“It is wrong to say that politics is everything, but it is a fact that in our society everything has become political.” When everything is reduced to politics, all problems are perceived as political problems in need of political solutions. This is tragic, for most problems demand more than a political solution.
In spite of the rejection of the explicit language of religion, the “sacred” continues to exist and operate in our modern society. Though “Christianity is no longer the religion of the masses”, humankind remains “just as religious as medieval man” (65), for the state is the new sacred, politics the new religion, and technology “the instrument of liberation… the god who saves.”
McLaren believes that the “real” Jesus has been domesticated, watered-down, and ignored by Western Christians. He invites us to embrace a new ideology rooted in Jesus’ kingdom vision. He believes that Jesus’ framing story will guide us to respect environmental limits, work for the common good, and seek peaceful reconciliation among competing factions.
Freedom of religion is freedom for all religions – and also the freedom to practice no religion at all. The relationship between Church and State is complex. It always holds open the possibility of abuse by extremists. However, the complete banishment of religion from public discourse would be just as damaging to liberty as the establishment of a State Church.