Christianity as State-Craft (What is it good for, absolutely nothing...Say it again)

No matter how you define the war on terror, I believe that present problems stem from Bush's "crusade for freedom and democracy" and the decidedly Fundamentalist Christian agenda that guides foreign policy. (A note to the discerning reader; I believe a very real distinction exists between Christianity and God. One is fundamentally exclusive of the other. So before lightning striketh me down, I'd like to point out that my concern is with Christianity, not with God. That was close...) Christianity inherently pits right against wrong, believers against non-believers and the chosen few against everyone else. It constructs the world into convenient dichotomies.

And therein lies the problem. By adhering to a polarity that stipulates that it's our way or not, we naturally fall into a tendency to create hierarchies that place us on the side of right. In the past, attitudes such as this led to things like slavery and Hitler's racial cleansing.

Thus goes my argument: we're wrong, and Bush's dogmatic Christianity is the reason that our foreign policies, wrought with spiritual rhetoric, display inherent kinks. Bush thinks his America is fundamentally better in all aspects, including political organization and collective spirituality. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my country. But I don't want to convey any sentiment of superiority to anyone.

I recently picked up a book by Samuel Wilson. It's called The Emperor's Giraffe and Other Stories of Cultures in Contact. One passage stuck with me. It states that this notion of dominance and superiority is one that permeates history, and it's been the justification for countless abominations against human-kind. I'd like to share it with you:

"In the early laws in Virginia and Massachusetts...Biblical passages were quoted as justification for the appropriation of land: 'And of me, I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession' (Psalms 2:8); and 'Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation' (Romans 13:2). A contemporary satirist put it succinctly in a supposed summary of a puritan town meeting : 'Voted, that the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; Voted, that the earth is given to the Saints; Voted, that we are the Saints'" (Wilson 1999:94).

Here we are once again. The chosen few against the heathen, the lovers of freedom against the enemies thereof, us versus the evil doers, and the politically and socially enlightened against the enemies of democracy.

My brothers and sisters, Christianity as a state religion will only bring more violence. Christianity as the basis for state-craft only breeds delusions of moral grandeur that in turn lead to war. Our founding fathers foresaw this, believe it or not, and in their infinite wisdom they identified a solution; it's called the separation of church and state. If you disagree with my argument, check your history...I'm sure I'll be vindicated.