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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Faith and Politics

Over at the Hometown blog, Matt Perkins expresses himself, clearly stating he doesn’t like Gov. Sarah Palin’s religious views. (Please read his post.)

In fact he derides her as some undesirable, unrespectable, dangerous radical. In every paragraph, he belittles her faith. He derides her belief that God created the universe, that he has an interest in his creation, that he has a plan for it or that he directs its destiny. I guess that about covers it!

By condemning Palin, he condemns her church in Wasilla, AK. He derides ". . . the 5-15% of people who truly believe in that. . ." With his broad brush, he implicates Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims and numerous others who have theistic world views.

Perkins implicates Benjamin Franklin who urged the Continental Congress to pray to God for guidance when he demeans those who ". . . believe that God guides political actions and decisions."

The US Congress and State Legislatures thus would come under attack for their daily opening prayers asking God to guide the actions, thoughts and decisions of those august bodies. He implicates our founding fathers for their efforts to establish a governmental framework that would protect the right to worship or not worship God as a person chooses, without fear of reprisal. And those same founding patriarchs worked inside that constitutional arrangement without hesitating to believe that God directs the affairs of men.

But somehow Senator Obama’s expressions of faith are apparently OK.

And then Perkins has the audacity to say, "Even if God did exist I don’t think he would want us to be so dependent on him." So who gives the right to Perkins to say what God would want?

While Perkins derides Palin's faith, he fails to realize that he too has faith. Perkins’s view is a faith belief just as much as he thinks Palin’s is. Perkins believes something, just as Palin believes something. He believes either God does not exist (atheism) or he believes he cannot know God exists (agnosticism). In either case, that is a religious belief just as much as theism is a religious belief.

His atheistic or agnostic faith is a philosophy, a world view, a religion, just as ardently and dogmatically held as any theistic view. But Perkins presents himself as if he is above faith, while calling Palin’s faith into question, thinking he is on high ground. Perkins cannot prove his faith so he is not on any better ground than he thinks Palin is.

Perkins has no idea that he is a man of faith, that he cannot prove his faith and that he is just as suspect and radical as he thinks Palin is. Perkins has no idea that his faith permeates and informs all of his beliefs, including politics, just as much as Sarah Palin’s faith does.

Nor does Perkins realize he acts like a "clingy girlfriend" when clinging to his unrecognized faith.

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