Our Political Idol of Selfishness

By Graham Glover

We’re all guilty. You. Me. All of us.

We’re guilty of political idolatry. More often than we know, we all make the one thing that cannot – that should not be our focus in politics, the most sacred thing in forming our political opinions.

We all worship the self. We hold our ego, our desires, our wants and needs above everyone and everything else. And by doing so, every single one of us commits the most grievous of political sins. By doing so, we all become political idolaters.

Liberals do it. Conservatives do it. Democrats and Republicans do it. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, you do it. All of us are guilty.

Guilty of worshiping a false political god. Guilty of serving at the altar of political selfishness. Guilty of everything that is wrong about our politics.

We all think we have THE answer. We think our way of doing politics is the only way things should be done. There is no thought of compromise. Such talk is apostasy to our contemporary political ears. Both sides of the aisle faithfully worship their god. Democrats worship the state. Republicans worship the market. Democrats put all their trust in the government. Republicans put all their trust in business. Ultimately though, both sides worship and put their faith in themselves, disguised as the state or the market. The reality however is that each of these are necessary – they both make for a healthy democratic republic. But when the parties put all their trust in one against the other, when their selfish ambitions kick into high gear, political idolatry sets in and political debauchery results. Case and point: this year’s presidential election.


But our idolatry runs much deeper than the Donald or Hillary, Inc. Beyond these two caricatures of our politics are the philosophies that shape our positions.

Liberals worship their own body so much that they are blind to the life of the unborn child living in their womb. They worship their sexually deviant impulses to such an extent that they no longer recognize the natural and revealed law that tell us their actions are immoral and wrong.

Conservatives worship their personal success so much that they are blind to the lives of their neighbors that are suffering in innumerable ways. They worship their works to such an extent that they no longer recognize the value of our collective works personified in strong communities that tell us such an inward focus is immoral and wrong.

Conservatives are ripe to tell us what social mores we should embrace, but disappear when it comes to putting the institutions and mechanisms into place that support these mores.

Liberals are ripe to tell us that it doesn’t matter what social mores one embraces, but disappear when it comes to accepting the consequences of these mores.

Both philosophies are wrong because both fail to account for the other.

On so many levels we witness our politics corrupted by selfishness. It’s our way or the highway. Again, I offer this year’s presidential candidates. Supporters of both candidates are so blinded by their hatred and vilification of the other, rooted in their own selfishness, that they are incapable of seeing any value or merit in the other side.

For the faithful among us, we see this epitomized in those on the left rejecting any value of faith in our politics and those on the right rejecting anything that does not embrace their particular interpretation of this faith.

Ultimately we are left with a politics that is all about me, me, me; instead of we, we, we. We are left with a politics that is selfish to the core, a politics that is concerned first and foremost what is best for the self. And until we move past this political idolatry of selfishness, we will continue to sink deeper and deeper into the political abyss of wickedness.

Politics should never be about selfish ambition. When it is it becomes idolatrous. As it sadly is today.