COTTON: Farewell: A time and a season for religion, politics | Opinion

Wise King Solomon once said that there was a time and a season for everything. True words indeed.

About a dozen years ago I retired from full-time ministry because it was time. While serving, I saw the field of religion become dominated by politics. Church followers were driven more by what their favorite politicians said than by God, while church leaders subscribed to a similar philosophy in order to be able to lead them.

Since then, I have seen the other side of this equation happen where the realm of politics has become dominated by religion to the detriment of the country and its people.

This nation was born of the Enlightenment, where reason and science reigned over philosophy and therefore over politics. The divine right of kings was denied and the role and definition of government was rethought.

One of the biggest differentiators of this new experience was the idea that a nation could be ruled by people outside the church. After all, these thinkers had witnessed hundreds of years of church-directed bloodshed and oppression.

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America would be that place, like a beacon to the world that would be driven by reason – and the churches would be left free and independent to do their own thing. This has been called the wall of separation between Church and State, a giant step towards the future of humanity.

What made America great, I believe, is disappearing, drifting into archaic philosophies, oppressive and misogynistic ways. Bad theology, its absence and the love of things (manna) reign supreme. A handful of billionaires are revered and are the puppeteers.

My mission had been to provide reason, facts and lessons of history to people so they could stop for even a second and hold a different point of view than they knew. Those days, unfortunately, are over. People have chosen a tribe and adhere to whatever is said with blind allegiance, sometimes even having sect leaders. They don’t want to hear other thoughts, even though they are taught that was their enemy. My marriage counseling teachers would say that these tribes had irreconcilable differences, and so it is. They would also rightly say that both parties are to blame.

Until things change, it will only get worse and the hate will intensify. This tells me that once again it is time.

I am now retiring from politics and this will be my last column thereafter.

I am grateful to the Culpeper Star-Exponent for the opportunity to serve its readers. I also thank the community for taking the time to read my columns, whether you agree with my point of view or not. My only hope is that along the way, I’ve sparked an idea or presented you with a new vision.

I leave you with this thought: A house divided against itself cannot stand. It’s time to find a way to live in harmony in this country or all will be lost, known to history as a failed experiment. Let the United States in the United States mean “we”, not me.

May you and yours be blessed in all things! Good night!

Orange County resident Tim Cotton is the National Political Director of the Alliance Party. His opinions are his own, not necessarily the opinion of the party.

Minnie J. Leonard