The Dilemma of Christian-dominated Politics
A comment on a recent article about AOC’s sexual harassment at the Capitol pointed out that AOC is a Christian. Christians believe religious critics don’t know liberal Christians exist, and the mere existence of the progressive somehow proves the conservative, fundamentalist, or evangelical Christian isn’t the “true” Christian. Critics know all too well the identity problem Christians foist on the rest of the US that pollutes politics by forcing a determination of which Christian will make the most rational policies.
Christians are defined by their following the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Christian faith also includes following the principles of Christianity, but this has led to the term Christian stretched in meaning to include any denomination that follows scripture and Christ. Many people, some Christians, don’t acknowledge Mormons as Christians, showing how denominations disagree and claim the “true Christian” title all the time. Even if a church like the Roman Catholic recognizes Mormonism as Christian due to the definition, this does not mean they believe these people are true Christians, as reflected in Brian Birch’s Mormonism and the Heresies,
…between 1995 and 2001, five major denominations formally rejected Mormonism as part of the Christian community of faith. In addition to the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church all offered similar rulings on the status of Mormonism.
Because there is no objective methodology to defining a Christian, anyone picking up a bible and claiming they teach the true word of Christ can name themselves Christian and conveniently claim they are the true Christian.
All Christians from top left: Pope Francis, Donald Trump, David Koresh, Rev. Jim Jones, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Nancy Pelosi. (Include yourself if you are a Christian.)
As seen in the photo array, almost anyone can be considered a Christian by following the Bible and teachings of Christ: requirements so loosely defined that they are impossible to prove. A person who never steps foot in a Church, never cracks a bible, and never even prays is still a Christian if he claims he is a Christian.
If he skims enough Wikipedia and quotes enough Christian scripture, how would you know he is not Christian?
The only meaningfulness in the claim of someone’s authentic Christianity manifests in the denomination or the believer. This arbitrary definition of Christian sadly places AOC in the same Christian category as Marjorie Taylor Greene.
The Dilemma of Christian-dominated Politics
Christian-dominated politics offers no ideal choices because if critics of Christianity had their way, they would vote for a nonChristian. The chances of any nonChristian winning the presidency, or in most places, being elected to congress is highly unlikely. The lack of choice forces every nonChristian or person unconcerned with religion to vote for Christians who best represent their interests.
Supporting AOC is a choice made on her positions on policy matters. Is AOC the ideal candidate for nonChristians? No, because her Christian status places her in a position of distrust like all Christians. For voters seeking objective policy, AOC appears as the best choice, but there is always a risk that Christianity will impact her decision-making. All politicians carry this risk due to the power wielded by Christianity in America.
In a “letter to the faithful,” the archbishop wrote that after repeated attempts to speak with Pelosi and persuade her to adhere to the Catholic Church’s teaching that life begins at conception and abortion is a sin, he has determined to place her under public church discipline.
As reported by The Blaze, the Catholic Church attempts to pressure Nancy Pelosi for her support of abortion rights. This act is more than just a religious ceremony, serving as a political maneuver meant to damage Pelosi’s standing amongst Catholics. AOC places herself in this same danger by claiming Catholicism as her religion, and while she does not appear to be prone to changing her politics, she may find herself negotiating or trying to appease hardline Christians to achieve policy ends or to maintain constituency.
Hopefully, that won’t happen.
The Reality of Christian Control
Christians debating and defending their beliefs by claiming the Marjorie Taylor Greenes are not Christians or the AOCs are Christians proves an arbitrary religious diatribe. More importantly, this arguing over “true” and “false” Christianity provides political cover for Christian-dominated politics.
These opposing views of Christians seem to magically disappear when convenient. When the Church of Latter Day Saints opened a church next door to the Vatican, CNN reported the Vatican did not oppose this move, seeming to agree with what the Mormon Elder Ronald Rasband’s announcement,
“We are friends with the Catholic Church,” Rasband said. “I have been part of an official delegation to go to the Vatican and meet with cardinals and others about not only this project and not only our church in Italy but relative to the interrelationship we have with our friends, the Catholics, all over the world, whether it has to do with humanitarian work, refugee work or freedom of religion in the public square.”
More importantly, he claimed,
…Mormon leaders discussed their plans with the Vatican and that the two churches often work together on social issues.
Any claim of a person or sect’s “true Christianity” proves absolutely meaningless in the face of these two historic Christian rivals colluding for the same goals — politics included.
- The GOP is Christian-controlled
- Democrats are Christian-controlled
- The US Supreme Court is Christian-controlled
- At the state level, many states, such as Utah and Texas, are totally dominated by Christians.
For nonChristians and nonreligious Americans, a lack of choices persists in politics dominated by Christians meaninglessly arguing religious authenticity.
Original photos by By Quirinale.it, Attribution, Whitehouse Archive, McLennan County Sheriff's Office. — Public Domain, Nancy Wong — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, United States Congress — https://twitter.com/RepMTG, Public Domain, Franmarie Metzler; U.S. House Office of Photography — https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/aboutarchive copy, Public Domain, & John Harrington — www.speaker.gov, Public Domain.
Brian D. Birch, “Mormonism and the Heresies” in Let Us Reason Together: Essays in Honor of the Life’s Work of Robert L. Millet, ed. J. Spencer Fluhman and Brent L. Top (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: 2016), 249–63.