Martyr — (Per Wikipedia) Early Christian apologist. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue did survive. The First Apology, his most well known text, passionately defends the morality of the Christian life, and provides various ethical and philosophical arguments to convince the Roman emperor, Antoninus, to abandon the persecution of the Church.
Rene Gerard, The Scapegoat: “The goal of religion is to control violence”.
The Council of Worms (Diet of Worms)
Televangelist Kenneth Copeland explains to a journalist why he needs to fly first class while Jesus flies coach.
Christianity In Africa: The Renewal Of Non Western Religion, Kwame Bediako.
Christianity Without Fetishes, F. Eboussi Boulaga.
Guns, Germs & Steel, Jared Diamond
1491, Charles Mann