Pam Hogeweide and Emmett Bailey would have much to talk about at a sit-down dinner. They are both active churchgoers, committed to their families, and love their cities—Portland, Oregon, and Richmond, Virginia. Both Pam and Emmett say their reading of Scripture compels them to join current U.S. political movements. The only difference? Pam is an Occupy protester, a decision she says allows her to pursue God's heart for justice, while Emmett is a Tea Party member, which he says ensures that God's gifts of liberty and freedom remain intact.
How can people who share the same faith embrace such different political views? And what does their witness tell us about the state of American politics?
Comments Are Closed
Displaying 15 of 7 comments
See all comments
Arthur, I agree completely. The problem is that no one obeys the Constitution, least of all the US government. US Supreme Court justices have ignored it since 1929. Don't mistake what is for what the authors of the Constitution intended. The US Constitution meant to limit government; The Supreme Court has found loopholes using the commerce clause and other clauses, that neuter the intent and allow unrestricted state power. At the same time, no one who participated in writing the US Constitution thought that law could perfect human nature. That is a socialist concept unknown to the founders. Only God can change human nature. The role of government is to limit the damage that evil people can do.
For the best interpretations of the encyclicals "Rerum Novarum", "Populorum Progressio", adn "Caritas in Veritate" by the current Pope, see the articles at acton.org. The current Pope is more free market oriented than any except the previous Pope.
Arthur, it may sound like hokum to the ignorant, but any person familiar with history understands it is the truth. Study the teaching of the Church scholars of Salamanca, Spain in the 16th century. Then trace them through the natural law tradition of Grotius to Adam Smith. Then study what the writers of the Constitution studied and to what they attributed their ideas, especially those of Madison, the great Christian man who essentially authored the Constitution. The US Constitution is as close to an expression of Biblical government as any is likely to get.
Christine, if you research the history of political thought, you will see that the US Constitution is the best expression of Biblical political theory in existence. The Bible is not a political document, yet we need a political document. Torah contains some excellent political ideas but we can't adopt it directly, only capture principles from it that apply to today. The US Constitution does the best job of that. I don't see how it can be improved upon.
William David Troughton
In being free we need to be responsible for each other as well- we are our brother's and sister's keepers, and creation's caretakers. But in truly caring for one another, we need to allow freedom for each person to become their particular selves. In holding to part of the truth we may not give sufficient attention to another part of it. Wealth is only obtained in partnership with others so, as we all know, that the inordinate wealth some have achieved in the USA has required cooperation ( and maybe exploitation) of others. Fighting wars costs money and should be paid for - but then it should not be at the cost of failing to create the opportunities for the poor that love would wish for them, of reversing the abuse of the environment and failure to provide safer sustainable infrastrudtures. It does mean loving God and loving our neighbour.