My head's been buried in news from the Congo all weekend, but in the middle of all that, there have been some really interesting pieces on the church-state separation issue lately. The piece about Gregory Boyd in the Sunday New York Times was really interesting. Boyd is a pastor at a Baptist General Conference megachurch in Minnesota who preached a sermon series called "The Cross and the Sword" (that title is so remiscent of Cub Rutenber's The Dagger and the Cross). He argues that politics don't bring about the kingdom of God and that too many American Christians have made idols out of patriotism and political partisanship. He has a book out that's based on the sermons and that I'm trying to get ahold of a copy of.
I found the accompanying video about Boyd (and the church to which 1,000 of his members decamped after he told them Jesus wasn't a politician) especially interesting - to link to it, click here, then choose "Politics and the Pulpit" (the one next to it, about the Congo, is pretty interesting, too).
The CSM had an editorial last week on the related topic of the Democrats' attempt to inject more piety into this fall's campaigns. Boyd's sermons should be a warning to them - the problem is not that the Christian faith is more compatible with Democratic views than Republican ones. It's that it's wrong for the followers of someone who systematically rejected the assumption of political power to assume that Christians are supposed to take over a government. The point is not that your faith shouldn't inform your political views, just that the church and the state are inherently concerned with different goals, and it's going to be a mess anytime you mix up those two goals. Theocracy never works.
(Okay, this is hilarious. The coffee shop I'm at is currently playing Jenny Lewis's "Born Secular." What timing!)
Someone who hasn't figured that out, however, had his hearing in court today. Well, to be more accurate, the Texas Republican Party had its day in court to settle Tom DeLay's residency problem. Burka attended the arguments and thinks the D's will win. I'm sure they'll accuse the 5th circuit panel (with two Clinton-appointees hearing the case) of bias. Whatever. It's going to be very difficult to get the Supreme Court to settle this far enough before election day for it to matter. As always, Juanita's has the most entertaining commentary on the whole mess.
Back to trying to get something done/trying to find Sleater-Kinney tickets...