Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Religion and Politics

As I understand this notion of separation of church and state we seem to have got it all mixed up over the years. First of all, as I understand it, this notion is not actually in the constitution. It actually comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. Second, my understanding is that it was a phrase termed to keep the government out of running the church and creating a state church as they have in most (if not all) European nations. I think it was assumed that leaders would most certainly bring their faith to the table as they entered in political discussion.

Now, it seems, we have completely reversed matters. We have people who will fight to their death to bring the American flag front and center into worship (Is that really a symbol of our worship? Can we find important places outside of our worship space for the sake of those who find their patriotism to be important in their life?), and some of those very same people who will go to battle to remove the ten commandments from the courthouse. This just doesn't seem right to me. I think we need to work to reverse this trend. Let's keep the government out of our church business and let's stop trying to shut God out of our courthouses and political dialogues.

Kelly Fryer wrote an interesting post about this on her blog today, which you can read here. Her suggestion is that JFK started this trend of taking faith out of politics and political discussion. It would make sense that he needed to be elected as a Catholic at that time. However, she wonders if Obama may be taking steps to interject faith back into the discussion. If he is it will take all of us helping to be successful in bringing it back in.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I spent time composing a lengthy email, only to find this link that you might find instructive: