"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « Which Came First? by Pastor John Samson | Main | All Always Means All, Right? by Pastor John Samson »

    The Myth of Political Neutrality

    While I generally like to avoid political issues on this blog and spend most of the time with theology, I wanted to use a recent statement by a politician to show the mindset of many Americans and how this mindset influences the practical outworking of theology in our day and age.

    Regarding the appointment of Samuel Alito, Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said, "I must say that I wish the president was in a position to do more than claim a partisan victory tonight...The union would be better and stronger and more unified if we were confirming a different nominee, a nominee who could have united us more than divided us."

    When I read this line, I sat there baffled, wondering if he actually believed his own deceptive words rolling off his tongue. He might as well have said, "if you would have chosen a nominee who had political positions that aligned with my own then our country would be more united." To think ones 'own ideology is somehow neutral while others are divisive and extreme is either complete blindness or chicanery to appease a certain constituent. Whether right or left, such statements are utterly foolish. Why not just admit that we are all biased and have a position we wish to promote and that neutrality on important issues simply does not exist. Is this pretended neutrality supposed to promote civility? No, rather, it creates division because it is based on a false premise about life that always accuse the other side of prejudice, bias and intolerance. Instead of disagreeing with a position we hurl the "biased" ad hominem their way. This actually deflects from the real issues and creates a society of distrust.

    The same goes for the common media expression when they claim that someone is a moderate on the court. We must respond by asking if they will please explain how someone can be a moderate with regards to an issue such as abortion. The media frequently made this claim with regards to O'Connor, that she was a "moderate on abortion". What do they mean by that? That she agrees with them? Either you are for abortion or against it. Which position is moderate? One man's moderate is anothers' extremist. Watch yourself not to make these kind of fallacious arguments. We all derive our authority for our ideas from somewhere and there are no positions which are neutral.

    When people use the common separation of church and state argument it has essentially the same flaw. Some will claim that religion can't interfere with politics, but you will never hear them exclude their own religion. Is their position somehow irreligious simply because their authority is not Deity? Then by what authority is their position established? Speculations? opinion? desire? preference? How are these anymore authoritative and "neutral" with regard to establishing ethical laws and content of public education? Are not all positions religious then? So when we speak of separation of church and state, all persons should include themselves under the same restrictive umbrella, Christians and atheists alike. This would create a free market of ideas in the classroom and the public square.. not the censored environment we live in now. It would allow all ideas to participate, and the best ones would prevail. God has revealed the truth to us and we should, therefore, never fear close examination of our position.

    So we should be the last persons to oppose scrutiny and public debate. But the pretended neutrality that now exists in these United States of America is very unhealthy and self-destructive. We cannot keep worrying about getting our feelings hurt or being offended by someone else's religious ideas. No, all worldviews should have the opportunity to debate in the free market of ideas and we should welcome such a thing because it will give exposure to the gospel to many who might otherwise not have it. It would also serve as a catalyst for us to always be prepared to give an answer because the society would allow free flowing ideas and we would often have the opportunity to speak about it. Our children would be in an environment where ideas other than Christianity were espoused, but isn't that already the case? The free market would then allow the ideas to openly be placed side-by-side. The deceptive voice of neutrality would be silenced. Neutrality does not exist and the promotion of it in our society is simply an enforced nihilism.


    Related Essays
    Why is Secularism Exempt from the Separation of Church and State? by JWH
    Discussion with a secularist/activist for homosexuals.

    Posted by John on January 31, 2006 01:21 PM

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