Tag Archives: American Politics

Political Polarization and Christian Unity

by Will Cohen

polarization

When politics is as toxic as it’s become today in North America, Church unity would seem more than ever to require quarantining the life of faith from current political and social questions. Broader society’s most polarizing issues do get taken up eagerly, it’s true, in Christian congregations (of whatever tradition) that lean hard ideologically either to the left or the right, but how fruitful that engagement has been is unclear. In any case, most Orthodox parishes I know aren’t overwhelmingly partisan in that way. As a consequence, North American Orthodox parish and diocesan life steers mostly clear of the pressing issues of the day.

There are exceptions. Continue Reading…

Trump and Humiliation

by Will Cohen

A recurrent refrain in Donald Trump’s 2011 book Time to Get Tough is that America is being laughed at–by China, OPEC, Russia, Iran. Compared to their leaders ours are weak and stupid.  Trump describes Barack Obama’s approach on geopolitical and economic issues as “embarrassing”. Obama is said to “grovel,” “kiss the feet” of foreign leaders and dignitaries, “kowtow” and engage in “pretty-please” diplomacy with our enemies.  Vladimir Putin, by contrast, is someone “of whom I often speak highly for his intelligence and no-nonsense way”.

If America is to be a winner we have to elect a winner to lead it. “Every day in business I see America getting ripped off and abused. We have become a laughingstock, the world’s whipping boy, blamed for everything, credited for nothing, given no respect.” We need a president “who knows how to get tough with China . . . and how to keep them from screwing us at every turn.” Continue Reading…

Trump and Transgression

by Will Cohen

Although there are, as many commentators have observed, social and economic factors at play, a perhaps more significant key to understanding the popularity of Donald Trump’s campaign is its sheer transgressive quality.  In this sense I would suggest that Trump’s campaign is a phenomenon entirely in keeping with an essential dynamic of our cultural fabric.

Not every flouting of established norms is a transgression in the proper, theological sense of being a sin; it depends why it is being flouted, and what the norm is.  Continue Reading…

What Orthodox Christianity Can Bring to American Christian Politics

by George Demacopoulos

Politics may make for strange bedfellows but the political alliances forged by many American Christians are worse than strange—they are ironic and self-contradictory.

On the left, partisans draw on Christian teaching to pursue social justice, racial and gender equality, and responsibility for the environment. But in order to have a voice within the political left, Christians align themselves with advocates of unrestricted abortion rights, assisted suicide, and those who (naively) seek to remove religious discourse from the public square. Continue Reading…