Thursday, August 27, 2020
Becoming a political atheist
I was thinking this evening about politics and my views of it this evening, and the thought occurred to me "Maybe I am a political atheist." I Googled the term to see if there was such a thing, and to my surprise, urban dictionary actually has a couple of definitions for political atheist. This is the one of the two that I feel best describes me, though I balk a little at the "too intelligent" phrasing, as I do not consider myself more intelligent than others.....but I do feel I have been paying more attention than some people.
What is a political atheist?
Political atheist: "One who is too intelligent and informed to believe any of the political ideologies being pushed today. Their knowledge of government has evolved to the point that they cannot trust, in any way, shape, or form the fairy tales and coincidences peddled by people in power, regardless of the party a politician proclaims him/herself to be in. A political atheist understands that these people tend to be the worst of humanity-- greedy, sociopathic, narcissistic, lying criminals and are not worthy of supporting; especially not with a vote.
To trust a politician is the ultimate act of misplaced faith."
It should go without saying, but I have never trusted Democrats, and find their main platforms ant-God, anti-American, anti-life, and anti-anything good. I have come to realize and believe in recent years that the Republican Party isn't much different than the Democrats. One big difference is the Democrats are a little more honest in some ways. They say outright they want to further the cause of women being allowed to murder their babies, using softer words like "women's reproductive rights", of course.....but they are not shy about their desire to keep abortion legal and widespread.
Then take the Republicans. They say they are pro-life, but rarely do anything to prove it. Donald Trump promises to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and could have done so when the Republicans held a majority in both the House and Senate......but it didn't happen. I have come to believe that the Republicans have their own agenda and most of them have no intention of doing what their Christian base wants and expects them to do. But as long as they say they are for or against what Christians want, Christians will vote for them over and over. I occasionally refer to the Republican Party as the "Democrat lite Party, " because the parties don't seem much different to me these days.
I think Rush Limbaugh is an arrogant narcissistic faux conservative, but something he said years ago when I listened to his propaganda stuck with me. He was at a big political party of some kind, and some Republican politicians were talking. One asked "What are we going to do about these Christians?" From what Limbaugh related, the general consensus was that these Republican politicians despised their Christian base, but realized they need them and had to do and say enough to make them happy. And that makes sense from what I have seen.
Is Holiness a sham?
I made a statement on a post by someone from my church, and that statement has not gone over well - "Trump has shown that holiness is a sham." I attend a holiness church, and if you don't know what that is or understand, you may want to skip this part. Holiness churches believe not in just someone being saved, but also sanctified, which is a separate work of grace and received at a different time. Think indwelling of the Holy Spirit, without the tongues and antics of Pentecostals. A good description of what this does is a story about Uncle Bud Robinson.
Uncle Bud Robinson was a Christian, but had an anger problem. One evidence was with his cow. When he milked it, it often knocked over the milk, and he would hit it - I think with the milking stool. Anyway, he got sanctified and never had an issue of hitting the cow again. Sanctification is a removal of the root of sin, involves surrender, and is supposed to make the person even more Christ-like and less prone to sin. Very simplistic view.
People in holiness churches have a lot of strict outward rules, varying from one church and denomination to another. For different reasons, I have not really believed in sanctification for several years, at least not the way my church teaches.
These last 4 years have kind of pushed me over the edge. If people truly believe what my church and others teach, then holiness (sanctification) must be a sham.
Politics has invaded the church, even mine. Saved and sanctified people spend way too much time arguing and posting about politics. They bash Democrats, even posting things that are not true, because it is about Democrats. Then they turn around and defend everything Trump does and says, and goes after anyone who dares criticize Trump. They have a separate list of rules for Democrats than they do for Trump. There is such a huge double standard, and it boggles my mind after listening to the sermons and teachings I have all my life that so many people, that the same people who profess sanctification are not any different from the world in how they act when it comes to politics.....over the top support of a man who they would recoil from and criticize if he still had a "D" by his name.....accuse people of being for Hillary who don't support him, knowing full well they aren't, while ignoring the fact they voted for a man who actually did support Hillary....still holding a grudge towards Christians who didn't vote for Trump.....accusing people of being judgmental and Pharisees for daring to hold Trump to the same standard we hold Democrats to (no one gets accused of being a Pharisee or judgmental for pointing out wrongs in Democrats).....declaring to be for free speech while trying to shut up people who dare criticize Trump....rant about the Democrats wanting gun control and abortion while ignoring Trump's gun control and funding of abortion......and ignoring so much they would go after if it was a Democrat.
My best friend made an interesting comment....I hate masks and don't think the governors have a right to mandate them. I feel people should wear them if they want....but Steven said this "People sure aren't going to be drawn to Christ by a bunch of Christians whining about having to wear a mask or how unfair it is that they can't meet in a building like they want to." And I have argued hotly against them.
Christians from my church and others have become so political and argumentative that we don't love people. We have to get our political views out there, and it has become more important than loving people and winning people to God. It is actually sad that with all the uses for social media for Christians, so many use it to argue politics and praise and admire politicians who are as corrupt as the ones they bash.
That is why I said holiness is a sham. Because what I have seen these last 4 years do not line up with what my church teaches, but politics seems to give people an exemption from acting like the sanctified people they profess to be. If what my church teaches is true, then sanctified people shouldn't make false accusations, post things not true, attack politician they don't like and attack people who dare criticize their guy. They won't try to get people to vote against their conscience. They won't say it is wrong to watch TV or wear shorts yet embrace a man that has the morals of Trump - or lack of.
But to be fair, even Christians who only are saved should act different. Maybe we were this bad before and Trump has just helped bring it out......I probably posted things about Obama that I shouldn't have....but that was OK since he was a Democrat. There are so many Bible verses we seem to discard when it comes to politics....as if it is an exemption to how Jesus commanded us to live and treat each other.
I have a few friends from church who don't like Trump, but keep quiet because of how they were treated when they did speak up. By others in my church and similar churches.
Seriously, we are never going to win people to Christ when politics has so corrupted and invaded our Christianity and churches.
(And no, I don't think holiness people are a sham...just sanctification if it truly is what I have been taught.)
This has all made me realize that politics has become so corrupt in both parties that I can't see even the Republican Party doing much good. And I can't see them nominating better candidates in the future, only worse. I
I am going to try to do better. I have a lot of anger from what I see as the huge double standard when it comes to Trump, and family and friends trying to shut me up makes me angrier. Why is it OK for them to post whatever they want politically, but not OK for me since I don't agree with them? Am I only allowed free speech when they agree with what I say? That isn't Christian, holiness, or even American.
Maybe I need to un-follow those who post so much politics, at least until after the election. As corrupt as both parties are, and as corrupt and liberal as both candidates are, should Christians be fighting about them when neither is worth our time? Surely there are better uses for social media than arguing politics and trying to get people to vote the way we want them to do. Jesus wasn't political, and I am not saying we shouldn't be political at all or not vote.....but are we being like Him when we are arguing politics, putting so much faith in politicians, and often praising politicians more than Jesus...at least on social media?
We aren't going to change anyone's minds, and will most likely alienate some people.....and possibly turn some off on God and Christianity....but do we even care? Politics has taken such a priority in our lives that we tend to think more as Americans than Christians. We react as Americans first, and not as Christians. We tend to hold the Constitution on the same plane as the Bible, and use it more on social media than the Bible. We worry more about our rights and freedoms than loving people. I am guilty. You are most likely guilty.....unless you are like my friend Avis Blowers, who never posts political stuff, but posts a lot of positive Christian content....like all Christians should.
Biden or Trump are unfortunately going to win the election. No number of political posts or arguments is going to affect which one wins. So why should any Christian worth their salt spend more time on political posts, when they can use social media for so much more important and better things?
Stepping away from the Republican Party, not having a "horse" in the race in 2016 or since has given me a completely new perspective. I don't think I am better than anyone else, smarter, or even always right.....but I do believe everything I have said about Trump, and am sad my former party picked him and has not held him accountable as they would if he was a Democrat. I do believe I think more for myself than I did prior to the 2016 election.
And I believe we'd be better off as a church and as Christians, and that the cause of Christ would fare better and be more attractive if Christians never voted and were under Democrat rule forever and lose our rights and freedoms......no, I don't want that.....but what is more important - the Kingdom of Heaven, or our lives here in America. (And by the way, when I say former party referring to the Republican Party, it does not mean I have changed parties...I simply unregistered to vote. Maybe I won't get jury duty now.)
The average Trump supporter would condemn my rhetoric about Trump and say I should pray for him........while they use the same rhetoric about Democrats and don't pray for them. A popular thing right now is to share memes saying Biden is a pedophile, with pictures of him hugging kids....yet there is no proof, and the same people would never accuse of anyone they knew of that with no proof - yet the Bible doesn't say we can falsely accuse a Democrat of something.....and ironically, there are as many or more pictures of Trump hugging kids. So is he one too? Politics has gotten so dirty and divisive, and too many Christians are getting down in the dirty part and wallowing like pigs, while they toss their Christianity on the side to put back on later.
I am far from perfect, and have been hurt by what people said because I dared vote 3rd party in 2016. I have been hurt as people have tried to shut me down as I tried to do as they do, and exercise my freedom of speech. I have watched as this president does things Obama did and got criticized for, and as he does things his supporters would scream about if it was a Democrat - like gun control. There is a lot of corruption in this administration, but it gets ignored....because the Democrats are worse.
What if Biden is the lesser of two evils.....what if a Biden presidency caused a revival in the church and got people to seek God more than politics? What if a Biden presidency brought unity among Christians instead of the divisiveness politics has caused? What if a Biden presidency did more to further the cause of Christ than a Trump presidency?
And again, I value my rights and freedoms and don't want Biden any more than Trump. But what if?
A certain friend of mine who is also conservative and anti-Trump wanted to ask this on Facebook, but feared the backlash: "if you knew a Biden win would bring about revival in the church, would you fight him so much?" Great question. The temporal has become too important. America has almost eclipsed Heaven, where we are supposed to be living for.
I want America to be Christian and conservative, but the Republican Party is sliding further away from that with each election. The day may come when the Republican candidate is too bad for any Christian to vote for....then what will we do? Politicians can't save America, nor can they make our country great again. Only God can do that....and if that statement offends you, then why does it?
I have failed God more often than not in my life, or so it seems. I have never been a strong Christian.....struggling for years to believe God loves me, struggling to believe I was truly saved, watching people more than looking to Jesus. Toss in depression and my SSA, my Christian walk seems to be more rocky and difficult than what seems to be normal. 2016 about shattered my faith, and that is partly good, as it shattered my faith in the Republican Party and helped me see I have put too much hope and faith in elections and politicians. The bad part is it about shattered my faith in God and the Church. I have found myself thinking several times over the last four years, "if this is what Christianity is, do I truly want to be one?" And again, I am not saying I am better than anyone...but it is true. If Christianity has become so intertwined and invaded by politics, and Christians are going to argue politics and let it divide them.....do I want that? Should any of us want that?
My hope is no longer in politics, a political party, or politicians like I feel it used to be. I am a political atheist.