Do you know what scares me about the current GOP primary? Let me broaden that question: Do you know what scares me about the state of politics today? It’s how religion has hijacked the conversations surrounding politics.
On the marquee at the Presbyterian Student Center on the VSU campus, it states: “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” The poor attendance on Tuesday certainly shows a lack of action. With the way the rhetoric is headed this election season, it may soon be time for good men to act.
The results of Super Tuesday were lackluster. Some pundits have commented that it’s in part due to this rhetoric that keeps religious beliefs at the forefront of the political landscape, instead of the more important topic of the economy, both at home and abroad.
People aren’t engaging in the political process because it has become so divisive. A large part of that divisiveness is the religious undertones that politicians are taking.
When Rick Santorum makes comments about how the separation of church and state sickens him, or how the conversation continues about Mitt Romney’s religion, this type of rhetoric starts to take on a life of its own. It becomes a focal point that’s hard to dismiss.
I am all for the President to have morality associated with religion, but when evangelicals take over the conversation and lead it toward issues that are constantly in turmoil, it concerns me that President Santorum would turn us from a democracy to a theocracy (or theocrazy). Funny, considering this is what he seems to be concerned with if we end up with President Romney.
Santorum was quoted in a 2008 speech, “Freedom of worship is not just what you do within the sanctuary. It’s how you practice your faith outside the sanctuary.” What frightens me is not what he is doing in his sanctuary, but outside of it: spreading half (or less) truths and keeping the focus on socially divisive issues.
The good thing about the Santorum/Romney race is that it shows that GOP’s base is uncertain and with both candidates. Hopefully, that means that electorate isn’t buying what the candidates are selling, because maybe they are concerned about the state of politics today, too.