The notion that our political views shouldn’t be informed by our religious beliefs is absurd. Those who hyperventilate about “theocracies” and “separation of church and state” (a phrase that many people now realize wasn’t in the Constitution) are just trying to silence Bible-believing Christians. If you take their views to their logical conclusion it would mean we should always do the opposite of what our religious beliefs would dictate. Our Christian views inform our political views about stealing and murder being wrong, so do we have to be silent on those as well?
And it would mean that those people would have to use the same arguments against religious people on the Left. But Leftists have used those canards for years in the most hypocritical ways. Here’s a recent example:
Good Morning America’s Sara Haines responded that she “loved” that “we’re standing together” on support for the LGBT community but warned religion needed to stay out of politics. Considering Islam was the religion which drove the shooter to commit mass-murder, you would think that particular one would be getting the lecture. But Haines followed Goldberg’s lead and scolded Christian conservative politicians to keep their religions “at home” and “in your family” but not in “our politics.”
Here’s a simple response to anyone who says things like that: Please show me one place in recorded history, including anywhere on the Internet, where you used the same reasoning to silence the “Christian” Left. After all, they attempt to “force” their religious views on us at every turn: They insist that Jesus is so pro-abortion that it must be legal to kill the child up to her first breath*, that you have to petition the government to redistribute wealth by force, that you must teach 5 yr. old children how great the gay lifestyle is and how they might not “really” be their biological gender, that Jesus is against capital punishment, that you can’t control your borders, that you can’t go to war to protect your country, etc. They are loud and proud about “forcing” their religious views on the populace, so why don’t you apply your beliefs to them?
As you can imagine, all you will get is crickets chirping. They live 24×7 in their Leftist education / media / government / entertainment echo chambers so they don’t realize that they are being so transparently hypocritical. If voting in line with your religious views is always wrong then they should apply that to those on the Left as well. But they don’t, because they are just using a rhetorical trick to shut you up.
Don’t let them get away with it. We are self-governed, in the sense that we elect our representatives. Therefore, we are obliged to let our morality influence our political views.
Also consider that one of the complaints about Christianity is that parts of the church were “silent” during the Holocaust, slavery or civil rights movements, which in some people’s eyes implied approval.
The “wall of separation” argument has been misunderstood and misapplied. It is not in any founding government documents. Even when Jefferson wrote about the “wall” in a private letter, it was not in the context of the government limiting religious activities in public. It was to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with religious expressions.
If you want to bring Jefferson’s letter into the debate, then fairness requires bringing in the background letters of the founders which reflect how they really felt about God and government.
Here is the First Amendment in its entirety:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now focus on the complete portion of the first amendment relating to religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ” That’s it!
Was the intent of the 1st Amendment to restrict religious liberties or protect them? You need to answer that before addressing any related issues. The Bill of Rights was written to give rights to citizens, not government.
The first freedom in the First Amendment is religious freedom. The Amendment was made to give religious freedom to religious people so Congress could not pass laws limiting their freedoms. It was not written to protect atheists from religious expression in the public square. If you look at successive drafts of the First Amendment, this becomes more and more clear.
According to the Constitution, any state could have their own religion (provided that their own constitution permitted it). Not that I think that would be a good idea. Also, there is nothing to suggest that churches can’t partner with the government (though I am leery of churches that come to rely on government aid).
But do I want, for example, religion taught in public schools? Definitely not. There are countless theologically bankrupt churches I wouldn’t send my kids to on a bet. So why would I trust that any government sponsored religious teachings would be doctrinally sound?
The U.S. does not become a de facto theocracy if our religious beliefs inform our politics. We still need go in the public square to persuade the countless non-Christians that our views make sense. For example, when I train people in pro-life reasoning at the pregnancy center where I volunteer, I always break the reasoning into secular and religious arguments. It is actually quite simple to argue the pro-life position without using the Bible.
If atheists or people of other faiths disagree with us, that is fine. It is part of the process. But anytime someone acts as if your religious beliefs shouldn’t inform your political views, they are wrong. The 1st Amendment protects that right, it doesn’t restrict it.
So while I wouldn’t want pastors endorsing candidates from the pulpit, the notion that the Left gets to label something as political to prevent us from talking about it in church (e.g., abortion) is ridiculous. Why would any Christian think that something is outside the sovereignty of God?
*The “Christian” Left is far more extreme in their pro-abortion agenda than the average pro-choice person. They insist that life begins at the first breath and insist that Jesus is fine with killing unwanted children until that point. I realize how ridiculous their views sound and how many people must think I’m making a straw-man argument. But that is just because their own words are so clear and extreme:”According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.” More here about how to respond, with full, in-context quotes from them.