Politics and Religion …

Politics and religion don’t mix

That could almost be the post-modern American mantra, in a tragically peculiar sort of way. Except that it’s just not true. Maybe in a small sense, but that’s a post for another day.

In contrast, consider this short quote:

The Church claims no right to dominate the secular realm. But she has every right – in fact an obligation – to engage secular authority and to challenge those wielding it to live the demands of justice. In this sense, the Catholic Church cannot stay, has never stayed, and never will stay ‘out of politics.’ Politics involves the exercise of power. The use of power has moral content and human consequences. And the well-being and destiny of the human person is very much the concern, and the special competence, of the Christian community

Arch. Chaput, Render Unto Caesar, pages 217 – 218.

This is from a recent book that I’m really excited about – Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life, by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver.

I’m going to be reading it soon, and will post more as I go along.

Politics and Religion …

2 thoughts on “Politics and Religion …

  1. Thinking about it, the fundamentals of both are similar — submitting ourselves to authority, hoping that our choice bears a kind of reciprocation on the idols’ part.

  2. bob says:

    paolo, thanks for stopping by … though I can’t say that I agree that there’s too much similar between the two when they’re functioning correctly – only in a dysfunctional, degenerate case.

    When working well, idols should be a pejorative in both domains. In that case, our faith in and worship of the real God (not an idol) helps provide a foundation for and orders our life … out of that well-ordered life we can make sound contributions to the political discourse.

    Anything less does a disservice to both, though I will admit that there are plenty of folks (and one is way too many) that do bring your suggested “vending machine” mentality to each domain.

    Yet that remains a dysfunction, not a desirable norm.

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