The Cutting Edge
by Ed Knudson
PubTheo Home
Subscribe-Donate
Sign Up Here
Feedback

See All Blogs     Blog Home

Where Your Tax Dollar Goes  4/18/2017  (28)

Talking It Through  4/15/2017  (42)

False Community Consciousness and Local Radio  4/1/2017  (63)

Politicians Can Use Nostalgia to Manipulate the Minds and Hearts of People  3/31/2017  (58)

Two Forms of Governance: Big Corporations Want to Snoop about Your Internet Behavior  3/27/2017  (68)

Obamacare is Not Imploding, Can Be Improved  3/24/2017  (84)

The Soul-Sucking, Attention-Eating Black Hole of the Trump Presidency  3/24/2017  (82)

An Avalanche of Absurdities: Chris Hedges on the Rise of Trump and American Fascism  3/21/2017  (83)

Of Course Obama Wiretapped Trump  3/21/2017  (95)

Trump Glorifies American Militarism with German Leader, Embarrassing Himself  3/18/2017  (101)

Most of Trump's Voters are Not Poor, but Regular Old Republicans  3/18/2017  (95)

Robert Mercer and Big Money Chose Trump to be President, not the People  3/17/2017  (106)

Stirring Up Muslim Hatred; The Need for a New Election  3/16/2017  (95)

Old Republican Tactic: Stoke Fear of Crime  3/13/2017  (129)

White People are Hurting Themselves  3/11/2017  (126)

Basic Civics Lesson for Libertarians  3/8/2017  (134)

Public Trust: Post-truth is Pre-fascim  3/8/2017  (189)

Martin Marty Center Publishes Column in Support of Disgraced White Nationalist, Milo Yiannopoulos  2/28/2017  (213)

Trump is Not a Normal Politician and Was Not Elected Fair and Square  2/21/2017  (450)

Trump is Using Immigrants as a Political Scapegoat: Very Bad  2/20/2017  (191)

To Dominate Politics, Business Needs Religious Extremism  2/13/2017  (215)

No Vision or Leadership from National Council of Churches  2/9/2017  (237)

Post-Factual Politics  2/8/2017  (219)

Trump May Want a Terrorist Attack  2/7/2017  (234)

For the Right Wing: Only Christians Deserve Religious Freedom  2/6/2017  (200)

Where Are the Reverends in Justice Movements?  2/3/2017  (265)

Trump is Centralizing Power: Resist Fascism  1/30/2017  (289)

Cry for Our Country: Spontaneous Demonstrations across America  1/28/2017  (261)

Truth in the Trump Era  1/23/2017  (290)

"We Will Not Go Away, Welcome to Your First Day"  1/21/2017  (304)

Violence, Racism, Authoritarianism Characterize Trump's Inaugural Speech  1/21/2017  (356)

First Things Doesn't Like that Trump Surrounds Himself with Prosperity Gospelers, Snake Oil Salesmen  1/17/2017  (347)

Newt Gingrich Gets Trump Wrong: Why Southerners Hate the Federal Government  12/27/2016  (319)

From Peace on Earth to an Election Based on Violence  12/23/2016  (332)

Bill O'Reilly Admits the Truth: For Republicans Elections are All about Race  12/23/2016  (392)

No Mandate for Trump, Says Jeff Merkley  12/22/2016  (342)

2010 Prediction: White People with Self-destructive Fantasies will Elect a Figure Like Trump  12/17/2016  (318)

Gore Vidal on Ayn Rand: God is "I"  12/14/2016  (306)

Russian Atheistic Ideas Now Dominate the American Political System  12/14/2016  (270)

Trump Over Performed the Most in Counties with the Highest Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Mortality Rates  12/9/2016  (290)

Back to the Catacombs for the Real Church  12/8/2016  (332)

A Prayer for Standing Rock  11/12/2016  (300)

Trump Will Be Impeached within a Year  11/11/2016  (343)

David Brooks on the Authoritarian Anti-Politics of Trump  11/10/2016  (321)

An Anti-Trump Resistance Movement Begins with Protesters in Streets Nationwide  11/10/2016  (319)

Hillary Lost Because of Her Husband's Economic Policies  11/9/2016  (337)

Evangelicals Elect a Racist Pervert as President  11/9/2016  (367)

Very Serious National Decline  11/9/2016  (323)

The Silly Controversy about Hillary's Emails  11/7/2016  (333)

Trump Offers to Rescue Lower Income White People in a Secular Rapture  11/2/2016  (306)

The Crisis of Conservative Intellectuals  11/1/2016  (350)

James Comey Should Resign or Be Fired  10/30/2016  (337)

Traveling Luther's Life 500 Years Later  10/24/2016  (366)

The Death of Tom Hayden  10/24/2016  (358)

False Superiority Syndrome: A Terrible Disease of the European White Mind  7/22/2016  (677)

Delusion: Ben Carson Thinks Saul Alinsky Worshipped the Devil  7/20/2016  (486)

Understanding the Context for Preaching  7/16/2016  (475)

Journalists Must Treat Trump Differently  7/15/2016  (462)

Reading Grace in History through a Black Lens  6/26/2016  (469)

A Dark Day for the UK  6/24/2016  (483)

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Has Got to Go to Unite Democrats Against the Racist, Trump  5/27/2016  (548)

John Caputo On Divine Sovereignty and the Weakness of God  5/23/2016  (486)

A Corrupt Form of Christianity is Destroying the Republican Party  4/5/2016  (623)

President Obama: 'We are Easter People'  3/31/2016  (584)

Evangelicals are Not Voting Trump, Jacksonians Are  3/31/2016  (573)

The Modern War on Drugs Began as Nixon's Racist Assault on Black People  3/24/2016  (583)

Listen to a Black Man Standing Silently at a Trump Rally  3/15/2016  (581)

Who Should be President? Strict Father or Nurturing Parent  3/3/2016  (620)

Trump is a Fraud Who is Playing the American People as Suckers, Says Romney  3/3/2016  (707)

Asked about Donald Trump's Wall, Pope Francis Suggests He 'Is Not Christian'  2/18/2016  (630)

How the Portland Media Help Make Domestic Terrorists into Heroes  2/6/2016  (590)

Flint, Michigan: Death Camp City  1/22/2016  (645)

Privatization of Public Land is a Bad Idea  1/22/2016  (677)

Peace Lutheran in Burns, Oregon, Requests Prayers  1/20/2016  (730)

How the Iraq War Created ISIS: Crucial Information for Understanding Terrorism  12/6/2015  (732)

Leading Republican Candidate Donald Trump: How Stupid are the People of Iowa?  11/13/2015  (684)

CNN Repeats Stupid Claim by Pew Research that Religious 'Nones' Dominate Democratic Party  11/5/2015  (702)

First Things has become Relevant to Only One Region of the Country: the South  11/2/2015  (731)

Tell Ben Carson to Give Up His Presidential Campaign  10/27/2015  (724)

Corporate-Funded Think Tanks have Created an Angry, Destructive Politics  10/24/2015  (675)

Protestants Need a Pope  9/30/2015  (750)

R.R. Reno at First Things is Disappointed by Pope Francis  9/25/2015  (812)

Matt Taibbi on the GOP Clown Car  8/15/2015  (868)

Pray to be Filled with Awe and Contemplation  8/12/2015  (807)

Jurgen Habermas: A New Possibility for Europe  7/21/2015  (975)

The Republican Party has become an Agent of Southern Religion, Racism and Anti-Unionism  7/20/2015  (808)

Historic Day: Gay Marriage Affirmed by Supreme Court in All 50 States  6/26/2015  (806)

Gun Manufacturers Cannot Be Christian says Pope Francis  6/22/2015  (885)

Pope Francis Teaches Us about Climate Change and the Moral Imperative to Act  6/20/2015  (917)

Cornel West Wows a Conservative University Audience  5/4/2015  (1108)

Police Violence in Baltimore  4/29/2015  (1128)

Bonhoeffer's Vision: An Outcast Church on the Margins of Society  4/25/2015  (974)

The Debate Over Cornel West  4/21/2015  (1004)

Nebraska Doesn't Believe in the Free Market for Its Electricity  3/29/2015  (1064)

The New Political Mission of the Historic Protestant Church  3/16/2015  (1058)

When Fascism Comes to America; What Love of Country Really Means  3/1/2015  (1086)

Senators Marco Rubio and Joni Ernst Don't Know the Difference between Sunni and Shia Islam  2/28/2015  (1735)

The Shameful Media Attack on John Kitzhaber and Cylvia Hayes  2/18/2015  (1515)

Francis Says God Loves the Marginalized  2/16/2015  (1034)

Rand Paul Disqualifies Himself  2/4/2015  (1086)

Oxfam Report: How the Wealthy Get Their Money by Not Working or Paying Taxes  1/26/2015  (1064)

John Boehner Wants The U.S. to go to War with Iran  1/21/2015  (1077)

Martin Luther on Charlie Hebdo: Sick Secularism and Billy Graham  1/14/2015  (3077)

Whose Speech is Actually Free?  1/14/2015  (1138)

Historic Protestant Speech is Not Free in America Today  1/14/2015  (1299)

Wall Street has Bought Itself a Congress  12/15/2014  (1111)

Democrats Move to Encourage an Elizabeth Warren Candidancy  12/10/2014  (1126)

Iowa Lutherans: Don't Vote for Joni Ernst  10/27/2014  (2491)

Wendell Berry and Incarnational Theology  10/21/2014  (1356)

Did God Kill Jesus? Moltmann on Anticipated Terror and Joy  10/10/2014  (1329)

Stop the Oil Train Bombs  10/2/2014  (1320)

The Terrible Self-Righteousness of George Weigel at First Things  9/19/2014  (1329)

Violence All Across the World, including Ferguson, Missouri  8/15/2014  (1339)

Reagan's View of History Still Prevails  8/15/2014  (1294)

Nick Hanauer: Beware, Fellow Plutocrats, the Pitchforks are Coming  8/13/2014  (1325)

Blowing Up Jonah: The Political Use of Religious Symbols  8/12/2014  (1439)

Listen to Rabbi Henry Siegman on Gaza: Killing Innocents  8/1/2014  (1270)

The Lost Iraq War  7/30/2014  (1265)

It is Not Anti-Semitic to Question Israel's Right to Exist as an Ethnic State   7/24/2014  (1224)

Republicans Elect Mark Walker: A Racist, Blasphemous, Baptist Pastor  7/23/2014  (1696)

There is No Religious Left  7/22/2014  (1234)

Crisis in Ukraine: A Bit of Background  7/18/2014  (1184)

Teachers Turn Against Obama  7/12/2014  (1392)

The Trouble With Brain Science  7/12/2014  (1285)

The Roman Catholic Supreme Court Decides What is 'Sincere' Religious Belief   7/1/2014  (1341)

Karl Polanyi and the Stark Utopianism of Market Fundamentalism  7/1/2014  (1355)

Corporate Provided Health Care Has To Go  6/30/2014  (1280)

Brookings Report on Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives  4/25/2014  (1363)

Coal Train Crisis Abates   4/16/2014  (1401)

Gay Marriage Ban Ending in England and Wales on Saturday  3/29/2014  (1403)

Obama Should Have Prosecuted the Bush Administration for War Crimes  3/28/2014  (1406)

A False Gospel: Corporate Christianity  3/27/2014  (1384)

Koch Brothers are Creating Their Own Political Party  1/26/2014  (1536)

Social Justice in New York City  1/1/2014  (1542)

God is a God of Freedom: Pope Francis and Liberation Theology  12/21/2013  (1542)

America, America, the Country that Kills Its Prophets  11/23/2013  (1715)

Thinking about a New Protestantism  11/21/2013  (1570)

Hysterical Anti-Communism: Billy Graham Urged the Killing of a Million Vietnamese  11/21/2013  (2373)

The Next President will be a Woman and a Methodist, but not Hillary  11/11/2013  (1576)

Regular Republicans are Beginning to Reject Their Leaders  11/11/2013  (1544)

Pastors: Help Your People Understand Obamacare  11/6/2013  (1612)

Mothers and Grandmothers on Abortion  11/5/2013  (1691)

Why Obamacare is a Political Con Job  10/30/2013  (1748)

Very Disturbing Governance by Media Manipulation  10/4/2013  (1811)

A Reformation Pope  10/2/2013  (1680)

When the Big Money Mafia Rule  10/1/2013  (1733)

Obama Wins Shutdown Battle  10/1/2013  (1878)

Samantha Power: Protection of the Innocent  9/11/2013  (1864)

Pope Francis to Meet with Gustavo Gutierrez, Founder of Liberation Theology  9/11/2013  (1828)

Apocalypse: Life Beyond Empire and Environmental Destruction  9/9/2013  (1717)

Joining Obama Against Himself?  9/5/2013  (1836)

Arab Spring: Transfer of Power in Syria  9/4/2013  (1798)

Religious Conflict in the History of Syria  9/3/2013  (1779)

Hunger Games: The Divide and Conquer Marketing Strategy of Fox News  8/7/2013  (1996)

The Terrible Mendacity of Stanley Kurtz  8/5/2013  (2282)

Obama Speaks on Verdict in Trayvon Martin Case  7/19/2013  (1793)

Summer Heat: Elders Called to Engage in Civil Disobedience  7/18/2013  (1860)

Business Predators Must Be Forced to Stop Their Damaging Behavior  5/26/2013  (2022)

Pastors Create Public Consciousness  5/26/2013  (1918)

Kathyrn Tanner: The Social Trinity and Politics  5/26/2013  (2004)

Obama Failed to Appoint Competent IRS Leaders  5/22/2013  (2077)

Occupy Theology: Obama has Broken the Hearts of the Young  5/20/2013  (1824)

Corporate Conspiracy Theories in Pastoral Consciousness  5/17/2013  (2007)

The Gosnell Verdict and Abortion Politics  5/16/2013  (2269)

False Equivalence, the IRS, and the Right's Persecution Complex  5/15/2013  (1991)

The NRA: Southern Political Terrorism  5/14/2013  (1929)

Public Violence  4/17/2013  (1788)

A Teacher is Raised  4/8/2013  (1834)

Stop Coal Exports  3/27/2013  (1907)

Health Care Hogs Drive Up Costs  3/27/2013  (1808)

Manufactured Landscapes  3/23/2013  (1882)

About Death Camp Thinking  3/22/2013  (1853)

Marriage Equality Goes Mainstream  3/21/2013  (1906)

Hope for the New Pope  3/14/2013  (1964)

The End of a Catholic Moment  3/12/2013  (1933)

Wealth Inequality is Much Worse than Most People Believe   3/11/2013  (1961)

The Government is Making Us Old  3/11/2013  (2152)

Fairness Now Means to Tax the Rich More  12/10/2012  (2004)

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness:THE NEW JIM CROW  11/14/2012  (2112)

A Victory for Life  11/7/2012  (1858)

Romney is Not a Christian  11/5/2012  (2104)

It's Not Theology that is Utopian Today, It's the Market Fundamentalists Like Romney  10/17/2012  (2448)

Why Does Romney Focus So Much On Apology?  9/12/2012  (2024)

A Way of Speaking that Wins Elections  9/6/2012  (1956)

Compared to Other Nations, America is Under-Taxed and More Unequal  8/31/2012  (1980)

Obedience, Not Liberty, is Highest Value for Real Conservatives  8/28/2012  (2043)

Romney Degrades Himself with Welfare Ad  8/28/2012  (2011)

Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All  8/3/2012  (2095)

Michele Bachmann: Say Stupid Things, Make Lots of Money  8/1/2012  (2031)

The Trees are Falling  7/14/2012  (2176)

President's Social Darwinism Comment Stirs Up Business Elite  4/16/2012  (2123)

Today is My Last Day at Goldman Sachs  3/14/2012  (2152)

Creation is Broken: Against Utopian Conservatives  3/9/2012  (2127)

Women have Spoken: The End of Rush Limbaugh  3/9/2012  (2119)

Nazism and Public Schools: Catholic Bishops Want Public Money for Their Own Schools  2/25/2012  (2603)

The Cynical Use of Religion by Economic Elites  2/23/2012  (2608)

The Continuing Attack by Religious Right against Mainline Christianity  2/22/2012  (2307)

A Phony Public Theology  2/22/2012  (2117)

Naming the Enemy: Biological Fundamentalism  2/17/2012  (2125)

Social Policy in Pastoral Consciousness: Who Should Serve the 'Poor'?  2/16/2012  (2182)

Bishops Reject Obama Compromise, the Devil is Forcing Birth Control  2/14/2012  (2155)

Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It  2/13/2012  (2126)

Romney Believes Constitution is Divine  2/11/2012  (2181)

Santorum Reveals His Political Philosophy with Comment on French Revolution  2/10/2012  (4794)

Legal Aspects of the Contraception Debate  2/9/2012  (2181)

Catholic Bishops Want Freedom to Oppress Women  2/8/2012  (2586)

David Stockman on Crony Capitalism, A Very Helpful Discussion  1/26/2012  (4575)

Wall Street to be Investigated  1/25/2012  (2526)

Obama Tells Truth about Economy  12/7/2011  (2140)

God Demands Justice  11/17/2011  (2113)

Understanding Protest Movements  11/15/2011  (2095)

Chris Hedges: People Have Finally Woken Up  10/8/2011  (2165)

A New Economic Strategy for Wall Street Protests  10/5/2011  (2188)

Wall Street Occupation Protest - Live Video  9/26/2011  (2215)

Tens of Thousands Protest in Israel; Citizens of the USA Should Also Hit the Streets  8/7/2011  (2260)

A Day of Blasphemy: Governor Rick Perry's Prayer Festival  8/5/2011  (2455)

Wall Street Hates the Tea Party  8/4/2011  (2287)

The Instability of the American Political System  7/27/2011  (2354)

Fukuyama on The Origins of Political Order  4/15/2011  (2319)

Obama Punches Back  4/13/2011  (2414)

Punish the Poor  4/9/2011  (2497)

Facing the Reality of Conflict and the Problem with Liberal Neutrality  3/21/2011  (2422)

The Republican Attack on Poor Women  2/20/2011  (2422)

A Real Spirit of Peace  2/11/2011  (2314)

Public Lies about Tax Cuts  2/10/2011  (2395)

The People Own the Streets  2/2/2011  (2407)

Political Violence Works  1/13/2011  (2523)

Religion as a Matter of Political Calculation  12/24/2010  (2617)

Tea Party Leader Says Methodist Church is the Religious Arm of Socialism   12/20/2010  (2677)

Bottom-up History: The Commoners of Atwood  12/13/2010  (2424)

Patriotic Millionaires Support Increase in Their OwnTaxes  12/10/2010  (2483)

Democrats Elected a Republican President  12/9/2010  (2443)

Obama Agrees to Increase Obscene Levels of Inequality  12/9/2010  (2334)

The Unemployed are Actual, Real People  12/3/2010  (2515)

A Deep Sense of Bewilderment and Betrayal  12/2/2010  (2516)

Chalmers Johnson Dies, Military Writer Who Told the Truth  11/21/2010  (2497)

Should the Rich Rule?  11/3/2010  (2359)

The Liberation Theology of Abraham Lincoln  10/12/2010  (2499)

Mass Psychosis as a Pastoral Concern  9/24/2010  (2567)

Glenn Beck and Apostolic Authority  8/31/2010  (2453)

A Moving Event  7/19/2010  (2397)

Gay Marriage to Become Law of the Land  6/21/2010  (2428)

Facing Death at the Center of Life  6/14/2010  (2481)

Rand Paul Exposes Tea Party Racism in Libertarianism  5/20/2010  (2606)

Equal Freedom: The Obama Doctrine  5/7/2010  (2787)

The Last Protestant is Leaving  4/9/2010  (2543)

Economics in Pastoral Consciousness  3/14/2010  (2637)

The Strategic Consciousness of the Protestant Pastor  3/1/2010  (2591)

Memesis and the Culture of Personal Crisis  2/15/2010  (2802)

Watch Out for that Communist Folk Music  1/22/2010  (2772)

The Political Cross at Xmas  12/23/2009  (2684)

There are Socialists and Communists in the White House  10/15/2009  (3321)

Send Money to ACORN Now!  9/19/2009  (3063)

The Moral Blindness of Glenn Beck  8/11/2009  (3155)

The Media Creation of Whacko Conservatism  7/30/2009  (3016)

Seven Pentecostal Mountains and Sarah Palin  7/16/2009  (3179)

Major Media Unfairly Presents Anti-Abortion Rhetoric  6/3/2009  (3119)

You Can Get Killed in a Public Church  6/2/2009  (3216)

Historical Jesus Theories: Bringing on the Reign of God  5/20/2009  (3539)

It's Not Socialism, It's Insanity  5/20/2009  (3024)

When Life Begins is Not at all Clear  5/19/2009  (3251)

The Political Use of Torture  4/25/2009  (3042)

Jesus is Not Some Phony Spook  4/22/2009  (2960)

Poisoned Waters, Chicken Shit and Smart Growth  4/21/2009  (3190)

The Significance of the Killing of Robert F. Kennedy  4/13/2009  (3180)

The Last Book by Neuhaus: America is Babylon  4/10/2009  (3411)

About the New Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships  4/9/2009  (3133)

Seeing the Truth about God and Economy  4/2/2009  (3327)

Big Bankers as Terrorists  3/23/2009  (3305)

Without Trust, No Economy  3/19/2009  (3155)

Exposing the Dual Structure of American Governance  3/19/2009  (3070)

Another Big Book on Justice  3/17/2009  (3085)

Why Pastors Need to Understand Rush Limbaugh  3/16/2009  (3138)

The Freeman Affair and the Israel Lobby  3/16/2009  (3159)

Uncreative Destruction  3/16/2009  (3186)

Some Truth about Income Tax Rates  3/13/2009  (3500)

Cultural Redemption: The Jewish-Arab Peace Song  3/13/2009  (3493)

The Poor Reputation of Evangelicals around the World  3/13/2009  (3222)

They have Stolen Our Language  3/11/2009  (3268)

CNBC: Mouthpiece for Business Ideology  3/11/2009  (3039)

Why Habermas?  3/11/2009  (3146)

Sex in God's Family  3/8/2009  (3338)


Please let us know what you think of these blogs or if you see something inappropriate.
The Cynical Use of Religion by Economic Elites
2/23/2012

Something happened at the Republican presidential debate last night, and Sarah Palin made a comment about the race, which make clear for anybody with eyes to see what has been going on within the politics of the country for some three decades now. Economic elites have been using religion to get their own candidates elected, candidates who could not otherwise win elections if they just articulated their policy preferences which favor the interests of those elites. They are able to get elected by voters following the dictates of religious leaders who themselves profit immensely from their involvement in politics. It's all become a money game, and religion is a tool of the economic elites.

First, the Republican debate. The moderator read a question submitted by email about birth control. As the question was read the members of the audience started to groan loudly. The debate was sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona so we can assume this was the party elite at the debate. They groaned because they did not want to hear a question about birth control; right now there is widespread discussion about contraception due to the House hearing on this topic and reports of the many efforts of state legislatures to pass restrictions on abortion. The Republicans want the debate to be about freedom of religion as the Catholic bishops have phrased the issue rather than birth control.

But the groaning was also because these elites don't want to actually have to discuss birth control, they just want to ride the wave of opposition to it of the religious right and the Catholic bishops. In fact, these elites don't even want to admit that the base of the Republican Party itself is now composed almost entirely of religious right believers who have been organizing now for a long time to take over the Republican Party. They have been so successful that opinion polls show that the more voters attend church the more they are Republican and the less they are Democratic. So the conceptual framework is set up in the minds of journalists and others of a "religious secular" divide. If you are Christian you vote Republican, Democrats are the secularists, church haters, atheistic socialists. Now, a moment's reflection makes this framework ridiculous, but when it comes to politics reflection is not what most folks do.

Republicans have been using abortion and anti-gay hatred to get elected for some time, they have been using religion for their own political purposes, and the religious right has allowed itself to be so used even when Republicans, like Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, did almost nothing to actually promote the religious right agenda. George W. Bush did more for that agenda, and state legislators are now pushing anti-abortion meansures, but social issues are not popular among the party's elites. They have another agenda, to continue to control economic institutions for their own benefit and keep government from doing anything that challenges their dominance of both the economic and political system.

This became clear in a comment yesterday by Sarah Palin when she was asked whether she would be available if a brokered Republican convention would turn to her as a presidential candidate. She said the party "establishment" would never allow that. Palin is a religious conservative, her choice as a vice-presidential running mate was meant to excite the religious right in the 2008 campaign. She has learned her lesson. She now knows that the party elite don't really want to elect a social conservative. They groan at even the mention of birth control. Most of the Republican economic elites could care less about these issues except as a means to elect their politicians. The parade of candidates in this Republican primary demonstrates that only the businessman Romney is acceptable to the elites even if so many religious conservatives don't like his Morman religion. The elites are scared of the outright religious rhetoric of a person like Rick Santorum who is convinced evil is overtaking America. Talk about evil might turn to the evils of greed and inequality.

Let me tell a story on the personal level about this mindset of the economic elites. Just a few years ago my wife and I invited many extended family members to a meal on Easter Sunday. After the meal a person who is a very successful small business person engaged me in conversation. He asked, "Ed, what do those people in the religious right teach?" I said, well, they are against public schools now and he said, "I don't believe that." And I said, they want prayer in schools and don't want to teach evolution and he said, "I don't believe that." I said they want government to ban abortion and he again said "I don't believe that" and I began to see where this is going and prepared my punchline. I said the religious right folks are opposed to the rights of gay and lesbian persons and he said "I don't believe that." Finally I said that the religious right wants to Christianize the nation, to govern based on their understanding of the bible and doctrine, and he said, "I sure don't believe that."

So I was ready with my punchline. I said I appreciated that he was asking me about the religious right to demonstrate that he and I agreed on many things. But I said the religious right had taken over the Republican Party in the state of Washington, where we lived at the time. So I asked him, "Why would you vote for a party that promotes what you don't believe in?" That's when he stood up to talk with somebody else and the conversation was over.

Now this fellow is a very amiable and good person, I like him. He respects religion but doesn't go to church. But my little story, which actually happened, demonstrates something important in understanding current politics. I'm sure there are lots and lots of Republicans just like him. They vote Republican for their own economic reasons, and chuckle to themseles that they are so lucky to have so many religious believers who support them.

Think about this. There are now two major presidential candidates, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who have been able to stay in the race to this point only because they have a couple billionaires giving them millions of dollars. Both of these candidates use religious talk explicitly to get the religious right to vote for them. Both of them have no hesitancy in saying that they believe God is on their side and that President Obama is engaging in a war on religion and question his faith and the church where he came to faith in Chicago. They attack his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and what was preached in that church, liberation theology, and associate it with all that is evil. Santorum even says Obama has a "phony theology" and believes in radical environmentalism. So billionaires are supporting this explicit religious right talk to get religious believers to vote for that which is best for the economic elites. But Santorum says that it is Obama who is the elite who should be resented for "forcing" his views on others.

It is incredible to me that such talk is going on, the use of religion for the purpose of making sure that the economic elites can rule. And yet, it is an old, old story, those in power using religion to get their way. And the church has gone along, siding with the wealthy who made the big contributions or give money to foundations or charities supporting religious work.

Now the politics has become very nasty, however. Christian faith should not be up to majority vote, the faith is being debased by politics these days. In many and various ways we at this website are trying to expose this misuse of religion. True Christianity preaches the love and justice of God, it is critical of oppressive power, it is on the side of the powerless. Just read the bible where all of this is put forward clearly for those with the eyes to see.




  Sponsored by the
Center for
Public Theology
.
About   Organize   Theology   Church   Philosophy   Ethics   Politics   Planning   Society   Economy   Creation   Peace   Preach   Media   TheoEd   Contact  Home  Subscribe