Between Christ and Machiavelli

Is the choice between Christ and Machiavelli,
or is the lesser of two evils an acceptable moral choice?

You Gotta Serve Somebody:
The Christian right’s Machiavellian morals

See the complete article by Dave Denison | The Baffler | http://bit.ly/2spI0EP

“under evangelical conservatism’s modern activist phase,
the precepts of honorable Christian living have intermingled with the raw imperatives of getting, holding, and exercising worldly power.”

“Donald Trump may have a host of right-wing Evangelical leaders willing to vouch for his chummy relationship with Jesus Christ, but that hasn’t stopped him from throwing his non-white Christian brethren under the bus. He’s certainly a pharaonic figure, but as Dave Denison notes, don’t expect the rest of the movement to turn on the Donald any time soon. After all, “under evangelical conservatism’s modern activist phase, the precepts of honorable Christian living have intermingled with the raw imperatives of getting, holding, and exercising worldly power.”

“No version of the kingdom of the world, however comparatively good it may be can protect its self-interests while loving its enemies, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, or blessing those who persecute it. Yet loving our enemies and blessing those who persecute us is precisely what kingdom-of-God citizens are called to do. It’s what it means to be Christian. By definition, therefore, you can no more have a Christian worldly government than you can have a Christian petunia or aardvark. A nation may have noble ideals and be committed to just principles, but it’s not for this reason Christian.”

– Gregory Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. from Boyd’s 2005 book, The Myth of a Christian Nation

“Machiavelli would shake his head sadly to see that Boyd was not won over by The Prince, but he would also no doubt agree wholeheartedly with Boyd’s point: that those who take New Testament teachings literally are in no position to lead the political march for nationalistic glory. All of which leaves the leaders of today’s Christian right unable to justify their nationalism in anything other than Machiavellian terms. Perhaps they might regain some desperately needed critical detachment by revisiting the testimony of Frank Schaeffer, the liberal son of Francis Schaeffer, the great movement theorist whose eighties preachments against the secular ethos roused the modern religious right into being. As his father neared the end of his life, the young Schaeffer recounts, he grew disenchanted with the evangelical insurgency’s cynical leadership; Focus on the Family impresario James Dobson and his fellow Christian right leaders, in the elder Schaeffer’s view, were “idiots” and “plastic” figureheads who only worshiped power. And sure enough, come 2016, Dobson was championing Trump as a recent evangelical convert—calling him a “baby Christian,” in point of fact. Somewhere, one can only assume, Old Nick is smiling broadly over his progeny.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s