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.

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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.

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11 thoughts on “Our Political Idol of Selfishness

  1. Democrats worship the state. Republicans worship the market. Democrats put all their trust in the government. Republicans put all their trust in business.

    Really? How come Wall Street loves Hillary so much? Maybe because she talks out of both sides of her mouth? (It was recently found that she said Public and Private opinions/policies need to be expressed separately.) There’s a LOT of big money/businesses behind Democratic enterprises. It used to be more one-sided like this. I see it now as equally pretty mixed on both sides. The ‘country-club’ Republicans are gone.

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    1. Abby, fair point. I’m making some sweeping generalizations in the article which obviously don’t fit all. But I still think it’s fair to say that Democratic ideology is more sympathetic to a large government/a large state. Honestly, I think big government and big business are the same thing, a feed my narrative about selfish idolatry.

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  2. But I still think it’s fair to say that Democratic ideology is more sympathetic to a large government/a large state.

    That is definitely true. Some of us want small government. But as long as they keep expanding the welfare system … (I’m talking about in a lot of areas, I’m not denigrating true need.) The best way to get a majority of people on your side is to keep finding new ways to give (or at least make you believe in) ‘free’ stuff. They’re just not the ones who get the tax bill to pay for it all.

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  3. Graham/Abby…………in my humble opinion I don’t think politics has changed, but I do think people have changed. We are becoming tired of “the same old thing” and our needs have gone by the way side to take care of everyone’s wants. I am so grateful we live in a country that we can express our differences without being killed, however you do risk losing some neighbors or friendships over your opinion! It may sound “corny” but to make America Great again, everyone needs to ask God to help and Vote. There will always be challenges and if we don’t make our politicians accountable for their criminal acts, we only have ourselves to blame. In my 70 plus years this may be one of the worst presidential race ever regarding smut, dirt, cursing and behavior that is unbecoming of our leader. The last 8 years in my opinion has divided this country more than ever before.

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    1. Gail, America is already great and will remain so for years to come. We are the envy of the world and despite our many faults, are the beacon of freedom to people all over the globe.

      I couldn’t agree more, this election is unlike any we have ever seen, but no matter who is elected, I continue to have faith in our republic.

      As our nation prepares to go to the polls, may God give all of us His mercy!

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      1. I agree Graham that our America is great, and no one man that happen. I am grateful for all the freedoms we have and the protection we have due to those who serve to protect. I do agree this election is unlike any we have ever seen in my many year, nothing will alter my faith that we need to ask God to help us and give us the path and the people who will make it greater.
        I will add when I previously mentioned that I haven’t seen our country so divided since Martin Luther King’s infamous victory. We have digressed in so many ways when we hear people describe skin color, ethic background, race, creed and gender instead what kind of person they are, their values, morals. No matter how the polls come out, locally and in the country, may God help us make America better than before.

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  4. Graham, just hoping to be part of the debate 🙂 I’m not sure if I’m interpreting this correctly or maybe it just came off wrong…”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.”

    Although there are many “interpretations” of faith, you do believe that their is objective truth and therefore one true interpretation of faith, correct? If so, are you suggesting that we accept something that does not embrace the true faith? I reject many things that do not embrace the true faith. Are you suggesting that this is a wrong approach? If so, can you tell me what the correct approach would be and where you get that direction from?

    There is a lot of arm-chair secular philosophers out there preaching acceptance of opposing worldviews as if more than one can be/is true. You and I both know that this denial of absolute truth is in itself error. If the Bible is the infallible Word of God, and many “interpretations” of faith contradict that Word, what are we called to do? Once again, maybe this came off wrong, and I apologize if that was my error, but wanted to get your thoughts none-the-less.

    The elimination of truth starts with the acceptance of error and I believe we can both agree that acceptance of error is one over-arching characteristic of the postmodern world we live in. Thanks for the great posts!

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    1. Blake, yes, I agree, there is an objective truth and one true interpretation of the faith. My point was that some on the right misappropriate or misuse using faith in the political realm. In other words, many on the right that I agree with on issues like: life, marriage, and religious liberty, then take the step and apply their faith to issues like tax structures, gun rights, health insurance, governments spending, etc. It’s as though their is a “Christian” way of government, which is of course, nonsense.

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      1. Graham, thanks so much for the clarification. It sounds like we are on the same page here as I completely agree with your statement. Keep up the good work!

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