Excerpts from a Series on 'the Terrible Two-Party System' with a Provocation Concerning Christian Liberty and Human Bondage

In the conclusion to a series of posts on "The Terrible Two-Party System" at Political Jesus, Rod of Alexandria makes "A Christian Case for Proportional Representation." The series begins by laying out the present political situation:
Today, US politics functions as a single-party two-party system. Anyone who has read their US history books KNOWS that this was not the case in the first 100 years of this Republic’s existence. Don’t believe me? Check here. There was the smallest glimmer of hope in the mid-1990s with the rise of Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader, and Pat Buchanan as third-party candidates. But, the situation remains almost hopeless.
In the second post in the series, Rod compares "majoritarianism" with "consensus democracy":
The results in this system lead to disproportional representation; that is, that the majorities are often over represented. . . . Unlike in a majoritarian society, it is important for as many people as possible to be represented in a consensus democracy.
In the third part in the series, Rod argues that proportional representation is superior to plurality voting, and finally concludes by making "a Christian case for proportional representation" on the basis of Luther's theology:
Perhaps it is best if we begin with the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers developed first by Martin Luther. This is the Reformation notion that all members of the body of Christ have connections to God through Christ the mediator . . . If we expand this doctrine politically, in terms of representation, we must come to the conclusion that everyone has rights, given to them by God, and that they should be allowed to be represented by the person that they choose. Also, secondarily, since the priesthood of all believers is not a doctrine that was originally intended to sustain rugged individualism, representation must be seen as a power to be shared by all citizens in a free society. Thus, we have a theological undergirding for proportional representation.
It would be interesting to see how Rod squares the central contradiction of Luther's theology with the call for consensus democracy and proportional representation. In On Christian Liberty, for instance, Luther employs a dualistic metaphysics of body and soul to allow for the possibility of spiritual freedom despite the reality of human bondage:
A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one.
In other words, Luther's notion of Christian freedom is consistent with human slavery. Luther himself denounced peasants who were at least partly inspired by his teachings to rise up against their feudal overlords. During the Peasants' War, the protestant reformer admonished the "murderous thieving hordes of peasants" first and foremost for breaking an implicit oath of "submission and obedience" to their social and political masters.

Update: Rod has responded to my question regarding Luther's dualism, and sides against Luther's "two kingdom theory", concluding:
Dualism is unnecessary. Those who have been set free by the power of the Gospel are free in the world, to engage the world . . . a proportional representation system would benefit the church, third parties, the poor, and every American.
Thanks Rod!


Rod said...

Hey D.Eris,

Thank you for taking the time to read my Terrible Two System party post. I have responded to your questions about Martin Luther's theology. thanks again.


d.eris said...

Great, I'll update the post. Thanks.