James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jerry Falwell's Mixed Legacy

This is my latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:
I don't understand how Christian Statism ever evolved in the first place. In the Old Testament, God wanted His People to be unlike their neighbors, who had Kings. Israel was to be a stateless society. Things were fine when the people obeyed God's laws, and disastrous when they didn't. That's why the people clamored for a State, a King; they hoped they could remain disobedient while the King kept them "safe," protecting them from the consequences of their disobedience.
In the New Testament, neither Jesus nor any apostle ever advocated the use of civil government for enforcing moral law or expanding charity. It seems absurd that the one who proclaimed "turn the other cheek" also believed in striking first to punish particular economic or personal choices people make. So I don't "get" where the late Jerry Falwell and the Religious Right, or Jim Wallis, Sojourners, and the Religious Left are coming from.

1 comment:

  1. It all goes back to the day when the church sold out to the Roman Empire in exchange for offical recognition and power. From then on, the most visible branch of Christianity was the authoritarian church headquartered in Rome.