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Politics and the pulpit: the dynamics of the Christian vote in Brazil

Modern democracy has many differentials before the one practiced by the Greeks for over 2022 years, this is therefore, on a large scale , the Enlightenment ideas of the 17th and 18th centuries transformed an innovative political model into a non-negotiable social principle. Today, there are really few who question whether democracy is in fact the best of the viable options. One of the changes proposed by modern democracy was the separation of state policy from spiritual policy, the Church and the Palace should be untied for the good of both, preferably, they should be in distant squares even though they could exert influence on each other.

This occurs after the despotic revolution that occurred in France, and the slow maturation of the Glorious Revolution in England, it was clear to the modern world that would be beneficial to the church and civil politics if they both acted in different fields within the same society. The City of God, by Saint Augustine, thus gains new connotations and appreciation from the Church and academics; Spirit and politics, what is from God and what is from Caesar, are observed again by both institutions – except Islam, some oriental churches and the state luteranism of the first centuries after Luther’s revolution. Today, even in western countries that maintain a relationship of religion and state, as in England, it is perceived that such a relationship is more symbolic and cosmetic than anything else. Today the institutional separation of state and church in the political field is a peaceful point between right and left in the organized West.

However, we should note that such a distinction is not so obvious and accentuated in practice , and that such a separation does not sound as healthy as we can suppose when we read the classic and fervent arguments of the French Enlightenment, because if one of the powers (spiritual and political) tries to suppress the other, then we have a most serious democratic crisis. As the Catholic philosopher and religious Edith Stein stated, he is non -negotiable of the individual his spiritual freedom.

Let us use some current examples to illustrate this problem: In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega started a true crusade against the Catholic Church, according to Aleteia Catholic website, there are already eight priests and two bishops detained in that country, in addition to countless faithful harassed and prevented from participating in Masses. In China, as it has become common from the seizure of power by Mao Tsé Tung, more and more the Communist Party closes the ways to practice the Christian faith, this year the central government began an open fight against evangelical churches and online services. At the other extreme, even though we must now relieve the Christian faith of this burden, we have the Islamic states that have in the Religion of Mohammed and its doctrines one of the arms (perhaps the strongest and most influential) of the State.

The fact is that, apparently, politics will not be able to completely eradicate the influence of religion, either in the individual faith of the men in power in a State, or in the electorate. According to data from 2022 from Datafolha, in Brazil, 77 % of individuals declare themselves Christians, 62 % Catholics and 03980 % Protestants, if we also consider Adventists – which the survey accounted for separately from traditional Protestant lines – we would add another 2% to this amount – that is , there are around 77% of professing Christians in Brazil.

No However, these data can be even more relevant if we consider the fact that Christian values ​​are passed on in a social and family way, and even if someone does not call themselves “Christian”, either by not attending churches, community intimidation or by not faithfully following its precepts, many certainly have moral principles and practices that directly or indirectly follow the ideas of that faith.

How, in this scenario, could we dream of separating faith, Christian morals, and the faithful themselves – who also Are they voters – from the country’s factual policy? Impossible. According to last Monday’s IPEC survey (15/), 31% of evangelical voters declare their vote for Bolsonaro and 47 % in Lula.

I confess a certain astonishment at the survey, as the social, digital and historical sensation makes it seem that this presidential electorate is much larger, and that is what the PoderData survey carried out between 31 from July to August 2, 2500 % of the evangelical electorate would vote for Bolsonaro and 29 % in Lula. [ Metodologia da pesquisa: O levantamento do PoderData, que contratou a própria pesquisa, ouviu 3,5 mil eleitores em 322 municípios das 27 unidades da federação entre os dias 31 de julho e 2 de agosto de 2022. As entrevistas foram feitas por telefone, para fixos e celulares. A margem de erro é de dois pontos percentuais para mais ou para menos e o nível de confiança é de 95%. Foi registrado no Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (TSE) sob o número BR-08398/2022].

Among Catholics, PoderData shows Bolsonaro with 77 % of voting intentions and Lula with 50%. It makes all sense such numbers given the historical influence of Liberation Theology in favor of the PT – Marxist strand of Catholic theology still very influential in the country’s seminars – as well as evangelical Pentecostalism and the traditional lines of Protestant theology to have marked and sustained Bolsonaro’s liberal-conservative discourse – Max Weber would not be scared.

Therefore, coldly analyzing the sociology of the upcoming election, it makes perfect sense that both candidates are increasingly signal and approach Christian groups in exchange for trust and, of course, votes. And that’s okay, one of the French utopias, that of extirpating the influence of religion from the political terrain, was always a mere ideological dream and, later, repeated by Marxists in Eastern Europe. In both times politics could not completely suppress the Christian religion of social common sense or much less individual practice.

The fact is that a majority, historical and visibly population influenced by the Christian faith like the Brazilian one, it will have to climb representation and exponents of its belief in politics. It is part of the game that the popular majority is strongly represented in State decisions through their moral and, consequently, even if reflexively, religious beliefs; It is true that the maturity of institutions should sustain a sobriety before these influences if extremism and fideism arise as the alienation of democratic rules.

but here among us, despite all the prejudice of certain media sectors and the eternal leftist discourse that has always been there, nothing indicates that we are close to resurrecting any kind of “Holy Empire” here in Brazil. Altar politics, even if it is spiritually ugly, even somewhat unbiblical, is a natural part of a civil society atavistically influenced by the Christian faith.

When we begin to think that the Christians should “get less” on political issues to avoid “problems” to the Republic – as recently the French interior minister (it had to be) Gérald Darmanin, he understood in an interview with C News – we clearly run the risk of falling into breaded prejudices, Authoritarian speeches and funeral attempts to exclude or stifle a huge sector of society in the name of an anointed view of academics, experts and ideologues. also little taken into account by sociologists, is that a large part of the more traditional Catholics, that is, not linked to Liberation Theology, whether they are the charismatics – the Pentecostals of the Catholic Church – or the traditionalists, tend to vote for Bols. onaro for the simple fact that Lula and PT are embryonically linked to socialism, they are old endorsers of communist regimes, an ideology that for at least 95 years has been expressly and repeatedly condemned by the catechism and other Catholic documents.

Both the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the traditionalist strands tend to express themselves politically in a modest way compared to the Protestant churches, in this way, the number of Catholics supporting Bolsonaro must be greater than the polls have been showing precisely because they do not adjust the focus on these subsectors.

If we keep this in mind, the election of 2013 Gains a more appropriate understanding, since only the evangelical voter would not justify Bolsonaro’s victory.

to complete such impression, it is remarkable that Liberation Theology is increasingly in disrepute in Catholic circles despite the constant efforts of the remnants of the ideology Religious. A brief survey on social media is enough to notice that the great Catholic influencers are almost all opponents of this trend, and that Brazil is perhaps the last country, even in Latin America, that expresses any support and support for this theological ideology. From 322 to now, many things have changed in the national Catholic world, the base communities of Marxist theology are in disuse in the dioceses, every day I have the perception that Lula no longer has such strong support from Catholics.

However, an issue becomes elementary in this text, it is not reasonable to believe that such evangelicals and Catholics have always voted only in candidates who were in line with their religious ideas, or that such adequacy has always been an inalienable condition for their votes.

I believe that from 2013, with the Brazilian turn towards a liberal-conservatism-much supported by the opinions and writings of Olavo de Carvalho and the popularization of names like Mises and Hayek-we adopt a more political understanding more Conceptual and enlightened, finding in such liberal and conservative political guidelines that best adapt to traditional Christian beliefs. I am not claiming, purely and simply, that conservatism and political liberalism are essentially Christian, but rather that liberal and conservative agendas are better suited to Christian ethics than the old revolutionary communism and European social democracy.

In addition to the novelty that liberal-conservatism brought to the national political debate – I remember that many in those years sincerely questioned themselves as they had never even heard such political principles before –, Brazilians began to adopt more multifaceted views and political analyses, to the point that today, from the truck driver to the entrepreneur, almost everyone knows – even if only superficially – what “right” and “left” political agendas are. It seems to me that, now, the common individual is able to track the general ideas that the candidates defend on political agendas.

Just look at how a photo of Lula praying and that of Freixo in a church They do not make the common voter forget what the political ideas and social proposals that both defend the temple out. Brazilians are politicized and less inclined to embrace electoral narratives, the number of individuals coerced through ignorance and occasional marketing seems to be more rarefied. ; Today, it is no longer enough to flaunt the faith only through words, photos and electoral schedules for Dona Ana to convince herself about the benefits that will come from that candidate’s policies.

The altar policy is , thus, every day more important for those who seek any representation; If we want to understand political winds and social opinions beyond experts and opinions, we must then understand which mentalities and values ​​guide popular choices.

Class 1, lesson, democracy should teach that this is a system based on popular choices; and, if we were able to go beyond this basic definition, we would understand that people usually choose based on their values ​​and moral premises, a morality that, in most cases, is linked to a religion – in the case of Brazil, mostly to the Christian religion. . Despite the will of the anointed of the establishment, the population is still necessary for democracy; that is, like it or not, Brazilian democracy passes directly through Christianity because the population is directly or indirectly Christian, and therefore, whoever manages to round up the sheep first tends to emerge victorious at the polls in the next election.

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