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God is at work fighting for all manner of issues, interests, and people groups. At least that’s what you’d conclude listening to people’s assertions on the nightly news. God is on our side, so it is said, and not on the side of others, especially our opponents.

It sounds great, doesn’t it? If God is fighting for us we must be right. We must own the higher ground. And we will win in the end. We’re more righteous than thou and we’re justified in everything that we do.

But I’m not so sure this is a biblical point of view, which is to say, making such claims is not always good theology.

Let’s think about this:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2014

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com.

Americans sometimes confuse their faith and their patriotism. In a country that pioneered the idea of separation of Church and State this is a rather interesting development. For ones who enjoy their faith and love their country it's easy to do. And the tendency is not always or necessarily sinister. But then again it can create blinders and cause problems.

In it's more developed form mixing faith and patriotism is called civil religion. But that's a subject for another time. Here I simply want to think about the question, Is Americana (not America per se but American culture) always Christian? Here's more on the topic:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

"Don't bring your morality into politics," so the saying goes. But this is at once impossible and ill-advised even if it were. Morality, the sense of what is right and what is wrong, is an inherent part of everything human beings do. Why? Because we are not animals. We are reasoning if not always reasonable beings capable, in fact charged by God, of determining right from wrong.

So how does morality flavor our economic and political stew? Here's my take:

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

Wannabe Presidents of the United States of America must run a grueling gauntlet of presidential election primaries and debates. Part of the experience is proclaiming, defending, and attempting to minimize damage regarding one's "faith" or religion. Are you Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon? And come on now, are you really?

Voters, or at least the public, want to parse every response. Some of this, I contend, is legitimate: voters are trying to understand the candidate's character, or at least I hope that's the motive. Some of this goes over the top: voters are trying to crucify one candidate on his or her altar in order to advance another favored candidate.

But what should we think about presidential candidates' religion? Here's my take on the subject:

Does any religion guarantee, or preclude, a great presidency?

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

It's that time of year again. You know, when presidential candidates dash about the country declaring why they and they alone should be elected the next POTUS. (If you've missed this I'm guessing you just got back from Mars.)

One of the resume items candidates most like to cite is their fidelity to God, religious faith, maybe Christianity specifically, or just faith in general. No one, at least no one yet, seems to want to run as an atheist. And there's good reason for this, atheists may vote, but there are not enough of them to fill a good-sized polling booth.

But religious folk? Now that's a different story, at least it still is in America. Something like 98% of us say we believe in God, even those of us who turn around and live like the Devil. And us religious folks vote. So is it any wonder reasoning-if-not-always-reasonable candidates want to align with "people of faith?"

But what does it mean when political candidates claim they "have faith"? And how should we evaluate this claim or respond? That's the subject of this video.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievancesFirst Amendment of the United States Constitution

We all want religious freedom, right? Of course we do. But we may now be getting more than we once bargained for or ever anticipated possible.

The times, they are a changin’. The Judeo-Christian-based moral consensus that once undergirded the country and culture’s public philosophy, as well as once dominant Christian denominations, is diversifying, declining, or maybe disappearing.

No longer does “religious” mean “Christian” in the broad sense of the term. Now it means any form of devotion to any form of faith in anything.

America is an increasingly religiously pluralistic nation. Recent case in point: Mayor Michael Hancock, newly elected chief executive of the city of Denver, was blessed by five different religious leaders during his inauguration ceremonies Monday, July 18. Among the religious figures was Grace Gillette, a Native American of the Denver Power-Wow Committee, who waved eagle feathers and chanted over the mayor.

I am a proponent of the First Amendment and religious freedom. I am a proponent of an individual’s right to worship as he or she chooses. I am not anti-Native American or for that matter anti- any ethnic or racial group. This does not prevent me, however, from respectfully disagreeing with the Mayor’s decision to ask a Native American shaman to bless him during his inauguration.

Native American religious beliefs do not typically acknowledge Jesus Christ, the Word of God, or Christian teachings. Some traditional Native American beliefs are monotheistic, focusing upon the “Great Spirit,” some are pantheistic, seeing god in all of nature and imputing to nature animate and divine characteristics and powers. Not all Native Americans embrace these traditional religions, perhaps not even most. But some do. I wish them no ill, but I respectfully disagree with their beliefs.

I do not believe that waving feathers and chanting over someone blesses them in any way other than via well wishes of the person waving the feathers. Asking a Native American to bless his mayoral inauguration and coming term was more about politics, multiculturalism, and political correctness than it was about connecting with the Sovereign God of the Universe.

However, though I disagree with the choice I understand that the First Amendment extends to the Mayor the right to make this choice. I also recognize the development of other non-Christian religions in America and the likelihood more odd experiences like this Indian blessing and possibly more tensions will occur in the future.

An average of one new mosque is built every week—now as many as 2,000 in the States. More individuals are demanding their “spirituality” be recognized or at least permitted on university campuses no matter how bizarre. In 2010, for example, an official Wiccan stone prayer circle was installed at the Air Force Academy. All of these developments have been challenged and will continue to be.

The First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion is a precious right. But as America becomes even more religiously pluralistic, more friction between fundamentally disagreeing groups is going to occur. I hope we will find a meaningful balance allowing peace and social interaction to occur amongst them all. The alternative is a more than scary breakdown in America’s social fabric resulting in a religiously balkanized, combative, and weakened society like India. No offense to India, but this is a future the United States does not want to contemplate, much less embrace.

How then does a Christian learn to hold and advance his or her views in a post-Christian nation?

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.