Religion and government -- can they get along? Can we keep the tenets of religious faith and the duties of our elected officials separate? Should we?
I think most American's, when asked, would agree with the abstract premise that religion and government should be kept separate. After all, its enshrined in the Constitution. However, the public is somewhat schizophrenic on this issue: a large portion of the public wants our elected officials to be 'god fearing' folk. Simply believing in the good old
While personal faith is one thing, I believe an overt display of religious faith in an elected official is something to fear -- for many reasons – and not seek out. Let’s focus on Christianity since it’s the dominate faith. I think this applies to Muslim and Jews too, but I’m not an “ex” Muslim so I can’t speak to experience.
Electing people who have strong religious belief is simply not healthy for our form of government. It sets up an inherent conflict within the official. We’re seeing a lot of this now with everything from the presidents ‘faith based initiatives’ to his ‘stay the course’ (cuz god told me to smite the evil-doers) attitude in
A couple examples.
The first "Commandment" - Thou shalt have no god before me... A good Christian wants to uphold this commandment right? But what about the first "Amendment" - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion... If you're an elected official you can practice one privately, but publicly you better "profess your faith" to the First Amendment...
How many of our god fearing officials do you currently see standing up for the First Amendment? I don’t see many. I see more Tom Delay clones barking about ‘godless judges’ and ‘removing god from our schools’ (like he was ever there to begin with) than I see officials standing up to defend the rights of protestors (even tho you may disagree with their position).
Aren’t these guys supposed to be trumpeting our rights under the Constitution as opposed to shouting about our obligations to their version of god?
"Thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy god in vain" conflicts with an elected official’s responsibility to UPHOLD the rights of people to say what they want about god – like the fact that if she exists she’s likely really pissed with the current group of pharoses running the country.
The problem with our populace is that they want their elected officials to be "godly" and lawful... Well, you know what the bible says about serving two masters... Maybe the faith based crowd should go back to doing what they do best: annoying the rest of us by shouting about god’s second coming on street corners while letting the rest of us handle the mundane, earthly things like running the country.