Why Ron Paul pt. 3- Ron Paul vs. Constantine
A common platform found in the Republican/Conservative movement is Christianity. Just as it is difficult to find a liberal who opposes abortion, it is even more difficult to find a Republican/Conservative who is an atheist (I did read once that Karl Rove was…not sure). However, last night in South Carolina, we all received what I find to be indicative of American Christianity- what I have previously called ‘Diet-Christianity’ or ‘Christianity-lite.’
Last night’s debate featured Ron Paul quoting Jesus’ Golden Rule which itself can be traced back to Confucius considerably predating the Bible with the response expected if Ron Paul had quoted the Koran to the Phelps’ Church. This is quite the phenomena- here we have a bible-belt state (South Carolina) and Ron Paul staying consistent with both his Christianity and his libertarian message connects the two which shouldn’t cause that much of a hermeneutical problem and he is booed beyond sound capacity. Why is this?
Well, as long as these bible belters misinterpret both Leviticus (while selectively ignoring other rules) and Paul’s letters to the Romans which manifests itself in a desire for a homogenous WASP society- then that’s the Christian thing to do. It seems that Christianity as a social movement is here to fight that demonic Darwin and the subsequent science it has spawned, maintain a staunch level of homophobia, and disallow ‘secularism’ (which includes ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ mind you) then all is well. Yet, when the Golden Rule, one of the most popular ethical maxims if not the most popular maxim, is presented in political discourse, the rabid foam of Constantine’s Christianity comes to light. Constantine’s Christianity is a warring Christianity, bent on marginalizing the pagans and those who don’t ‘fit in’ and creating all these wars on alternative perspectives of what the ‘pursuit of happiness’ may manifest itself as. As the Mormon Church did with Proposition 8 in California, and as the audience demonstrated in South Carolina- the notion of Christian brotherly love, or the Golden Rule itself, is outdated and only seemingly applies to fellow Christians.
From a historical perspective, it is interesting to note the 180 degree flip the term ‘fundamentalist’ has taken. The original fundamentalists focused almost exclusively on one’s community, spirituality and the helping with the poor, while more/less disavowing involvement in politics and similar institutions. Today’s fundamentalist want to shove their notions of right/wrong down your throat, but worse of all, it’s not even a consistent shove. Jesus preached the Golden Rule- not to be practiced just between Christians, nor just to be observed during times of peace, nor was it merely a idealist maxim that would lovingly work as a bumper sticker.
Ron Paul’s Christianity, contra Santorum for example, coincides much of the early fundamentalist in one way. Obviously he is a politician who is running for president, but unlike the other candidates, he isn’t shoving the Bible in our faces on a continual basis. Ron Paul isn’t accounting for disabled children as God’s punishment for abortions (Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall) and not blaming 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Japan on secularism, liberalism, atheism, as many evangelical fascists have in fact done. He is a Christian but that is not the Constitution nor is it what the Founders envisioned. Whereas those who booed at Ron Paul and those Rick Santorums and the rest of today’s evangelical Christian community- they want everyone to be Christian- gays: just stop being gay and chastise yourself for your natural inclinations. This idea of homogeny goes back quite a ways and if you want a politician who will use the Bible as he/she sees fit in public policy, inject selective morality presented as God’s word into your home, then ignore Ron Paul.
I am not a Christian, yet knowing Ron Paul is one (contrary to the other candidates) doesn’t bother me a bit. See, it’s real simple. I have no fear of a politician who is a Christian. It is the Christian-politician one should fear. For they see themselves perhaps as some pseudo-half-assed- Constantine and it’s only a matter of time until we rational folk are deemed too pagan.