Paul's Passing Thoughts

How Political Landscapes Lead to Spiritual Oligarchy

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on February 6, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published January 19, 2013

It may not seem like the present Obama administration could ever have anything in common with the present-day New Calvinist movement. But not only has there been stranger bedfellows in the past, there are always reasons for such alliances.

I’m not much of a political animal, but I also recognize that throughout history politics and religion are never strangers to each other, and again, there are reasons for that. America was an experiment, and the founders of our country had the Reformers on their mind. Why? Because historically, and as coined by philosopher Ayn Rand, faith and force are the destroyers of the modern world. Putting the government in charge of truth has always been a really bad idea, and the Reformers were not the least bit shy about enforcing their truth with a burning stake or hangman’s noose. Let us remember, the Puritans compiled the Westminster Confession at the behest of European government. It was primarily a government document.

Biblically speaking, what is more apparent than the end of the world culminating with a marriage of “church” and state? Hardly anyone disagrees on that point. And a cursory observation of Revelation showcases the slaughter of dissenters that comes part and parcel with such marriages. Always. That information intimidates Reformed types more than their jealously for the numbers who follow Joel Osteen—who they really fear is Ayn Rand types; i.e., thinkers that could be used mightily among the sanctified.

Also, I believe that the final form of faith and force that will destroy the modern world will have feet of iron mixed with clay (per the prophet Daniel), indicating a weaker control over the world than past oligarchies. And the reason for this? Plain and simple: the Information Age. Despotism has always been nourished, and will always be nourished by a tight control of information. That is why our brilliant founders were big on saturating America with information, and the advent of computers and other super-information devices will prevent the former glory of tyranny from experiencing its full potential.

President Obama is obviously not that crazy about the philosophy of freedom that America was founded on. Neither is he crazy about the philosophy of competence in regard to the masses also propagated by the founders. And neither are the New Calvinists. They believe the masses need philosopher kings. Obama believes the masses need welfare and thoughtfare. This is also the philosophical tie that binds Catholicism to the Reformers—a different doctrine to obtain the same results notwithstanding.

Per the usual, when the climate is just right, political tyrants of the day and spiritual despots get together for pizza. Political tyrants need the primary topping that spiritual despots need. Who orders a pizza without pepperoni? Who does that? And the primary topping for spiritual tyrants and dictators is control. All religious movements bring their numbers to the table for a piece of the action and to use the government to tighten the control over their people that they already have which is never enough. This is the way it has always played out. The exception is followers of God who reject caste systems. Spiritual caste and political/social caste have never passed on dining together and never will.

And what is unique about Reformed theology is its attitude towards secular rule. Actually, the more it humbles man, the better. Humbleness is the only means to grace, and the more, the better. More humbleness, more grace. Who is better at humbling man than the array of tyrannical dictators of the ages? So, what I am saying is that people often get confused about strange alliances; say for example, Rick Warren and Barack Obama.

Look for the pepperoni.

paul

Politics and Religion Have the Same Soul

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 27, 2012

When I didn’t know any better as a Christian, I was indifferent to politics because it made no sense to me. My problem was the following: I was always focused on outcomes. It never made any sense to me that regardless of outcomes, people would vote the same ideologues into office time and time again. In my frustration I would think, “Politics are a waste of time because people are stupid. Regardless of outcomes, they vote these same people into office time and time again.” This made absolutely no sense to me.

Until recently, church never made any sense to me either. Consider this picture: vast institutions pregnant with ultra-educated people coming up with ideas that plainly contrast Scripture. Again, regardless of the poor outcomes, the SYSTEM remains intact. The system seems to offer a devil that we know, and have become comfortable with, as opposed to a devil that we don’t know.

If you think about it, what is the difference between contemporary Christianity and the slave caste system of the Civil War era?  To stand up against injustice is really the same thing as challenging the system. Action is stalled because people hope that the system will change (good luck with that)—that’s easy, changing the system is hard. However, we will fight harder to not change the system, as opposed to changing the system because it’s what we know. Hence, the system takes precedent over God’s justice and is protected by political spin dressed in biblical garb.

But people aren’t stupid, they just prefer whatever the normal is for the day—especially if they aren’t the ones being tied between two horses running in opposite directions. Pathetic, but it is what it is. And both politics and religion are kept alive by the same heart in this regard; the epic question of, “Who owns man?” Ownership is the soul of politics and religion.

Since the day that the framers of the American Constitution posed this question and answered it with the resolve of “Give me liberty or give me death,” be sure of this: the question of who owns man is the soul of American politics and always will be. Whether the American public realizes it or not, those who vote for Obama think government owns man. People who vote for Romney (albeit not their preferred choice) believe that we own ourselves, and are responsible to no other than God for the sum and substance of our life.

That’s the crux, until the day that the former wins the day—then politics will not be necessary because everything is decided in regard to the arena of ideas—there won’t be any arena—the government decides what a good idea is, and what it isn’t.

And religion is no different. That’s because the American framers of the Constitution were home wreckers. They caused the divorce between the European marriage of church and state. In Europe prior to the Enlightenment era that gave birth to the framers; as it was in the government, so it was in the church. There was no arena of ideas save the think tanks that devised efficient machines to eliminate free thinkers with as much pain as possible. Never before in human history has more science been poured into the technology of death machines than in Medieval Europe. And as part of the totally depraved masses, suggesting ideas privately or otherwise was extremely hazardous to one’s health.

It was a very efficient marriage. The church came up with the ideas and controlled them, and the government enforced the churches’ ideas. But there was a problem. The problem can be seen in one Bible verse among God’s full philosophical statement to man regarding truth: “Come, let us reason together saith the Lord.”

Reason. Even God presents His truth in an arena for man’s hearing. In the book of Job, we even find God challenging Satan in that arena. Like no other creatures, we are the ones called to reason—it is how we are wired by God. The results of shutting down man’s ability to think are abundantly evident from European history. Man is created to think. A man who is not allowed to think is exactly like a fish out of water. Eventually, he will start flopping around.

The framers understood this. They knew that any attempt by government to control ideas would only result in a repeat of European history. They also knew that religion is the fundamental gene pool in that regard. But systems die hard. Regardless of the eight-hundred-year European raging fire that could not be extinguished with blood, European religious tyrants who came to setup shop in America could only propagate their system in the government protected American-made arena of ideas.

The divorced couple must play by American rules thus far. In the American political system, it’s communism/socialism. In the religious realm, it’s European Reformed theology. The fight between the Europeans and the yanks continues in the arena of ideas instead of the battlefield. But be also certain of this: every drop of blood spilled in human history has been over ideas. The American framers of the Constitution, for the first time in history, invented a caste system that could implement ethics through politics without blood. Preferable in my book. And I am allowed to say so.

The soul of politics and religion is therefore the same. Who owns man? What could be more obvious? Does government own man? Or does man own man? It could be rightfully argued that God owns man, but even he says, “Come, let us reason together” while the European Reformer Martin Luther called reason a “whore” who should have “dung rubbed in her face to make her ugly.” The separated spouse, government, thinks they know best as well. Thinking, ideas, and reason, in the hands of the masses are supposedly the same as handing an eight-year-old a loaded gun as a play toy. And in the American arena of ideas, many are convinced that this is true.

Now you know the heart of the election that is now upon us. Obama has clearly stated that it is common sense that man exists for the government, and doesn’t build anything: “I hear business owners say, ‘I built this or that.’ You didn’t build that.” And obviously, the idea that led to the building project had nothing to do with it as well. The contrast can be pointed out in a recent speech by Romney at the Dayton, Ohio International airport in which he said that FREEDOM of IDEAS are critical to the overall American economy and wellbeing. It is also reflected in his recent bemoaning that 47% of Americans are dependent on the government and will not vote for him. Right. Exactly. That’s the crux: who owns man? And is he created to reason and think? And is it ok with God when man’s ideas produce positive outcomes?

What is at stake in this election?  You only need to look at the governments estranged spouse—the church. For the most part, European Reformed theology has won out in the arena of ideas. The caste system formed by the Westminster Confession and rabid Puritans has been embraced willingly by those convinced that the church owns them. Sure, there is rape. Sure, there is the denial of ideas. Sure, there is injustice. Sure, there are no other answers but “the gospel.” Sure, we are still totally depraved and helpless. Sure, church is boring. Sure, the church is full of mindless followers. But what else is there? If not for the system, then what? If not for the system of Reformed “orthodoxy” enforced by church “polity” and executed by various and sundry unpleasantries that replaced the burning stake forbidden by our American forefathers, then what?

Ownership by government always leads to the same thing. Always. There are no exceptions. Regardless of outcomes, many American voters who like to be owned by their religion will also vote to be owned by the state. I also wonder how much this might be connected to the whole issue of culpability before God. After all, if we are unable to think for ourselves, and our ideas are dangerous to our own wellbeing, how can God hold us responsible? This provokes one to think of Nazi Germany and that people’s refrain, “The government made us do it.”

“One thing we don’t discuss in mixed company is politics and religion.” Right, because there is no doubt; that divorced couple is a volatile subject, especially when the two are poligion. We do know the devil of poligion, but change is hard and inconvenient. Luther suggested that reason be consigned to the “closets of the house” and we have obeyed. And whatever you do, don’t look in the closet—the monster of history is in there.

Nevertheless, when you pull the lever in November, the question isn’t, “Romney or Obama?” The real question is the soul of politics and religion: “Who owns you?”

paul

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