Religion & Political Zealots

Do you believe in God or do you believe in politics? The trend which I have observed for many many years never had a definition or explanation. No detailing or comparison before in my life. That is, until now…

One of my favorite websites, The Art of Manliness, recently did a post about why you should attend church even if you are not sure of your belief. There is a paragraph in this that sparked the most interested with the family and friends in my life and my world.

As Peter Beinart incisively observes in The Atlantic Monthly, as the influence of traditional religion has waned, people have been transferring what is arguably an innate “religious” impulse — a penchant for higher purpose, strenuous ideals, and rigidly drawing lines between good and evil — towards the arena of politics. Issues of race, nation, and social justice are today being forwarded with the kind of single-minded, absolutist zeal once reserved for the principles of faith, a trend that has deepened bitter partisanship and made increasingly impossible the kind of consensus building and compromise necessary for a democracy to function.

When I read this I thought of my father. A man that follows, reads and has a opinion on anything political more than most people. So much so he even annexed LONG time friends from his house for voting Obama and being democrats.

The paragraph for TAOM is strikingly true in our day and age, no? Riots about freedom that people already have. Violence over people that have nothing to do with your daily life and effect you in no way. Not to mention the fake misconceptions of situations that mass media spin. All off this energy being used for “political” purposes that you may or may not have any control over in the first place. All of that sounds like something religious zealots use to have.

I dare say the zealot has moved from the pretense of religion, the destination of your soul and the treatment of others… to political activist. These activist have their own religion painted in the bright colored pigments of freedom and tolerance. For whom there is no tolerance for those that do not believe in their way of life; more government or less government. Believing that their representatives to the populace are the prophets to preach their message. Hate for those that do not believe. Bewilderment for those that would rather live a hard life, working for what they earn. Building their world and minding their own businesses.

Re-read the last two paragraphs but think of everything I’m talking about as some religious nut job. Then realize it’s not. It’s just people who believe in political power structures. Mostly those with less life experience than those who remain calm…

Even as I type this and the chance that it is actually read by someone who will take offence (of which i do not care if they do) simply because their foundation is set on something movable and shaken by such words. You see I think a true human of our world, believing in God or not, should stand on a foundation that is unmovable: I will not be moved to violence unless my life is bodily threatened, I will not let words from people I do trust and love effect me, My life is valuable and so are others and therefore I should show respect no matter the storm. 

Principles to live by… To find a post biblical list of principles to live by I usher you to the doors of the Code of Bushido. It is simple and to the point. The language is not flowery or has room for misunderstanding.

The Bushidō code is typified by eight virtues:

This code can be found in many religions today but I think the Code its self speaks volumes all by its self. If everyone were to take this code and live by it I think the world would be a better place. And they don’t even have to be a warrior or anyone who practice martial arts.

In conclusion, your belief system should define you but it should not define others. If you happen to fellowship with people that believe the way you do, marvelous for you. That is a good thing. If your belief in God requires the people around you to break their personal code, unwillingly, then what you call your belief is in fact zealotry.  This line of logic works for both Religion and politics. Always be mindful and always be respectful.


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