Lots of people seem to think that it’s good–or at least possible–to keep religion and politics separate. Trouble is, they’re both mostly about how other people should be treated, and they almost always conflict. Maybe people try to keep them separate just so they don’t have to come face to face with their own internal contradictions and hypocrisy.
Lots of people consider themselves righteous, moral, devout folks, and take pride in how religious they are. I have one simple question for such people: “Do you advocate my enslavement?” They always say no (which is rarely true), and then they usually wonder why I would ask such a thing.
The reason I ask is because their faith and loyalty to “government” usually completely dwarfs, and renders useless, their belief in what they call their religion. If they piously live by the rule of “thou shalt not steal”–except when they’re advocating that the state forcibly confiscate wealth from almost everyone they know (via “taxation”)–what good is their “religion”? The fact that they don’t commit the robbery themselves, but instead beg to “authority” to do it for them, doesn’t make them noble; it makes them thieves and cowards (instead of just thieves).
Let me make this perfectly blunt. (If this doesn’t offend most people who read it, they weren’t reading carefully enough.) If you advocate that “government” treat your neighbors in a way that you wouldn’t treat them yourself, you are what’s wrong with the world. If you are a Republican or a Democrat (or anything in between), your “religion” is worthless, empty window-dressing. You advocate theft, assault, harassment, terrorism and murder. Of course, when you support such things, you use euphemisms to describe them, such as “taxation,” “regulation,” “law” and “war.”
Even I have to cringe when I say such things, because the statement applies to most of the people I know, even most of the people I like. But friends don’t let friends advocate evil. When statist friends and family express horror at what the federal extortion machine did to me and my wife, I don’t usually have the heart to say what I should: “Who do you think put that monster there?” Every Republican and Democrat supports a system of massive, forced extortion, which wears the label of “taxation.” They may differ on how much it should steal, and how the stolen loot should be spent, but they all believe that “taxation” can be legitimate. And “taxes” are not a request; they are a threat of violence. Therefore, all statists–even the ones I like personally–advocate widespread forcible robbery of hundreds of millions of people.
My wife and I were wrongfully imprisoned and economically almost wiped out by the system that all statists advocate. So when statist friends express sympathy for what Tessa and I went through, I have to bite my tongue not to say, “Why? It was your belief system that put us there.”
(There is one possible philosophical “loophole” in our particular case. We didn’t actually break the “law,” because by the extortionists’ own rules, we didn’t “legally” owe the “tax” that we didn’t pay. So I suppose a statist could say, “Well, if you had actually owed it, then I would have been glad that you were locked up for not complying, but you didn’t actually owe it, so I feel bad that you were imprisoned.” In other words, they sympathize with us based on a “technicality,” not based on a principle.)
Interestingly, I don’t think it would ever occur to any of our statist friends that they should feel the slightest shred of responsibility for what was done to us. Ironically, the Republican voters we know seem happy to blame the “pro-tax” leftists for what happened, even though my wife and I were both robbed and wrongfully imprisoned by a “judge” appointed by George Bush and a prosecutor appointed by Bush, with the help of an IRS Commissioner, a Secretary of the Treasury, an Attorney General, and the local U.S. Attorney, all appointed by Bush. Lots of our friends voted for the very monster that stomped on us, and yet they see no connection whatsoever between their actions and what happened to us.
When I see churches trying to get more followers, or otherwise spreading their message, I think, “What’s the point? You still advocate that I (and everyone else) be robbed and controlled, so why should I give a damn [pun intended] about what you call your religion?” To put it as bluntly as I can, if what you call your “religion” doesn’t stop you from advocating the theft, assault, harassment, terrorism and/or murder of millions of innocent people, then your religion stinks.