by J.K. Slaughter
Someone recently asked me what I thought of the term _“Politically Agnostic”. _Initially, I thought to myself, “I think I addressed that in Episode 50 of The Xero Hour Podcast.
There’s a bunch of people like that, running around pretending to be neutral because they’re still at their default-liberal settings. I know of one guy like that in particular. He’s got an opinion on everything, but he likes to pretend that his opinions are neutral. He wants to make you believe that his thoughts are well balanced and non-biased. But here’s what he’s not telling you. He knows what opinions are most expedient to pronounce, but he doesn’t seem to believe those opinions. He knows how to coerce you into changing your opinions. He’s a grifter.
Most people are default-liberals (Center-Left), and the things that he says are just going to reinforce an acceptable liberal perspective, with a thin veneer of spirituality just to make it more palatable (and I have to say spirituality because Christianity isn’t a marketable term). Now my friend, he’s savvy to all that stuff. He’s a salesperson. He’s an entertainer and a presenter. But one thing he’s not is politically neutral. Everyone has a political standing. Everyone. Every. Single. Person. But, that’s something I’ll address later.
Right now, we need to look at this phrase, “Politically Agnostic”. Politically Agnostic is a marketing phrase, meaning, it’s made up. It’s not a real set of words that are meant to go together, so it’s not a phrase that people use. Politically Agnostic is something that was likely engineered to appeal to ‘spiritual’ people, or for use in SEO results.
I felt like my original assessment of the term politically agnostic was underdeveloped, and so I did a little bit of research just to see if my instincts were correct. I pulled up a few search results that date back quite a few years, but not much from recent times. After I read up on it a bit, I still feel like the phrase is something that was picked out of obscurity, because it would be good for marketing. However, the phrase should have a meaning. Words have meaning. And, with closer inspection, we can see that this is an odd combination of words indeed.
According to Merriam Webster (which has been recently exposed for changing the definitions of words arbitrarily, see “sexual preference”) the word agnostic means :
Definition of AGNOSTIC (noun)
1: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics> Here’s the thing I can’t wrap my head around.
The second definition of agnostic is a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something. People are always trying to sell us on this idea when it comes to politics. It’s as if they are somehow “above it all” by remaining uninvolved. But in this case, inaction is the action. Agnosticism is a choice. Not to be confused with Indifference which is
_ “the lack of difference or distinction between two or more things”_
, or in other words “ignorance”. There is a BIG distinction to be made between one’s Agnosticism and one’s Indifference.
When people are too fearful or too foolish to make the necessary sacrifices to commit; or are unwilling to change their true values and beliefs, then it becomes expedient for them to try and take the third approach. One that says they’re just not going to engage, as if that’s a wiser decision. It’s much easier to dismiss a political issue entirely than to face the cognitive dissonance of forming an opinion that disagrees with your actions. Why take the risk of offending some of your friends by taking a hard stance on some political issue when you can just pretend that it doesn’t matter. I mean, isn’t that what Jesus did? Well, no. I don’t think the Bible teaches anything like that sort of thinking or ideology.
Jesus never claimed to be politically indifferent or agnostic. When he was pressed on political issues, he exposed the categorical differences between his positioning and the positions that they were trying to impose on him. There’s a big difference between favoring one concept to the expense of another, and just pretending that the other concept doesn’t exist entirely.
So, when they asked “Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” (an issue of affection and allegiance), Christ answered, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” In this, He highlighted the categorical difference between spiritual affection and political duty. When they tried to provoke Jesus to anger by reporting that Pilate had killed some of the Galileans during their sacrificial worship (and probably sacrificing those men as well), he responded
_ “Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”_
This was neither agnosticism nor indifference. Christ was quite committed to the message that he preached and I think that we ought to follow suit. The Bible doesn’t espouse political indifference, but quite the contrary:
_Romans 13:1 “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. _
Therefore, the phrase agnostic reeks of ignorance and cowardice, in my opinion. If you’re ignorant then you should be willing to learn. You only refuse knowledge out of fear or foolishness. If you’re unwilling to learn, then we have to assume that you’re a either a fool or a coward. That covers both definitions of the word agnostic. Let’s move on to politics.
Definition of politics
1a: the art or science of government
b: the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy
c: the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government
2: political actions, practices, or policies
3a: political affairs or business
especially : competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government)
b: political life especially as a principal activity or profession
c: political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices
4: the political opinions or sympathies of a person Because neither I, nor most people that I know, are not directly involved with or employed in politics on a governmental level, including Church politics, we have to understand that the only definition that applies to us directly would be the fifth definition.
5a: the total complex of relations between people living in society
_b: relations or conduct in a particular area of experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point of view _
This means that politics has more to do with relationships, personal experiences, and community. It’s how we deal with the issues that arise from within. Our political ideologies may be deeply factored into those relationships, and the ‘total complex of relations’, but at its root, it is the ideology that drives our actions. That’s why it’s important to understand where your thoughts come from, and where they lead.
Whether or not sexual predators should be allowed within a certain distance of a playground, or whether or not the government should allow churches to remain open during a Covid-19 pandemic, or whether or not an activist group should be able to compel a baker to participate in their festivities, against his religion, are all examples of politics. Not every conflict has to be adjudicated on a governmental level. This is why the Bible tells us to judge among ourselves, problems within the Church. But, I think it is the willingness among people to remain milquetoast about civil issues, that requires the government to intervene. Before the concept of MAGA, no one had an opinion about whether or not people should wear red hats (unless they really, really hated Limp Bizkit). Now, it’s a social issue. In many social conflicts, we ought to have thought out and set precedent, way before these things get to a governmental level.
The third and final part of this analysis is the perception of value that’s attached to the concept of Political Agnosticism. At its root, I think it’s probably closer to postmodernism. In the sense that things lose meaning or have no meaning at all. If something cannot be deemed important, then there’s no reason to form an opinion on it. I think this absolves one of his responsibility to engage in the world in a meaningful fashion. It absolves one all responsibility toward his brothers and sisters on a personal day-to-day level but elevates selfishness. Because we are born into families, and those families make up communities, I believe that man is meant to be a communal creature. Therefore politics is essential to our social makeup. You can’t have any hard perspectives or opinions on social matters without acknowledging that, the root of all social matters are, in nature, political.
What the left has done in today’s culture has been to change the meaning of politics to something that it doesn’t, while changing the meaning of the word social and applying the original meanings of_ politics and ethics_. When words change in such a drastic and swift manner, they lose meaning. So on its face, political agnosticism is a word salad that truly has no real meaning. It would be better for one to be honest about their understanding, or lack thereof; to be honest about their interest, or lack thereof, without using this misnomer. You have an opinion, even if you don’t have all the facts. Just be honest.
As I said at the beginning of this essay, everyone has a political standing. It may simply be that you don’t know what that is or how to find out. It is very important and helpful to have a personal understanding of your thoughts and instincts on all matters social or political because they affect how you perceive and navigate the world. If you’re interested in finding out where you stand in general, try taking The Political Compass Test. You can find out where your own thoughts lie, and what major historical figures shared your point of view. You’ll even be able to print out a certificate of completion when you’re done (to share with all your friends). https://www.politicalcompass.org/
Podcast host for The Xero Hour Podcast | Founder of Tentmaker Music | Musician | Family Man | Christian | Conservative | Not in that order