As a conservative Christian, I use to believe that I should merely pray for my leaders, obey all authorities, give unto Caesar what was Caesars, (taxes) and I also believed that all leaders were ordained of God to bring about God’s will. So I saw no point in getting involved in politics or even voting, as “All things work together for good” anyhow. To this day I find it quite pathetic that Christians feel they should get involved in politics, and wish there were actually more Bible believing Christians like we were. That way the unbiased nonreligious voters would not be so steamrolled by the conservative right wing. . . A group that is literally not able to separate church from state.
It is hard for a country to respect a president who by his religious stance is inevitably judging most everyone else as deluded or stupid to not believe his truths are absolutes. Whereas a Christian with a very open and inclusive belief about God, (Deist, Unitarian) allows that Christian to treat nonbelievers fairly and equally. I can see that kind of a “closet Christian” doing pretty well in politics, like Lincoln. Often a leader that spouts a bold religious stance is usually one who has something to prove to both himself and others, and will show himself hypocritical, unteachable, and very biased. Not very appropriate in a leader of anything, IMO.
Anyhow, as for my political story, It was a fast transformation of my personal responsibility after ditching religion. For the first time in my life I felt a connection and empathy for the plight of my fellow man. Also a responsibility to be involved in this world I live in, knowing that this life is all that I’m guaranteed. I realized that no one else was going to fight my battles for me, or stand for the underdogs of society, as much as I wished or prayed for it. (And history proved it pretty well too.) I could no longer blissfully stand by watching this world go into the hands of the rich and powerful, while loosing the freedoms this country was famous for. I saw now how instead of God choosing these leaders for any good, short term or long, religion has always been used to control people and make them submit. . . like sheep led to the slaughter.
So to say the least, I did a 180 degree turn in my involvement with my community, and politics in general! Come to find out, that is actually very common of people coming out from under the oppression of a controlling religion. Many nonreligious people online echoed what I have done and also heard from friends at my Unitarian Universalist church as well. (That church is a very politically active and humanitarian minded denomination of very loosely religious-if at all religious- people BTW.)
I found a group of ex-fundamental Christians online who were asked the question: “What influence has dropping religion had to your political involvement and stance?” These were the answers:
“Stayed conservative for the most part, but gravitated towards the libertarian side of the movement.
Also came to realize politics is all manipulation. The manipulation scares me. Civil discourse (about politics to Christians) has increasingly become an impossibility.”
“I am tempted to give up politics altogether, but part of maturity is to realize your place in whatever “movement” you ally yourself with. While I may have heartfelt ideological leanings, I realize the part I play – a balancing force against those diametrically opposed, whether they be conservatives, liberals, and associated extremists.”
“As I’ve evolved from a know-it-all Fundy, I’ve realized that there are many things that I just don’t know. There’s a lot I don’t understand about religion and faith, and that’s carried over into politics for me. I don’t know the answers to our country’s problems. I don’t want to say that I just don’t think about it, but I have found that it’s not the best use of my time to dwell on and try to come up with solutions to the problems we have. As a result, I don’t watch much news or political commentary (I used to watch O’Reilly religiously), and I don’t allow myself to get in to political debates with others. I’ve found that by not worrying and forming opinions all the time, I get much more accomplished that’s close to my heart. And I’m much less annoying. “
“My move out of/away from Christian fundamentalism had reverberations throughout my life. Politically, I moved from being a very conservative Republican who could barely wait for my dad to finish the latest edition of National Review to read it each month, to being both economically and socially liberal. A great deal of that had to do with, as others have mentioned, finally being able to separate religion/spirituality and politics. Part of it was a realization that what I thought was most important to achieve in society was far better served in reality by a more liberal/progressive political approach than a conservative one. And part of it was firmly recognizing that America is, and has been, a secular state, and I would like it to remain so.
Politically I’m still conservative, but I no longer pay attention to what religion or church a candidate claims to be a part of (or that other people claim they are a part of). I’m concerned about them actually being good leaders with good policies, and wherever they go or don’t go on Sunday’s is irrelevant.”
“I vote for whoever I think is better, or at least who I think will do the least amount of damage (the latter is becoming more and more frequent, sadly.)”
“Heal the sick. Feed the hungry. Accept those who are different. Jesus was more liberal then conservative.”
“Since my time in the pen, I mean Hyles-Anderson, I have changed 180 Degrees. I consider myself a Liberal without apologies, and believe Jesus would have been too.”
“Big government isn’t bad; Big IRRESPONSIBLE government is the problem …”
“Went from typical religious right knee-jerk republican to liberal democrat. Now I know neither party is to be trusted. Our country’s political problems are way beyond the radical right and looney left as portrayed by Fox News and MSNBC. We are more of a plutocracy than a democracy. Our government is no longer responsive to “we, the people”. I think republicans are totally crazy and while democrats may say things I agree with during the election season, they are only beholden to big money/corporate interests. The idea that Obama is a communist or even a socialist is absolutely laughable.”
“Republicans were liberal and morally repugnant to me and the Democrats were messengers from Satan or people that just hated God.
That’s how I was. I’m closer now idealistically to being a Democrat, but the abortion issue and simply not trusting politicians is what keeps me from being a card carrying member of any party. I’m simply not ok with some things, so I don’t vote. When I do vote, I normally write in the name of a good person I know.”
So, if these folks sound like stupid, loose moraled, Liberals, you be the judge. Considering though these people’s involvement, sense of responsibility and concern for all man equally, while no one is controlling them. . . it seems prudent to me to consider their words, since they’ve been in your shoes.