Two recent media pieces clearly spelled out religion's orthodox political position even though they were posted superficially as altruistic messages of hope. One involved Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney. Pell sermonised in a Sunday News Ltd publication that "we should live our lives as if judged by God". In fact that is the title of the article. The other was in the form of a tweet from the Christian organisation: Food for the Hungry (@food4thehungry). Using a biblical verse (Matthew 21:22) the tweet said: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer #praymore". But what are they really asking for? Acquiescence! Fatalism.
Both messages extol the "virtues" of subordinance as part of the natural order of things. And both extol the virtue of surrender; of foregoing our objective rationality so that we may find the true path to Salvation through religious faith - salvation in the Food for the Hungry context also including salvation from hunger. Pell is using the old carrot and stick method, hell being the stick, while Food for the Hungry wants us to be sycophants ... compliant sycophants
Notwithstanding other, better, intentions from Pell and Food for the Hungry, the real moral underpinning both messages is conservative and reactionary. As it has always been, politics is never far from religion. Faith in a supreme being has always required of its believers a suspension of critical thinking in favour of blind faith in a benevolent overlord. Communion with God in that context is heirarchical, requiring trust and obedience. It also requires us to 'know our place'. Political conservatism is no less heirarchical and expectant in nature.
One of the pillars of right wing politics, in the wealthy-elite neocon tradition, is the belief in a natural pecking order - a sociological derivation of Darwinian natural selection in which only people of real substance rise to the top, leaving the mediocre and ordinary to make up the bulk of society. In other words the born-to-rule principle. It is these people the rest of society is meant to look up to as the leadership. What is most ironic on the political and religious front is how the historical Jesus - Yeshua bar Yosef - railed against authoritarian heirarchies during his short life while asking his followers to live a communal life of fellowship, equality and sharing. He emphatically rejected authority figures such as the Temple priests and Roman authorities.
Indeed Yeshua was basically a political activist who expressed himself in the religious terminology of the times. Only after death did they turn him into a god with crown and sceptre to also be worshipped on bended knees. And so the real Christian message as pronounced by the archbishops and church leaders of the world - modern or ancient - is fundamentally a political message: it's all about conformity, surrender, obedience ... acquiescence. The renunciation of pride in achievement ... surrendering yourself to the Lord. The master and servant, boss and worker, upper class, working class. No different to the principles of the Vatican, the Tories, the Republicans or the Aussie Coalition really.