The Son of Man Who Would Not Be King

April 4th, 2010

In further tribute (pun intended) to the non-violent revolutions led by the two men we remember today. Both were inspired by religious beliefs to advocate social justice, but it should be noted that neither advocated theocracy. On the contrary, Christianity’s founder clearly advocated the separation of church and state.

“Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose [is] this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. –- Matthew 22:19-21
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” – John 18:36

Religious Rightists often denigrate

The separation of church and state.

Some suffer from the delusion

That it’s not in the Constitution.

But even if it weren’t there,

Conservative Christians everywhere

Should still strongly support the view

That Church and State are better as two.

The vocal Religious Right minority

Should defer to the authority

Of their own Savior and Lord

Who their separation underscored.

When asked by His followers to lead their revolution,

Jesus told them that violence was not the solution.

He said he sought not earthly political control.

In fact, he strongly refused to accept that role.

“Render to Caesar that which is his”

(I.e., the church should stay out of the governing biz)

“And to God that which is His”

(I.e., the State should stay out of the Church’s biz).


Here’s a scene from the movie from which this post in part takes its name (The Man Who Would be King, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine). As the ending shows, when you mix church and state, things usually don’t turn out that well. (Spoiler alert: Don’t watch if you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want to see how it ends.)

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