At the heart of the Taliban’s radical islamism is the merging of the categories of citizen and true believer. The two are so closely identified that political cooperation between Sunni and Shiite is nearly impossible. See Iraq.
This baffles most of us, who can’t understand why the two groups don’t see their common interest as citizens. The reason is that the independent category of citizen has been absorbed by the category of true believer. No common faith, then no common citizenship. Cooperation between the two groups becomes impossible.
Freedom of religion has always been part of the American social contract. Although we may view the other guy’s religion as contrary or peculiar we tolerate it. We may think it odd but, hey, that’s his thing…even if his ‘religion’ is no religious belief at all.
This tolerance is reinforced by the constitutional rejection of an established national religion. With that rejection comes the primacy of the citizen and, for all its warts and blemishes, an open society.
Men of good faith frequently ‘witness’ their faith by cooperation with other religious groups in humanitarian projects for the general good. Although such acts may have political consequences they are essentially acts of human benevolence and not in and of themselves political acts. Think the Sanctuary movement, or No More Deaths.
But when religious groups indulge in direct political action and move from spreading the Good News to advocating the imposition of their will on society at large we begin to see the decay of the social contract that makes cooperation in an open society possible.
To advocate the collapse of the distinction between citizen and true believer is a danger to the open society. Is anyone doing that? I’ll let the reader decide:
The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship.”
“This is God’s world, not Satan’s. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians.”
Gary North (Institute For Christian Economics)
“When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil.”
Gary Potter, Catholics For Christian Political Action
“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
George Bush Sr.
“Those who control the access to the minds of children will set the agenda for the future of the nation and the future of the western world.”
“State Universities are breeding grounds, quite literally, for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV), homosexual behavior, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, alcoholism, and drug abuse.”
James Dobson- Focus on The Family
“We’re fighting against humanism, we’re fighting against liberalism…we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today…our battle is with Satan himself.”
“The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”
“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”
“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
“You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.”
“[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism – everything that the Bible condemns.”
Pat Robertson (Christian Coalition)
Quotations sourced from AdultThought, a student, faculty and staff organization at the University of California, San Diego. For more click here.