“Put Not Your Trust in Princes”: Modern America’s Idolatry of Politics and The Gnostic Qualities of the Great Awokening
This project traces the historical and spiritual causes of the religious fervor with which twenty-first century Americans engage in politics. After making observations about declining rates of traditional religious worship and belief in God, I devote time to identifying and defining the forms of “political idolatry” that have crept into American politics in recent years, among which are LGBTQ+ activism, New Racialism, Obsessive Environmentalism, and Trumpism. Proponents of these movements demonstrate elements of religious worship in their attempts to propagate their visions for society, which tend to lead to worship of the State. Spiritually speaking, I attribute this to the Fall of Man. Historically speaking, I point to the ancient heresy of Gnosticism as the driving force behind this political worship, arguing that buying the Gnostic philosophy of “immanentizing the eschaton” leads to totalitarianism. To conclude, I offer a Christian vision for proper engagement with government that avoids political idolatry.