Do Democrats hate God? My thought is that Democrats do not hate “God,” but they hate freedom of religion, and in so doing, may hate YOUR God. Let’s see why that may be the case…
At their core, the Democrat and Republican parties have collectivist and libertarian underpinnings, both of whom are tugging each party from one side or the other, left or right. Collectivism and Libertarianism are often accused of hating religion. Social conservatives will point toward collectivist legal actions aimed at dismantling religious freedom of worship, such as prayer in school, as proof of their anti-religious bias. As for social conservative attitudes toward Libertarian definitions on individualism, the Libertarian support for personal behaviors that may run counter to religious defined normative behavior is proof of a Libertarian anti-religious bias. Neither is entirely true. Religion is entirely consistent with Libertarian virtues. However, religion free from government intrusion is not consistent with Collectivist thought.
What’s the difference?
Libertarians see the worship of spirituality as an expression of individualism, regardless of how ‘odd’ the mechanisms of worship may seem or how much those religious ideals may seem juxtaposed with individualism. As long as the religion is entered by means of free will, there are no complaints by Libertarians. Your choice to worship whomever… however… is your choice. Any intrusion on your right to free worship is absolutely unacceptable.
By contrast, Collectivists view religion as a direct competitor to the State (Federal Government) because the submission of an individual to one chosen community, such as a Church, potentially contrasts with the individual’s need to submit to the dictates of the State for the better of the society as a whole. A Collectivist would therefore demand that the religion embrace social policies and behavior consistent with the decisions of the Federal Government and any contradiction of the Government’s defined norms and morals should therefore render the religion incompatible with societal needs and consequently discouraged if not outright banned. In other words, religion can coexist with the State as long as the State makes the rules as to how the adherents worship.
As an example, I explore the gay marriage debate.
The Libertarian view of gay marriage is fairly consistently in favor of “marriage” as a function of two willing individuals forming a union. Although most Libertarians would further argue that the government has no real reason to be involved in marriages at all, the fact that benefits and taxes are defined by marital status requires (at this time) some form or official recognition of that union. Thus, there are no grounds upon which cognizant adults should be denied a union recognized by the State called “marriage.” However, in the same vein, the Libertarian would likewise protect the right of willing individuals to enter into a religion that disagrees with gay marriage. Thus, Libertarians vehemently protect any individual’s right to collectivize in a group with likeminded religious beliefs, even if that belief is considered socially “uncool” or outright abhorrent. As long as that group does not attempt to physically infringe the rights of another, that group is fine.
Thus, while supporting the right to gay marriage, the Libertarian philosophical position also protects the right of a religious order to deny weddings within its institutions or amongst individuals who are gay. Religious groups should not feel compelled to break their moral views to accommodate a gay couple. As distasteful as that individual or religious order’s behavior may seem to some, denying a service to someone that a particular individual deems morally reprehensible is the right of that individual and the faith within which they reside. I would no more force the Amish to embrace electricity or a Quaker to carry a gun than I would force someone that is deeply opposed to gay marriage to participate in that marriage. This is a matter of personal conscience.
However, a Libertarian would also state that an individual working for the State who found gay marriage objectionable does not have a right to deny marital privileges to a gay couple. Why? State employment requires engaging in activities which are consistent with State laws and policies. It is a willing contract between the individual and the State. No compulsion exists. Therefore, if a State worker truly finds gay marriage objectionable, he or she should quit. I would not expect Burger King to stop serving cheeseburgers because a vegetarian found them objectionable; likewise, the State should not feel compelled to continue the employment of an individual that does not do as it wishes.
Sandra Fluke had no more of a right to demand a Catholic institution to pay for her abortifacients, which the Catholic Church deems murder and immoral, than Kim Davis has a right to deny a gay couple a marriage license. Sandra Fluke willingly went to a Catholic university. If abortifacients are important to her she should not go to a Catholic university; she should not force the Catholic Faith to break its moral code. Likewise, Kim Davis is not forced to work as a county clerk. The laws of that county allow for gay marriage. Just as Sandra Fluke should not force Catholic institutions to pay for her abortifacients, Ms. Davis should not force the county to bend to her personal religious proclivities to accommodate her.
A baker should not be forced to break his religious code to bake a cake for a gay couple. That is his or her own bakery. The same does not exist for a public worker, for whom the boss is the people and the laws of the land.
Libertarians would argue that both should willingly leave and engage higher education or employment in places consistent with their personal values. He or she should have the right to determine his or her own moral and religious code and follow it accordingly. Likewise, a homosexual should not be denied a marriage license, a function of the State, now that the law of the land clearly states that it is his or her right to marry.
Collectivists would disagree.
The Collectivist view would similarly embrace gay marriage, with a twist. The Collectivist argument would state that religious institutions are exempted from taxes, therefore they enjoy key benefits of association granted as a privilege of the Federal Government, not a right. Religious institutions enjoy highly advantageous real estate in many cities. Religious institutions, especially universities, receive Federal benefits, such as research grants and tuition assistance. Those benefits are subsidized, at least in part, by homosexual taxpayers. As such, if the Federal Government has determined that gay marriage is acceptable (which it has), the religious institution and the individuals within that religious institution MUST accommodate gay marriage. They do not enjoy a protection of individual liberty or free thought because the State makes their continued operation possible.
In this regard, a Collectivist would further argue that all religions should capitulate to the moral dictates of the State. Those institutions that do not comply may not necessarily have their religious charters revoked, but subsidies should cease. A Baptist college, a Catholic church, or a Jewish community center are all OK as long as they do what they are told. However, should any one of those institutions deny a gay marriage, either by means of membership, employment privileges, or marital ceremony, they should lose their 501(C)3 tax exemption status. However, it goes further than this.
The political leanings of a collective faith are also fair game to the Collectivist. The IRS, the primary agent of the Collectivist movement, is quite clear in its rules pertaining to tax exemption status: “…organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” What does that mean or how can it be interpreted?
If a pastor deems abortion morally reprehensible and defines abortion as murder, and says as such on the pulpit, this position can be labeled “political” because candidates may definitively run on positions that are either Pro-Choice (i.e., pro-abortion) or Pro-Life (i.e., anti-abortion). However, Collectivists would argue vehemently that the pastor is certainly in violation if he or she backs a political candidate consistent with his or her moral positions. Thus, if John Smith (R) is endorsed by Pastor Jones because Smith is anti-abortion and his opponent is not, the Collectivist would argue that the pastor and the church should lose its right to 501 (C) 3 status and any additional support from the taxpaying community (e.g., police guiding traffic into a busy Sunday parking lot).
Freedom of free speech and assembly does not extend to “subsidized” free speech and assembly. Even more, a Collectivist would argue that such direct political posturing, even when it is consistent with the moral proclivities of the religious community to whom a pastor is engaged, should lose their charter as a recognized religion. This has more consequences than you may realize. Every dog tag has a faith listed to accommodate the burial wishes of a slain soldier. If that faith is not recognized, it does not get listed, and posthumous treatment to include burial are then decided by bureaucrats. If the faithful engage in certain social services, such as humanitarian engagement or education, its charters to perform such services (e.g., Catholic schools, Episcopal Relief & Charities) can be revoked, significantly limiting or outright banning the authority to issue high school diplomas, export donated medical supplies, or open a bank account.
Consequently, the Collectivist is not against religion or God, as long as religion and/or God comply with the moral and political positions of the Federal Government.
How does this impact the Democrat and Republican parties?
The Democratic Party’s political philosophy is one that can best be described as: Government’s role is to help and as such, government may require decisions and actions, however unpopular, which serve the needs of the many at the expense of the few or the one. Consequently, to make such decisions requires a removed arbiter (the Federal Government) that is neutral when it comes to the parochial passions of the local government or individual to intervene on occasion. Such intervention, no matter how unpopular, is necessary to create a better country. That is a Collectivist philosophical position, which runs top-down, with the government as the best decision maker of a citizen’s needs. Pool the resources (higher taxes) and redistribute (government spending and social policies) where they can do the most good through the informed decision making of more knowledgeable elites and the bureaucracies that they run. Religious institutions are not immune to such intervention.
The Republican philosophy is one that can best be described as: Government is inherently inefficient and therefore not a good arbiter as it pertains to the growth of the economy, which must grow to help all individuals improve their personal position. Government, therefore, should be as little involved as possible (lower taxes; limited intervention), and when government is necessary, it should be driven locally (state’s rights) as often as possible because the individuals within the town, county, or state have a better understanding of their individual needs than the federal government, which is too far removed to truly understand those needs. All Constitutional guarantees of individual rights should be protected to enable the locality to dictate and advance its own governing requirements. That is a Libertarian philosophical position, which runs bottom-up, with the individual as the basic decision maker of his or her own needs. Pool the resources only when necessary (lower taxes) and allow localities to determine as to where they wish to spend those limited resources; if there is no good reason to spend the money, there is no good reason to collect it. Unless a particular group advocates physical harm, they should be left alone. This includes religions.
Boiled down: one group, Collectivists, say your religion must comply with the wishes of the Government, the other, Libertarians, say it does not have to do so. Thus, does it mean that one group is against religion while the other supports religion? No, both support religion as a concept. However, Collectivists, are definitively against freedom of religion and the other, Libertarians, vehemently support freedom of religion.
Why? Because religion is the penultimate exercise in individualism. Not only is it deeply personal (spirituality may be celebrated communally, but it is found internally), but all faiths establish a place greater than the State to which the faithful will eventually enjoy (e.g., heaven, nirvana, etc) based on certain conditions set forth by the religion. Thus, since Collectivists REQUIRE the individual to submit totally to the State to achieve their collective objective, ANY expression of individualism is problematic. Worse, the establishment of a better alternative to the State, such as Heaven, undermines the utopian potential of the State. In other words, if you choose to enter into a religion that differs from the political positions of the Government, than you immediately undermine certain goals of the Government. If you believe that the only utopia can be achieved after death through the course of your religious adherence, you are not psychologically prepared to accept that the Government and those elites that run the Government can create that utopia during your life on earth. Consequently, you, the religious, have become a threat to the Collectivist goal because you CANNOT submit entirely to the State. You have promoted your deity above them, the Government and the elites that run it.
|God, Country, Family…||Country, Society…||
You order your own priorities – the consequences of your decision are yours to own
Religion is the ultimate INDIVIDUAL exploration and expression of faith. With the exception of only one religion, Islam, no other major faith demands compulsion and/or establishes governing compulsive methods. That is an exploration I will get into in another post. But as it stands, religion is an individualistic endeavor. An individual chooses whether or not to be a member of a religious movement. This is collectivism by choice, not compulsion.
Libertarianism is the political belief that the individual is best left to his or her own decisions. Government is too large and removed to determine what is in an individual’s best interests. Thus, when the individual is best left to come to his or her conclusions, basic self-serving drive will encourage individuals to willingly collectivize for their own self-serving good when necessary. Likewise, they may choose to disengage when collective action is not necessary. In this regard, religion as a willing engagement of the individual with a community proves the point that individuals will collectivize on their own and in a more efficient manner to achieve objectives that exceed those demanded by a removed Government.
Having explored the philosophical competition as to Collectivist and Libertarian thought, does it answer whether or not Democrats hate God? Answer: kind of.
While Democrats may not hate God outright, they may hate YOUR God. Your choice to celebrate God in the form of religion likely comes with certain assumptions and rules as to what God wants his faithful to do. Your God may not necessarily mesh with the political positons of the DNC, such as gay marriage or abortion, thus your God must be wrong and ultimately, your God must cease.
Absent of an outright ban on your God, the other alternative is to encourage the left leaning media to disparage you or your faith through mockery. Enter folks like Bill Mahr, whose blatant bigotry is ignored because it assists the goal of advancing Collectivist political positions. Destroy the religion to undermine the political clout of the faithful.
That is inconsistent with the virtue of individualism upon which this great nation was founded.
Final answer: Democrats do not all hate God, but your God may be hated. They better be right about their choice in God, because if they are wrong, my God may get pretty ticked off. The last time that happened, there was a flood.
Time to open a couple’s clinic for animals…
 Internal Revenue Service, “The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations”, http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/The-Restriction-of-Political-Campaign-Intervention-by-Section-501(c)(3)-Tax-Exempt-Organizations