And why one political party is failing more than the other
It seems you can’t get away from politics no matter where you go these days. But it may surprise that even Christ had to deal with politics in his day and with political rulers. Just as we do.
Chesterton himself wrote hundreds of essays dealing with the connection between politics and religion. He was never shy about stating the problem to his readers. And so with that same spirit we attempt to tackle the crux of the issue for our present time: why the great divide between the main political parties in the US?
It may surprise you the reader to know that most of the issues dividing us today were germinated in the early 1900s when Chesterton was on the earthly scene. Its why so many of his essays and books are still relevant today. Even more so.
However in this post we are going to touch on the main distinction between the parties, Chesterton’s explanation, and why a rising number of Christians, including Father Altman, formerly of St. James the Lesser parish in LaCrosse, WI, are rising up and stating such in very clear terms.
Wherever there is no higher authority that teaches a creed of how to live in a godly morality toward others, wherever there are individuals who do not obey that creed, you are going to have the lowest and base behavior that humans are capable of. Education, money, programs, all the key talking points of the Democratic party will do little to change that. And that is the problem that has taken over the Democratic party and the philosophy of the Left that it espouses. It has like everything else it does, separated the spirit from the material, the truth from every other virtue. Its philosophy therefore thinks that by eliminating free will and focusing on the material wants of people, it can compel the heart to follow. But this is a vain and empty attempt at solution. It also elevates man to a place that he does not belong: in the place of God, deciding good and evil.
What is needed is a change of heart that strengthens that heart not to act in a base way no matter how it is treated because it has Christ living on the inside of it by means of the Holy Spirit. And as Catholics, we know that is only obtained approaching the Holy Eucharist with a clean, confessed and repented heart and receiving Him. Our problems are then solved through Christ, in Christ’s power and in Christ’s way. Or as Chesterton, explains:
“If I am to answer the question, “How would Christ solve modern problems if He were on earth today?”, I must answer it plainly; and for those of my faith there is only one answer. Christ is on earth today; alive on a thousand altars; and He does solve people’s problems exactly as He did when He was on earth in the more ordinary sense. That is, He solves the problems of the limited number of people who choose of their own free will to listen to Him.”
– G. K. Chesterton, Our Tradition: If Christ Should Come
For the entire essay here which speaks of the connection to Communism when Christ is eliminated from the solution to man’s problems, please read Our Tradition: If Christ Should Come
To sum things up, People are always wanting to reduce things, whether out of a need to understand the main distinction or simple mental laziness, I am not sure. But it seems a constant with our society. So, for those who want to know what the difference is on this issue of morality and political party and why one is “better” than the other it is this: where the Democratic party goes wrong is that it seeks to usurp God’s sovereignty. Where the Republican party goes wrong is that it allows disobedience to God’s authority. And of the two, God is only left for the Christian in a small safe corner of the latter.
This solid article by Eric Sammons of Crisis magazine also adds an encouragement: Is the Catholic Church a House of Cards?
Let us end our discussion with Chesterton’s prayer for Christian countries: O, God of Earth and Altar. Lyrics below.
O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.
From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honor, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!
Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee.
– G.K. Chesterton, 1906