Friday, April 22, 2005

The Privatization of Faith

I was reading this post on Liberal Oasis on The Institute for Religion and Democracy. LO describes IRD as "a secularly funded group (including money from the right-wing Scaife foundations) that attacks and smears clergy who voice interpretations of Christianity that it deems as insufficiently conservative." This ties in with my previous post about the politicization of faith, except that it is an example of a concomitant phenomena that I call the privatization of faith.(*)

Politics is an ugly business and its only natural that business gets involved in it. One of the "benefits" of politicizing matters of faith is that it allows special interests to more easily manipulate the electorates views so that they benefit those interests. Thus, the business lobby loves to work with the politicizers of faith because they can bring out so many dedicated voters to the polls. Of course, they don't like them when they start over-reaching, as they have with the recent attacks on the judiciary.

The IRD sounds like just the kind of operation that the business lobby would use to keep the Christian Soldiers in line. But this commingling of private interests with faith interests naturally leads to a perversion of faith just as bad as the previously discussed politicization.

The politicizers want to sully faith with the ugliness of government.

The privitizers want to sully faith with the ugliness of capitalism.(**)

Faith is a personal matter that can only be harmed by such actions. It's time for Democrats to defend faith against these corrupting influences.

 

(* Actually, I stole the term from the book God's Politics by Jim Wallis.)

(** When I refer to the "ugliness" of government and capitalism I am not impugning either institution by saying that they are fundamentally ugly. I happen to be a fan of both. But I don't let my favorable opinion of them blind me to their dark side.)

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