City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era

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And political acts can have profound human consequences and Christians should care about that, too. For one thing, political power is not something that was central to the teachings of Christ or his disciples. GT: Right.

PW: In fact they were largely non-political. Mike and I in our book analyze the so-called Religious Right, Christian conservatives, a movement that developed really in the late s and we try and give it a fair accounting. What was wrong about how they approached engagement in the political arena? PW: Well, some of it was the apocalyptic language I was referring to.

Secondly, Mike and I think that they made some important theological errors. And thirdly, there was a kind of apocalyptic language that I think they used and a sort of breathlessness in a sense that everything depended on them or their movement or the outcome of particular elections. Bush White House, so I care about elections and indeed my job sometimes depended on it, so I felt strongly about them. And Mike and I also think that the way that the Religious Right, particularly via Falwell and Robertson, conducted themselves sometimes made Christianity seem subordinate to a political party, as if it was an appendage of a political party or a political movement.

Mike and I argue in the book that Christianity should stand in judgment of all political ideologies and all political movements. GT: You mentioned in your book that the media took up the tone of Robertson and Falwell, which led to kind of a cycle of success for Falwell and Robertson for getting fundraising support and then the media liked it because it drew a lot of attention to what they were broadcasting, too.

City of Man | Resourcing The Church

I think that the media tended to overstate their influence and they began to describe the entire Christian conservative movement as if they were all clones of Falwell and Roberston and that there were really no distinctions among people and of course there were. So I think the media had a vested interest because it created a controversy.

I think it caricatured the Christian conservative movement and I think Robertson and Falwell were interested in getting attention, as lots of people in politics are. And it probably helped their effort to be credited with an enormous amount of political power, which I think at the end of the day was important but probably overstated.

The Progressive Era to the New Era, 1900-1929

GT: When we use the term Religious Right, who are we referring to? PW: Well, it depends. I mean, in a narrow sense you could be referring to the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition. In the broader sense you can be referring to people of conservative theological and political views who are themselves Christian, evangelical Christians. Most self-professing evangelical Christians in America tend to be conservative. So it could be a narrow or a broad definition and people use them often virtually interchangeably.

GT: In the book you talk about political theology. How would you define political theology? PW: Well, political theology is the theological views that one takes as they approach politics. GT: How did you choose your title, City of Man?

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So it seemed to fit. PW: Yeah, I mean, in a broad sense he makes an argument for sabbatical from politics that Christians, because they have not executed their involvement in politics very well, have hurt their faith and not produced very much in politics.

But Mike and I disagree with that.

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But on that particular issue I think that he underplays the significance of politics. To simplify things, I think he is of the school that culture is upstream of politics. Culture is key and if you can fix the culture then that in fact will trickle down into politics and then politics is very limited in its capacity to change the life, including the moral life, of a country.


Now, there are limitations to it but on the other hand, the law is an expression of certain moral beliefs and indeed the law itself can shape certain moral beliefs because when you have the imprimatur of law, it carries a lot of weight. Take, for example, drug use. Welfare is one example. But Mike and I believe that Hunter, for all the virtues of his book, overshot in this particular case and underplays the importance of politics. GT: You wrote this book from a wealth of experience.

And we did not feel then and we do not feel now that this violated our consciences as Christians. But they should not be unexpected. For example, only 4.

While its coalition partner Komeito was much better at Of the established parties, the Japanese Communist Party had the largest percentage at The party, which currently lacks any representation in the Diet, was already the most highly represented by females in Japan at This time, it won 19 seats of which 11 were female, including several being re-elected , giving it a total of 35 around the country, not including the more than 40 independent and other candidates it supported. While this is an impressive number relatively speaking, it is clear that women still find it difficult to enter politics.

The reasons are numerous, with several obvious, and others common to any candidate, male or female, such as the need for name recognition, a war chest and a constituency or support base — the so-called kanban , kaban and jiban. Added to these challenges is the lack of female mentors in politics only about 10 percent of Lower House members and 20 percent of Upper House members are female and only two governors of 47 prefectures are women. Indeed, while the six women elected city mayor this time four were chosen in set a new record, there are just 34 city and town mayors overall in more than 1, municipalities.

Perhaps reflecting the conservative nature of the countryside, there are no village mayors.

City of Man: Peter Wehner and by Michael Gerson vignette 2

Furthermore, the presence of incumbents who, based on the numbers, tend to be male and entrenched, make it difficult for new candidates to emerge. Despite these challenges, I had the opportunity to observe the election of the year-old daughter of a longtime family friend who ran successfully for the first time in the assembly election in Suita, Osaka Prefecture.

Born and raised there as the daughter of now-retired politicians, Yuma Arisawa had politics on her mind from an early age watching her parents, a field she pursued in graduate school. With the help of a retiring assembly member who carefully guided her, she received 2, votes and placed 23rd out of 44 candidates, 11 of whom were female.

Going into the race, she therefore had the name recognition from her parents and the constituency from her political mentor.

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She spoke to the voters, not at them. Her campaign staff was predominately young, female and voluntary. Her enthusiasm, concern and sincerity seemed to resonate not only with female voters but with males as well. Based in Kyoto, Robert D.