The 'God' of the Democrats and the Democratic Convention
impersonal force that is not particularly interested in man and the world; ultimately, this "God" of the philosophes, of secular liberalism, is irrelevant to anything in public life.
The "God" of mysticism does not judge. This notion of "God" is that "God" is passive. It is a live and let live "God." This "God" does not intervene uniquely in history and concern himself with men. This "God" has few, if any absolute norms that we can know. This "God" is infinitely tolerant because this "God" is all things and all things are this "God."
This tolerance is confused with love, and is sometimes called love. But tolerance is most definitely not equivalent to love, because love requires two, an "I" and a "Thou," both active partners.
In contrast with tolerance, love--if it is really love--is jealous because it wants to protect the bond of love which it sees as good. Is there really a love relationship between a husband and wife if the husband tolerates his wife's constant infidelities? Doesn't a love relationship call for a mutual fidelity which necessarily takes us out of tolerance into intolerance?
The notion of "God" in both political and mystical forms is different from the God of nature. The Greek philosophers sought to discover this God of nature, and identified him as Plato's demiurge or Aristotle's the First Cause.
But the God of nature, the God of the philosophers, has been superseded by what Pope Benedict XVI calls the "monotheistic revolution." It started with the "leap in being" as Eric Voegelin phrased it, of God erupting into human history by revealing himself to the tiny nation of Israel, and erupting into history in full and plenary glory when God Himself became incarnate in Jesus Christ.
As Pascal famously put it, the God of the philosophers and scholars pales compared to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God of monotheism.
Unlike the "God" of mysticism which humans seek and which does not seek humans, the God of monotheism seeks us, and has "found" us. Because He has sought and "found" us, and only because He has sought and "found" us, we can now seek Him.
The God of the "monotheistic revolution" involves a God wholly different from the "God" of politics or the "God" of mysticism, or even the God of nature.
The God of monotheism is a God that is wholly other, not identified with any human self. The "stuff" wherein this God is found is in his revelation of Himself, a historical event where He interrupts and speaks to us or shows Himself to us.
The God of monotheism is active. He judges. He has definitively intervened in history. This God has communicated to us--in nature and by revelation--absolute moral norms that we can know and which He expects us to abide by. This God is not infinitely tolerant--he is a "jealous God" and hates idolatry--because this "God" is infinitely separate from all things. It is things that become idols. He knows that he is the ultimate reality, and the things that are made are all realities contingent upon Him. Indeed, this God has made known to us that things were created out of nothing by Him. This God is intolerant because He loves, because He knows that loving things more than loving Him means that we exclude Him from our love and our love from Him, and love requires two, an "I" and a "Thou," both active partners.
Now, here's the rub. The monotheistic God has revealed to us in no uncertain terms that abortion is an "unspeakable crime," and that homosexual activity is a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance. This, of course, is in complete contradiction to two essential parts of the Democratic platform which are accorded much more room than this voted-in "God" who gives persons "potential."
Now it's clear which God Cardinal Dolan was praying to when he directed his prayer to God in the closing benediction.
The God Whom Cardinal Dolan invoked was the God "of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son Jesus Christ." This God has provided us with "inalienable rights," which includes "the gift of life," including "those waiting to be born." This God wants these "waiting to be born" to be "welcomed and protected." This God is the founder of marriage, that institution given by God "for the nurturing of life and community." And this God expects us to respect "the laws of nature and of nature's God." It is this God's will that we "resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making," which is to say He is a jealous God. This is the "monotheistic God" for sure.
So back to the "God" of the Democratic platform: what "God" are we dealing with? A political "God," a mystical "God," a natural "God," or a "monotheistic God," the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ?
I'm sure of which God it's not.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: God, Democratic platform, mystical, monotheistic, political
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