Iran is a spectacle of the other-worldly principle of man's inhumanity to man. Joseph Stalin (whose real name was, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvilli) studied to be a priest but instead chose to be a dictator and murderer. (Roosevelt and Churchill called Stalin, "Uncle Joe", to soften his brutal reputation). Adolph Hitler also studied to be a priest and he too elected dictatorship and murderer to be his epitaph.
Doesn't it seem curious that those who are the designated spiritual leaders of Iran are also essentially dictators and murderers. (Iran is singled out here because it is so prominent in the news; little of which seems to be good news.)
There is an ugly, internal moral disconnect between spiritual leadership and political power in a country with thousands of years of history that traces back to Darius of the Medes and Persians who brilliantly overthrew ancient Babylon on the night of Belshazzar's debauched feast. Iran is the cradle of Zoroastrianism (Zarathustra) a central tenent of which is belief in life immortal based upon good works. Somehow there is a paucity of good works coming out of Iran.
If I were to opine (and, of course I will) there has never been a time in the sanginous (bloody) history of the world when politics and religion made good bedfellows: Not Babylon and Ishtar, not Persia and Mithra, not Greece and her multi-deities, not pagan Rome and her polytheism, not Rome and the bloodstained hands of her bishops, not the Holy Roman Empire, never in Russia, never and not now* in Germany, not in the many branches of Islam that slaughter each other going to and from worship in the mosque: Not now! Not ever!
The mind and heart of man is too small to balance politics and religion on anything other than brutality. That opinion-come-fact is written in the blood of millions of men, women, and children over thousands of years. Whoever believes they have a red-phone to God is destined, by the dictates of history and human nature, to be, and to perfect the art and science of suppression, oppression, dictatorship, and death; in that order, for that is the Devil's MO.
God does not send secret military militia to kill; men do that. God does not instruct his followers to behead and burn those who have a question needing an answer. Men do that. G-d does not put bullets into the brains of men and women whose minds do not resonate on every point of the leadership. Men do that.
Which reminds me; wasn't it Nancy Pelosi who said that anyone who opposes Health Care Reform in America is "Un-American?" Scary!
A final posit: the union of religion and a politik lies in the path of America's future. What will that look like? Should that (when it) occur(s) will look the same as it always has; authoritative, bullying, coercive, despotic, evisceratory, fatal, and godless. And that, friends, is how we will spell the union of religion and political power; ABCDEFG!
God help us! e.c.
*Berlin, 01 Decemer 2009: German Supreme Court overturns all local laws permitting Sunday shopping and ordered Sunday observed as day of national rest and worship. (A gift to Benedict XVI).