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Mysticism and Public Policy

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There's an interesting dust-up underway in England, and Albert Mohler is worried that it will find its way to America. It will, and he's right to be worried. When it does, the hollowness of mysticism will be in plain sight. The question: Is it a good thing when national leaders talk to God?

There are two contenders for leadership of the Conservative Party, David Cameron and Michael Portillo. Portillo has attacked Cameron for his religious faith, writing, "I worry because men of power who take instruction from unseen forces are essentially fanatics."

Well, what about that?

George Bush and Tony Blair both report that they consulted the Big Guy before invading Iraq, and few Christians see anything unreasonable about that. Andrea Yates reports that God told her to drown her children, and Christians universally agree that she's nuts. What, really, is the difference — besides, I mean, "just knowing" that He would instruct Bush and Blair to kill 100,000 or so Iraqis, but that He would never instruct a mother to kill her children?

Is He not the author of history's first filicide, the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden? He is according to the Inerrant Bible. Did he not instruct Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? (What is relevant here is not that an angel stayed Isaac's hand, but that Abraham was able to believe that he had been so commanded.) Did He not instruct Moses — again and again and again — to slaughter conquered peoples, including the women and children?

If the Inerrant Bible is, indeed, inerrant, He has a bad track-record when it comes to children, and you've got to admit that maybe He did tell Andrea Yates to kill her kids. It certainly isn't out of character – except, of course, we all know Andrea Yates is just nuts. But really, how is her claim any different than Bush or Blair's? The answer is it isn't, not even a teensy bit.

Would we want Andrea Yates running the country? No? Why, then, should anybody take comfort in the thought that He directs the actions of George Bush and Tony Blair, or any other politician? Mohler is quite right to be made anxious at the prospect of that question entering American politics.

About Bob Felton

  • duane

    The difference between Yates and the politicos is, of course, that only the former is telling the truth — which makes her crazy.