For many years we have worshiped at his feet, sacrificed our young men in his name and built shrines to his service. And like every false god has taken more than he gave.

By his name the Vietnam War and the second Gulf War were blessed.

The terrorism of Israel is trumpeted as virtuous because Israel is a Democracy.

Thousands flock to Parliament Square to gaze at the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, each in its own way a place of worship and neither very closely connected with Jesus of Nazareth.

The strange thing is that neither Moses nor the Gospel says much about the value of national parliaments or about popular elections as the best way to change governments but so many of my brothers and sisters have erected what they consider to be rock solid arguments to prove that the worship of Jesus leads to the worship of democracy.

In the 17th century the rights of monarchs were similarly proven from scripture. In my view, those arguments, quaint as they are, seem to have more backing from the Bible texts.

Why does the religious right in the USA share with the religious left in the UK a shared devotion to democracy? (Ignore the radically different forms their worship takes. The Church of Democracy is as diverse as the worldwide Anglican Church).

Some things can be inferred from scripture as possibly of value:

Wide consultation on policy is more possible in a democracy and that is good (Proverbs 11:14 but see Proverbs 28:2 as well).

Christianity presumes the right of every person to seek and find God in their own way and people say that is theoretically easier in a Liberal Democracy. In practice, the electing will of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit have no problem overcoming restraints on freedom of conscience in many places.

Christian congregations were self-governing (Matt 18:15-20, 1 Cor 6:1-4) and responsible to God for the leaders they chose to follow (see Revelation ch’s 2 and 3). Those thinkers (Catholic and Protestant) who like to confuse culture and church will tend to extend the right of self-governing which God has granted the Spirit-filled community to the wider body politic.

But there is no way in which the ability of a Christian congregation to solve its own problems and discipline itself can be scaled up to cover millions of people, most of whom do not share a common daily life, loyalty to Jesus or confidence in the scriptures as a shared source of authority and wisdom.

The technology of balloting and counting and the crudities of party politics are completely different from the family of God talking through its problems helped by the presence of Jesus.

So, cheered on by the churches, our duly elected egotists pile higher the library of laws and nibble away our freedoms in the name of our 20th century God (I write 20c because I think that like many false gods he has had his heyday already).

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