There’s no simple way to unpack what we are now witnessing in this political circus, and how we are participating in this political circus. Is this a reflection of our culture? Absolutely! Are we to blame? Absolutely, by both omission and commission.
Three books could help us make sense of all this and help us respond with truth… “The Bible” particularly The Gospels, “Amusing ourselves to death” by Neil Postman and “The Way of Ignorance” by Wendell Berry.
There’s an essay in Berry’s Book called the Letter to Daniel Kemmis. It’s very insightful about the mix of religion and politics. Here are a few quotes.
“The first responsibility of a candidate is not to win an election but to respond intelligently to the issues, even at the cost of losing.” – Wendell Berry in The Way of Ignorance: Letter to Daniel
“God should not be enlisted to campaign for Caeser.”
“We make war, we are told, for the love of peace. We subvert our Bill of Rights and impose our will abroad for the sake of freedom and law. We honor greed and waste with the name of economy. We allow ever greater wealth and power to accumulate in the hands of a privileged few only to provide jobs for working people and charity to the poor. And we sanctify all this a Christian, though the Gospels support none of it by so much as a line or a word.”
“Competitiveness, covetousness, ruthlessness, and greed are not economic virtues; the economic virtues are neighborliness, generosity, trust, good workmanship, thrift, and care. It will tell the truth also about war: We can no longer afford it, or bear it; we will have to think of better ways—good economic practice, honest talk, peaceable resistance—to protect the things needing to be protected. It will repudiate all narrow and special definitions of conservation, but will use the term in the broadest sense to mean giving care to everything needing care: wilderness, all bodies of water, the air, farms and working forests, all the creatures (living and not-living), neighbors, families and communities, languages, cultures, minds, souls, freedom, democracy, the Constitution.” Wendell Berry