Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...



I've been a lazy blogger lately... I have no excuse. Hopefully, as the weather cools off and I spend more time inside, I'll have more time to write.

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I had a conversation recently about religion and politics. Someone suggested the faith should not be involved in people's political decision making because it violates the separation of church and state. There are many arguments against this fallacy, but during the course of our conversation I proposed the following:

There is no way to separate “faith” from political decision-making, because for most Americans there is no way to separate “faith” from “values/morality”. Our laws are by their very nature "moral" - through the power of "law" society imposes moral order. Since most people are religious or subscribe to some faith, it would be unfair to tell these religious people that they must make their value-decisions (when voting for a candidate or a ballot initiative, etc.) without utilizing their faith…you are telling people to jettison a part of who they are if they want to engage in politics. This has never been the case in American history…in fact I would argue that belief in a Creator is a foundational principle in this country.

Now certainly we cannot legislate *theology* or *doctrine*; we cannot establish a national *church*. I would submit to you that that what was meant by “separation of church and state” is that our government cannot dictate religious belief or require its citizens to subscribe to a particular faith. Specifically it means that the State (our government) is to remain separated from the Church (ecclesial bodies). And so we must consider that while “church and state” must remain separate, there can never be a separation of “faith and politics” nor did the Framers intend any such separation.

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