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Jim Offline OP
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I am a little over half way through this complex book, which basically describes the Republican Party as having becoming the Religious Right Party of the U.S., mainly due to support from the Southern Baptist Convention, Mormons, Missouri Synod Lutherans, and various evangelical and pentecostal groups. (He does not see the Catholic Church as having as crucial a role as the above.) Phillips is predicting dire consequences for the national economy based on their ideas of armageddon, etc. and points to decisions being made to support such thinking.

The difficulty I have with all this, is that the godless alternatives offered by their political opposition, positions that run counter to church theology, are unacceptable. Phillips points to how religion has stunted the scientific growth of nations in the past, or contributed to their premature economic demise. Cases are made about ancient Rome, Galileo, Spain with the Inquisition, Holland with the Dutch Reformed Church, and England- he speaks of overextended economies, in conjunction with loss of manufacture, rise of financial institutions, decline of research, and narrower religious thinking and crusader mentalities. He now thinks that the U.S. is going down the same road by losing the initiative in scientific research to other countries, which will probably cause a loss of influence internationally.

This is a controversial book, to say the least, but Phillips has done a lot of homework. Does it change how I would vote? No, because I tend to vote consistently with my beliefs, even if that may mean that the U.S. eventually runs second to some other country economically. After all, it is not my patriotic duty to sacrifice my beliefs for economic first place. There need to be other answers that most people CAN support. Anyhow, Phillips' book is food for thought.

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AthanasiusTheLesser
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Quote
Originally posted by Jim:
I am a little over half way through this complex book, which basically describes the Republican Party as having becoming the Religious Right Party of the U.S., mainly due to support from the Southern Baptist Convention, Mormons, Missouri Synod Lutherans, and various evangelical and pentecostal groups. (He does not see the Catholic Church as having as crucial a role as the above.) Phillips is predicting dire consequences for the national economy based on their ideas of armageddon, etc. and points to decisions being made to support such thinking.

The difficulty I have with all this, is that the godless alternatives offered by their political opposition, positions that run counter to church theology, are unacceptable. Phillips points to how religion has stunted the scientific growth of nations in the past, or contributed to their premature economic demise. Cases are made about ancient Rome, Galileo, Spain with the Inquisition, Holland with the Dutch Reformed Church, and England- he speaks of overextended economies, in conjunction with loss of manufacture, rise of financial institutions, decline of research, and narrower religious thinking and crusader mentalities. He now thinks that the U.S. is going down the same road by losing the initiative in scientific research to other countries, which will probably cause a loss of influence internationally.

This is a controversial book, to say the least, but Phillips has done a lot of homework. Does it change how I would vote? No, because I tend to vote consistently with my beliefs, even if that may mean that the U.S. eventually runs second to some other country economically. After all, it is not my patriotic duty to sacrifice my beliefs for economic first place. There need to be other answers that most people CAN support. Anyhow, Phillips' book is food for thought.
Dear Jim:

I can see why someone might use the adjective "godless" to refer to the Democrats. I would submit that the Republican party is just as problematic from a Christian perspective and I am as strongly inclined to call the Republican party godless as you are to call the Democrats godless. Christians in the USA, whether they be politically liberal or politically conservative, should beware of the moral failings of both parties. I come from a working class family. None of my grandparents graduated from high school and only one of them even got past the eighth grade because their families were too poor for education to be a priority-they had to work as soon as they were able. At one point, my maternal grandfather's family lived in a tent, while there was a time that my paternal grandmother's family had to resort to eating possum to avoid starvation. My family has tended to view the Republican party as being indifferent to the plight of the poor and in the service of the wealthy. Consequently, there are many "yellow dog" Democrats in my family and much of my own political sensitivies have been molded by my family history. I almost never vote for a Republican because of my heritage and because from my perspective, it seems undeniable that the Republican party is indeed in service of the rich and is indeed indifferent to the poor. Having said that, I do indeed realize the problems of the Democratic party-its position on abortion being the one that troubles me the most, though other positions that are problematic from a Christian perspective could me named. My point is that neither party can claim the blessing of God and I hope that Christians can learn to stop demonizing each other because of political affiliation, because one party can just as easily be called godless as the other.
In peace,
Ryan

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Actually, from an eastern catholic viewpoint, many of the ideas that are pushing the Republicans along stem from heresies- misreadings of Apocalypse, and so on, if you believe Phillips' book.

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For an interesting discussion of this issue read "Theocracy, Theocracy, Theocracy" [firstthings.com] by Ross Douthat in the August / September 206 issue of First Things [firstthings.com] magazine. Douthat discusses the Phillips book along with several others on this same topic.

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