Jesus Politics: The Bible & The Ballot is about the role of religion in American politics. This documentary begins with the 2008 Iowa caucuses and ends with who won the nomination for both parties. If a documentary is judged by how much you learn or impartial it is, this CBC Newsworld show airing October 19th 2008 at 10 P.M. is a great documentary
How do you bring down a democracy? Not with bombs and terrorist attacks but with religion. The slow but steady sapping of the wall between church and state in the United States is what Jesus Politics: The Bible & The Ballot is about. America is now at a point where religion plays a central though seemingly invisible and never reported upon role in American politics. Each politician must have God on his or her side or else.
It is scary to hear American journalists and panel moderators ask the candidates about their religion and, my favorite, Whose side is God on? on the war on terror. That this has become acceptable reveals how sapped this democracy is.
An outsider to American politics might believe Republicans are those who use God the most but Ilan Ziv shows both sides use God. An Iowa Baptist preacher uses her pulpit to register voters and declares Obama is anointed and a divine appointment. Ziv explains this view through an interview with Randall Balmer, author of God in the White House, who draws a quick and accurate history of the link between church and social activism and then social activism and politics.
You also learn the introduction of religion in American politics was not made by the “Moral” Majority or conservatives but by Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.
Jesus Politics: The Bible & The Ballot then uses interviews with Balmer and Paul Weyrich of The Moral Majority how the Christian Right basically took over the Republican Party with the abortion issue. This was then followed by the Citizens United for Israel group, a group of Christians who believe Armageddon can only occur if Israel exists (With friends like these ….). To be fair, a Republican organizer points out those who will volunteer in a campaign are people who have a personal agenda.
Ziv’s final point is if democracy is guided by personal agenda, it is no longer a democracy. He uses Israel as a warning of what happens when you fuse religion and politics.