“Running the Show” by Martin Marty

October 17, 2005

Source: The Martin Marty Center


On October 17, 2005 The Martin Marty Center ran an editorial by Martin Marty, head of The Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago regarding religion and politics. "This is not a column about who should be on the U. S. Supreme Court. It is about how various religious groups in pluralist America, this time particularly the agents of the Christian Right, conceive their contributions and hoped-for payoffs. It is occasioned by the stream of reports in print and voicings on talk radio from enraged members of this Right, who feel betrayed because they did not all get a candidate who would declare him- or herself on controversial Court issues... 'Running the show' is a way of saying that a religious group seeks to call the tunes, hold the vetoes, overwhelm other religious groups (and 'secular' forces), and have their religious motifs privileged in public places, etc... Lord Acton's cliché about power corrupting and absolute power corrupting absolutely still has relevance. Though 'others' have not organized against the 'embattled minority,' pluralism itself may act as a check."