An Observation

This can apply to all religious folk, particularly those who wish to view their personal religion through the lens of their political conceits:

Scripture is given with sufficient ambiguity that those desiring to misconstrue or misuse it will be able to do so. This is very deliberate on the Lord’s part, for the way we interpret scripture becomes a measure not only of our understanding but also of our spiritual integrity.

The right thing to do is instead view politics at large through the prism of one’s religiously informed faith.  Sure, Christ rendered to Caesar what was Caesar’s, and to God what was God’s, but there was never any doubt who was more important.


About prophetize

Erstwhile philosopher and ersatz thinker. Arabic linguist by profession. Dabble with a few other languages. I have a testimony of the gospel of Christ as restored through Joseph Smith. Strong faith in modern prophecy and prophets. Disinclined to be admiring of what passes for "progressiveness" these days.
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2 Responses to An Observation

  1. Agellius says:

    “Sure, Christ rendered to Caesar what was Caesar’s, and to God what was God’s, but there was never any doubt who was more important.”

    Exactly. This is probably going way beyond what you intended to discuss, but what the heck:

    In my view the problem with our society as a whole is summed up in the phrase “government of the people by the people”. I know that sounds politically heretical to American ears. But I say it because of the point you raise: God is more important than Caesar. Yet the Constitution contains no provision for ensuring that is the case in practice. People are taught in school that the authority to govern rests in the consent of the governed, rather than as Jesus said: “You would have no power if it were not given you from above.” Authority to govern comes from above, not below. Therefore ideally, the government itself would be subject to scripture.

    I don’t mean the government needs to be run by the Church. They operate in different spheres and the Church has no special competence in temporal governance. But the government should never enact laws which violate scripture, by which I mean mainly that immorality must never be sanctioned by government. Otherwise, civil law is proclaiming itself above divine law, and everything is backwards and topsy-turvy.

    Religion can’t be just a private matter; it must be a public matter. When you make it a private matter, in practice and in the perceptions of the people, you place it beneath the civil authority in importance. People may think of themselves as subject to God individually. But when the people think of themselves as a people, they don’t think of themselves as subject to anyone or anything. And that’s the problem we see around us.

    The people as a whole, and not just as individuals, need to be subject to God.


    • prophetize says:

      Don’t worry, I appreciate the reply and the slight detour. While I cherish the Constitution (for numerous reasons), I never claim anything close to perfection in it. In fact, seeing as we are in a mess of a nation politically speaking, I think we can say that the Constitution itself didn’t last very long. Just in the last twelve years, I think just about every provision in the Bill of Rights has been violated in some way or another. But that is just the politics of it.

      With respect to public virtue, the early Founders knew quite well that no Constitution would work if the people lost morality. People corrupt the laws because they themselves are corrupt. Washington knew that only virtue would keep the Republic. I think we lost that a long time ago.

      I heartily endorse your comments.


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