“Political Divinity” The American Sentinel 5, 31, p. 243.

A SHORT time ago, we printed in THE SENTINEL the statement of Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, of this city, that “it is as much a Christian’s duty to love his country, as his God;” that “the stars and stripes ought to be as much a part of a man’s religion as the Sermon on the Mount;” and that “it is as much the Christian’s duty to go to the polls and vote on election day, as to go to the Lord’s table on communion day.”

If this be correct it would be proper to interpret the Scriptures accordingly, and read, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thy country with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” And as we read at the close of the Sermon on the Mount, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock;” it would be proper also to read in connection therewith something like this, “Whosoever, therefore, heareth the laws enacted under the stars and stripes, and doeth them, the same shall be likened unto a man which built his house upon a rock,” etc.

It is not necessary to go any further in this. This is sufficient to show how nearly akin to blasphemy such a sentiment is. But Dr. Parkhurst is not alone in this sentiment that reduces divine things to the level of human and political things. The Union Signal runs in the same line. An editorial, in its issue of April 10, says:—

In this country where the ballot is the badge of sovereignty, and every voter is a sovereign, no more sacred act can any man perform than that of voting.

This likewise puts the most sacred acts upon a level with those of mere human and political expediency. It is neither surprising nor inappropriate, therefore, to find the Signal next referring to Plato for an example in political philosophy. This is perfectly proper, for the sentiment itself is pagan, and it is only right that a pagan should be appealed to. It is a pagan sentiment only that makes political things, therefore, are of the highest order of sacredness, and there is no such thing as a distinction between duty to God and duty to the State. This is the philosophy of paganism, of Dr. Parkhurst, of the Union Signal, and of many others in this day. Christianity separates the things of God from the things of the State; separates duty to God from duty to the State, and renders to God that which is God’s, and to Cesar that which is Cesar’s.

A. T. J.

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