The term “religious right” applies only to American politics. It does not apply to religious groups or denominations of any country, except the Unites States, in the world today.
First off, allow me to define my terms.
A Wikipedia entry defines “religious right” as– “religiously motivated right-wing or conservative movements such as: Christian right, Hindu nationalism, Islamism, Jewish right, Theravada.”
This is a highly fallacious, politically erroneous definition for it suggests that all kinds of political religious movements are inherently right-leaning or right-wing. Here, the term “right-wing” or “left-wing” is nothing but a smear term devoid of proper context and meaning.
Every intelligent philosopher or scientist or legalist knows– or ought to know– that the the role of definitions is not merely to describe things, entities or concepts, but also to distinguish a concept from all other concepts.
American and global leftists use the term “religious right” to refer to people who advocate the following:
- Limited government
- Less taxation
- Fiscal responsibility
- Less government regulations
- Economic freedom
Using this definition or description, the “religious right” is part of the Tea Party movement. Yet the Tea Party Movement is a hodgepodge of different political groups in the United States. It is composed of 1) conservatives, 2) libertarians, 3) Objectivists, and 4) independents.
Thus, the term only applies to American Conservative Movement.
However, what makes the Conservative movement “right-wing” is not its religiosity or religious nature, but its political influences.
The truth is, American Conservatism is only pro-individualism and pro-Capitalism to some extent. Most influential American Conservatives (e.g., Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin, etc.) defend the free market system on utilitarian ground. They support Capitalism because of its capacity to bring about “the greatest good for the greatest number”. But when it comes to other issues like the right of a woman to abortion, the right of homosexuals to marry, pot and gambling legalization, among others, they are as statist or socialistic as the American liberals and progressives. That is, many American conservatives (like Rubio, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, George Bush, etc.) only pay lip service to Capitalism. They defend capitalism only when it suits their political agenda.
But why did I say the term “religious right” is essentially and historically part of American politics?
Again, let’s try to essentialize the meaning/definition of “right” or “right-wing”. We all know that “right-wing” is the opposite of “left-wing”. And the term ‘religious right-winger’ refers to any religious person or group that embraces ‘right-wing’ politics. Now the question is: what essentially is a “right-wing” politics?
For some people, “right-wing” represents a political dominant group or political establishment. Or: it is the group that currently controls political power. If this is the definition of “right-wing”, then, all governments in the world today, including socialist states like Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, must be “right-wingers”.
Only an anti-conceptual nincompoop would take this kind of so mediocre a definition.
If Political Left represents statism or collectivism (e.g., more government power and roles), then it follows that Political Right stands for individualism and capitalism.
As political philosopher Craig Biddle argued, “Capitalism—the social system of the political right—is the system of individual rights. It is the system that respects and protects individual rights—by banning physical force from social relationships—and thus enables people to live their lives, to act on their judgment, to keep and use their property, and to pursue personal happiness.”
In contrast, socialism is the system of collectivism or state/social control. It is the social system that abrogates individual rights– by establishing statist policies such as redistribution of wealth, central planning, economic regulations, etc.
“The political right properly belongs to those who uphold the principle of rights—not merely in theory, but also in practice,” Biddle added.
It’s not surprising that many religious Americans identify with the Political Right because of the country’s individualist culture and political history. America is the first “individualist” society on this planet, and this is proved by the Declaration of Independence. Here I must explain that “individualism”, like “collectivism”, is a political concept. It does not mean that man must live alone and stay far away from human society. Also, collectivism does not mean “cooperation” or “voluntarily helping one another”, because that is not the goal of socialism or communism. Collectivism seeks to establish FORCED cooperation, FORCED unity, FORCED indoctrination, FORCED slavery. Everything is FORCED by the state or society under this system.
Many American conservatives support some of the aspects of the free market system because of the influences of America’s traditional politics (e.g., the politics founded by Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers). That is, many American conservatives are motivated by Patriotism (not nationalism), which is one of the pillars of American Exceptionalism.
Recent surveys reveal that not all religious people in America are part of the Political Right. Well, this is because the Political Right is not religious in nature and is not motivated by religion.
In fact, most of its modern-day thinkers and philosophers (e.g., Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, etc.) were atheists.
For example, during the last two presidential elections, most Catholic voters supported the left-leaning Democratic party. Also, most Latino Catholics associate overwhelmingly with the Democratic Party.
Now with the exception of some American conservatives who strongly lean toward the Political Right, almost all religious people and groups in the world today are left-leaning.
Take Latin America, for example, which was heavily infested with the Jesuits’ Liberation Theology, a socialistic religious concept. The Jesuits in Latin America were socialists (not necessarily Marxists). Here I need to clarify that Marxism is simply a form of Socialism. One can embrace socialism without embracing Marxism, because Karl Marx did not invent socialism.
However, the Liberationists preferred socialism to capitalism in a non-doctrinaire manner. Father Gustavo Gutiérrez, founder of Liberation Theology, said that socialism is the best system to achieve freedom because it rejects selfishness.
He wrote: “We do not believe man will automatically become less selfish, but we do maintain that where a socio-economic foundation for equality has been establish, it is more possible to work realistically toward human solidarity than it is in a society torn asunder by inequity.”
In other words, Liberation Theology calls for a socialistic system that empowers the state to redistribute wealth or even to centrally plan the economy in the name of ‘equality’. The Liberationalists do not actually advocate equality of rights but equality of condition and economic results. They believe that socialism produces less ‘selfishness’ than does the free market system.
As liberal sociology professor and book author Joseph B. Tamney observed: “The Liberationists seek an international and national redistribution of power such that masses gain greater control over their lives. Liberation theologians tend to accept the idea that the success of advanced societies depends on the continued exploitation of poor countries, which is done in a way that augments the wealth of local elite.”
Their goal is to establish a “new world economic order” structured to alleviate global poverty.
Tamney said that this “new world order” would include “nationalization of foreign-owned land and mineral wealth, the redistribution of land from rich to the poor, and a popularly based development of diversified products aimed at the needs of local consumers, rather than a global market of the elite.”
In fact, both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis echoed this political ideal.
In his encyclical, Benedict XVI said that a new “political, juridical and economic order” would “increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy … to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority.”
Pope Francis called for more equal redistribution of wealth.
The Popes’ and the Liberationists’ socialist, egalitarian system created Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, among others. Didn’t Hugo Chavez say his socialist political system was founded on Christian values?
In effect, Benedict, Francis, the Liberationists or the entire Roman Catholic Church promote state-sanctioned or legalized theft. They promote sin, and that contradicts the judo-christian ten commandments.
From Latin America to Europe to Asia (particularly the Philippines), religious people and groups heavily associate with the Political Left or Socialism. The Catholic Church and other Christian denominations in the Philippines, for example, support socialistic policies, such as wealth redistribution, more regulations, and more government intervention to allegedly bring about the greater good.
By advocating socialism or socialistic policies, the Religious Left are actually dangerously playing with fire.
About the Philippines’ Black Nazarene
- I first posted the following comment on my Facebook site:
IMHO, the Black Nazarene, which is a distinct Catholic tradition in the Philippines, is the merger between Catholic mysticism and Filipino TRIBALISM. Culturally and intellectually, many Filipino catholics are tribalists (e.i., they remain highly superstitious; they are mystics). This Catholic tradition shows that the Filipino TRIBAL culture is stronger or more influential than the BIBLICAL doctrines. That is, the Roman Catholic Church’s man-made rituals are more appealing to its congregation than their GOD’S strict commandments. Perhaps this is because Catholicism is originally and historically a mystic, ‘contrarian’ Christian denomination. It has its own religious rituals, doctrines and traditions. It was– and it remains– obsessed with religious pageantry and mystic rituals that often contradict the bible.
You won’t see the same tribal tradition in MODERN, EDUCATED, MORE CIVILIZED societies (or christian dominated societies) like USA, Britain, Ireland, etc.
I must say that the Black Nazarene is ANTI-BIBLICAL and ANTI-CHRISTIAN. It is the reflection of Catholic dogma.