Harmful Effect of Christianity #30

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1

This post is the thirtieth in a series that addresses a list of “40 harmful effects of Christianity” that originated on the American Atheists Facebook page and has since made its way around the internet. In this post, I examine the following “harmful effect” from the list:

Harmful Effect #30: Mayors, senators, and presidents voted into office not because they’re right for the job, but because of their religious beliefs.

Is this a harmful effect of Christianity or democracy?  There are certain attributes such as intelligence, patience, prudence, and being diplomatic which are widely valued by voters.  Ultimately, however, in a democratic society, “right for the job” is defined subjectively in the minds of each voter.  Who can, objectively, say that a certain elected official is not “right for the job”?  Arguably, in a democratic society, a candidate is “right for the job” if he represents the interests of the people who voted for him.

It seems like the author(s) of this list has defined “not right for the job” as “Christian”.  Yes, Christians are influenced by the shared beliefs of candidates.  However, the same could be said for Muslims, Hindus, and even atheists.  So what’s the argument here?  If anything it’s an argument against democracy by an atheist.  Given the deadly histories of Russia, China, North Korea, and Cuba, this type of thought is downright cringe-worthy.

Strangely enough, Christians have shown throughout history that they are willing to vote for non-Christians who they think will administer justice fairly.  Furthermore, Christian morality obligates Christians to respect and obey just governments even if they aren’t controlled by fellow Christians.

In my next post in this series, I’ll address the following:

Harmful Effect #31: Abuse of power, authority and trust by religious leaders (for financial gain or sexual abuse of followers and even children).

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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