The View From 1776

The Interaction Of Religion And Politics

Gary Kelly ponders the dilemma of Christians assessing political candidates.

The first Amendment forbids Congress’s establishment of any single church as a national religion.

Nonetheless, the Judeo-Christian ethic, the foundation of all of Western civilization, played, and should yet play, an essential role influencing political decisions. 

As I wrote in Tocqueville Revisited - Part One:

Two things struck Tocqueville forcibly as he traveled across the United States.  Everywhere there was a strong attachment to the equality conferred by political liberty, and everywhere there was an unwavering devotion to Christianity.  The two, he concluded, were inseparably connected.

“On my arrival in the United States,” he wrote, “the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.  In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions.  But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”

Tocqueville would have said that present-day American liberals’ advocacy of libertine license represents all the worst elements of French political life, the very sources of France’s social and political instability.  French revolutionaries had destroyed the monarchy and the Catholic Church, making the nation a secular and socialist republic.  It was the absence of religious moral restraint that had permitted the slaughter of more than 70,000 people in the name of perfecting humanity.  This same secular irreligion was to murder more than twenty million people in Soviet Russia, National Socialist Germany, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, Cambodia, and other socialistic countries.

Americans strongly opposed establishment of an official national church, like the Church of England.  But, Tocqueville says, “[Christianity] contributed powerfully to the establishment of a republic and a democracy in public affairs; and from the beginning, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never [as of 1831] been dissolved.”

“The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable.  They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man;  all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God.”

“In the United States religion exercises but little influence upon the laws and upon the details of public opinion; but it directs the customs of the community, and, by regulating domestic life, it regulates the state. Thus, while the law permits the Americans to do what they please, religion prevents them from conceiving, and forbids them to commit, what is rash and unjust.  Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it.”

“When [people in France] attack religious opinions, they obey the dictates of their passions and not of their interests.  Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.”


Imperfect Candidates and the Christian Vote
Gary Kelly
October 31, 2012

Would you have fought against tyranny in 1776? Was not declaring independence from tyranny, “Biblically-based?” Read the grievances in the Declaration and see how many are again prevalent today.  I am disturbed by how a Christian could consider allowing the Obamanation to continue! Will we be better off with Romney or Obama? Until someone is on the ballot that meets all Biblically-based requirements are not Christians committed to working and voting against the most evil choice? Are not Christians to continue to spiritually and politically confront unrighteousness and challenge Christian complacency? This is not the same America when candidates were Christians and most voters were Christians.

As I’m visiting grandchildren, does it not give credence and appreciation for vehemently opposing the reelection of a Marxist? We have been given a choice between Obama and Romney as a result of the complacency of Christians. As a citizen of both the Kingdom of God and the United States can a Christian justify encouraging me to not vote for Romney, which I contend is the same as a vote for Obama? Was King David perfect? Under which President will more babies be aborted? Under which President will progressive politically correct Marxism gain more momentum? Can I count on Christians to explain to my children and grandchildren that Election 2012 is a “test” and not a step in reversing the damage Obama and his Democrat/Marxists/RINOs have perpetrated on this REPUBLIC the last 4 years. Until “Christians” elect men of Biblical moral virtue then as Christians we will always fail the “test.” 

Charles Finney wrote: “The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them…Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God.” ...“God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”

Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God and not running for President (and neither is Allen West). Therefore, since the only One Who is perfect is not running, than someone who is imperfect must be. Plus, how many candidates, even Christian, will satisfy all Christians? Christian voters must decide, in this present day climate of prevalent progressive left-wing culture which candidates are likely to do less harm to the Republic and adhere more to Biblical Righteousness.

Yes it is disturbing we have to choose between a Marxist and a RINO. Christians in Marxachusetts consistently have to choose between Marxists or RINOs, as we did when Romney ran for Governor and Brown for Senator. Yes I am beside myself with Romney after he did NOTHING and to uphold the Massachusetts Constitution and prevent same-sex marriage from being made in court and again when he violated the liberty that comes from God with Romneycare.

However, it took decades to degenerate into this moral decline and America will not be restored overnight as Christians sit on the sidelines refusing to confront “politics and religion,” as the Marxist media continues to deceive complacent American voters. As long as preachers only preach John 3:16 and not what Jesus said in the same breath through verse 21, or 1 Timothy 2 and not 2 Timothy 4 as well America will continue to decline.

“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” Theodore Roosevelt

Gary Kelly’s web site is He is the author of Lessons of The Holy Spirit: A Guide for Entering the Kingdom of God and Discover Why It Pleased God to Hide His Kingdom from the Wise.