Tag Archives: the demonization of Mitt Romney

Seeing Christ and Satan in the 2012 Presidential Election

Though the Democratic Party is represented by a donkey, its candidate should not be confused with the one who entered Jerusalem triumphantly on one.  I begin with this statement because it seems that I cannot say often enough the necessity of separating our racial allegiances from our profession of faith.  It is necessary that the Church separate itself from the imperialistic agenda of America and recognize its leader, who ever he may be as its emperor.  Race is no excuse and does not provide an exception for such a relationship. This presidency and likewise, this election has done much to reveal how much race has distorted our view of reality and our understanding of Christ’s message, its witness and ministry.

The overt divinization of President Barack Obama and likewise, the demonization of Governor Mitt Romney is unfounded and unnecessary.  Neither candidate can offer deliverance nor serve as the cause for America’s damnation.  The soul of America is not at stake in this election but it has revealed the ways in which the Church’s witness has been compromised.  It seems that many Christian leaders have purchased chairs, much like the pews in their churches, at the “king’s table.”

Many Christians have made both President Obama and Governor Romney idols or better yet, stand- ins for Christ and his adversary.  But this election is not a mock performance of Armageddon.  So, stop with the comparisons!  We cannot vote in heaven or hell in America.  “Obamacare” is not worthy to be compared to the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.  Romney is not “the accuser of the brethren”, seeking to devour socially colored black people or any other group for that matter (The Revelation to John 12.10; I Peter 5.8).

Yes, Africans and later African Americans who were enslaved found themselves in the story of the children of Israel’s liberation.  Yes, this story continued to be employed in their struggle for educational, civil, social and religious liberties.  But, we must not use the Bible or any of its participants to endorse a political candidate.  So, pull the lever but vote because it is your civic duty, render to Caesar what is his.  Don’t vote, wasting your hope on the belief that it will save “us” and defeat “them.”

Protecting the god of race

“Never think that you need to protect God. Because anytime you think you need to protect God, you can be sure that you are worshipping an idol.” ~ Stanley Hauerwas

Afraid.  It is the best way to describe my feelings about the conversations that are taking place, the declarations being made on social media, at Bible studies and from pulpits regarding the Democratic and Republican candidates for President of the United States of America.  The messages of Christ’s hope are interrupted by political analysis of speeches and the hyper- spiritualization of these political figures.  Comparisons are drawn, biblical language and stories employed that would suggest that this presidential election is a spiritual war, that we are fighting for the racialized soul of America, that the social color black/ white is the symbol of right- standing with the Lord and the other “the mark of the beast.”

I have heard preachers draw dangerous conclusions as to the souls of members of the opposing party that would suggest that our vote determines our entry into heaven or hell.  Who we choose as our political leader will decide our eternal fate?  The results of this presidential election will not deliver or damn us.  Such a view does suggest that what we are protecting is far more than our patriotic right.  Still, I must remind us that the stakes are too high and the language is too strong for a position that will change in four years.

Also, I assure you that the pain caused by the attacks on the leadership practices and decisions of President Obama is not comparable to him “bearing in his body the marks of Christ” (Galatians 6.17) as I have heard it said.  President Obama is not Christ neither is his suffering comparable to the suffering endured by Christ; this is not “the cost of discipleship.”  It will not result in the salvation of America’s citizens; only confessing the name of Christ will secure this promise (and I think that he would agree with this statement).  And the Republican party’s use of negative campaign ads is not demonic; it’s a political strategy.

It is this defense of either President Barack Obama or presidential nominee Mitt Romney through the use of Christian language and imagery that troubles me.  These men have been divinized, employed to represent the hopes and plans of God and redefined as as saviors, prophets and preachers.  In a recent article by The Washington Post, Romney’s message was described as the “gospel of success.”  There is but one true gospel– the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Neither candidate is proclaiming this message either.

As I shared with a group of associate ministers last week at a retreat from a message titled “What God can do with a made up mind” (Nehemiah 4.6):  As ministers, we are assailed by compromising faith statements that seek to do the impossible— be faithful and famous, anointed and accepted.  Our minds are beset with messages of political endorsement so as to ensure photo opportunities with Caesar because he “looks like us.” … But, Jesus came into the world to save sinners”(i) not our seat at the king’s table. … So ensnared by and enamored with political power are some preachers that it is hard to distinguish whether or not they are in support of the American empire or the kingdom of God in their sermons.  But, the American Dream, this gospel of American Christianity, proclaimed to parishioners is not synonymous with the message of Jesus Christ. God is not a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent. God is sovereign.  The righteous and the unrighteous cannot be discerned through these political categories.  God will separate the sheep and the goat— not the donkey and the elephant.

We must not confuse a campaign with the kingdom of God, the hope of government with the hope of God, a president or presidential hopeful with a preacher or pastor.  This election or any other does not define the elect of God.  That we have strayed so far from the truth of Scripture for the sake of politics causes me to tremble!  That we would lend our lips to such heresy is troubling.  But, it is not God that we are defending but the god of race, this religion of politics that we have created.  Maybe we don’t know what we are doing and so I ask God to forgive us.  Amen.

[i] I Timothy 1.15