I call them “true believers” (a phrase coined by Eric Hoffer). You see it in their teary eyes, their wide smiles, their intense frowns, their enthusiastic poster-waving. They’ve heard every canned phrase a thousand times before, yet applaud as though it was a new revelation each time it’s repeated.
What luck, for Greg Boyd to blog on this after I recently mentioned it. Here is his expression of the incredible arrogance of the political animal:
The hope of the nation and even the world hangs in the balance — if only they can win. It’s almost as if these sincere folks have forgotten that these exact same sentiments, hopes and dreams — almost always in the name of “God and country” — have been around since the dawn of human history.
I’m not an expert on history, but I think the purpose of history is to remind us that technology changes and human nature doesn’t. The problem isn’t that people are too ignorant of history, as if education would change their attitude. The problem is the superstition that each individual’s symbolic understanding of their personal experience represents something new in the history of the human race.
Both conventions seemed a whole lot like religious revivals. With religious zeal, people were given hope and the promise of salvation. And just as in religion, the insiders who know the truth and really care rallied against those who are deceived and who merely claim to care.
Do you hate religion, but love politics or political activism? Then you are a hypocrite.
We do need hope and we do need a savior. Yet, when this natural longing for hope and salvation is directed toward anything or anyone other than God, the Bible calls it idolatry.