Post-Election Reflections. I
The Inharmonious Quartet.
A similar phenomenon appears to happen in the social/cultural lives of some Americans who live in certain regions of the country. On admittedly thin personal experience, there appears to exist a link between bigotry, fierce nationalism, guns and religion. We all remember Obama's now infamous remark about people "clinging to guns and religion", a remark that first Hilary Clinton, then Sarah Palin attempted unsuccessfully to use to political advantage. In the heat of the political campaign it was impossible to discuss this issue rationally.
I have three questions:
1) Is there really a linkage between bigotry (racism), fierce nationalism, love of guns and religion in America or is this a misrepresentation pushed by the media?
2) If a linkage truly exists, what, from the historical standpoint, is the basis of this linkage?
3) Finally, why is this linkage supposedly concentrated in certain regions of the country?
The most disquieting component of this inharmonious quartet, for me, is religion. How did religion or, for that matter, Christianity come to keep company with such sorry bedfellows?
Are we quickly--because of the poor testimony of a vocal fringe--in danger of becoming salt devoid of saltiness? If so, are we--the larger body--about to be discarded with the rest? We, who know what the Scriptures declare, of necessity and of alarm, need to avoid such a fate for the larger Christian body by boldly speaking about these issues and by challenging the standard but misguided orthodoxy of the “religious right”. It has been pointed out that Jesus reserved his harshest words for Pharisees. Perhaps, it is because we need to be most vigilant about those misguided doctrines that are closest to the truth. These, unlike those that are patently false (e.g., the teachings of the Sadducees), have the power to do the greatest amount of harm to the truth of the Gospel. - Gaius Dissentus.