Religion and politics together!! Boy am I asking for it. But, thank heavens I am not going to be talking about abortion (I have done that more than enough lately). Maybe I am going to talk about how Evangelicals seem to make up the majority of the Radical Right? Nope, not going to talk about that either… The thing I want to talk about that they have in common is the practice of exclusion.
Since Martin Luther started the first split in the church about five hundred years ago we Christians have continued to fracture into smaller and smaller parts. Today there is thought to be about 39,000 different versions of Jesus out there. No one can seem to agree on even the basics. We seem to exclude each other over just about everything imaginable. On my other blog over at Red Letter Living I spent about four years studying this phenomenon. We split over difference in how to baptize each other. We split over whether we believe God is three being in one or not. We split on arguments whether the earth is six thousand years old or millions. Lately we have been splitting more rapidly than usual over what to do about homosexuality. We just seem to want to exclude each other rather than do the work to get along.
Many Christian churches have split on so many different things and none of the reasons have anything to do with the messages their founder, Jesus Christ, gave them. They split on what we are supposed to believe rather than what we are supposed to do. I sadly see now that even the Quaker Church Indiana Meeting is splitting apart. I didn’t see that one coming.
The Republican party seems to also be primarily in the business of exclusion. Their current presidential nominee was caught on tape ranting about the 47% who are free loader in our society that depend on government hand outs for their existence. My GOP friends rail against homosexuality, children born out-of-wedlock, the poor, “illegal aliens”(I hate that term because it seems to say they aren’t human!), and many other groups. Ninety-three percent of the people attending their recent convention were white folks and mostly older white folks. They have managed to exclude almost all minorities from their midst. Gone, if they were ever there in the first place, are African-Americans, Hispanics, union member, and even many government employees who they call lazy free-loaders and gone are those moderates in their party who they now deem “LIBERALS”.
The one thing that neither the religious folks nor the Republicans seem to realize is that eventually you will end up excluding so many that it will be impossible to exist. That number is called critical mass. If you fall below that your group quickly crumbles into oblivion. I think both these groups need to take to heart the most famous quote from my hero Will Rogers.
I never met a man I didn’t like
and quit hating so many that are not like them. That brings us a quote from another of my heroes, Jesus who made his command as simple as possible.
Love one another
If the GOP and Christians could just get these message through their thick heads and quit excluding everyone they might live for another day. But in each case I kind of have my doubts that will happen.