Applying faith to politics isn’t an easy task. This is especially true in the USA.
Americans of faith frequently point out the freedom of religion that is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Yet, they often overlook the full implication of that freedom.
Freedom of religion means that one is free to practice one’s religious beliefs so long as one does not harm another. However, the same freedom also means that one is free to not conform to another’s religious beliefs.
The U.S. Constitution forbids the government from forcing people to conform to any religious teaching. Still, that fact doesn’t stop some Americans from striving to turn their religious beliefs into civil law. It is as if those people are saying, “Freedom of religion for me but not for thee.”
The words separation of church and state may not appear in the U.S. Constitution, but the idea is implied in that document. In short, Americans of faith cannot turn the USA into a theocracy of their liking.
Still, it is only natural that one would want to apply one’s faith to politics. It is only a matter of how to do it without infringing on the rights of others.
Applying faith to politics should begin by acknowledging something that all people have in common. That something is our damaged, fallen spiritual state.
One ought not to repeat the foolishness of Ann Coulter, who said, “There are a lot of bad Republicans. There are no good Democrats.”
[Note: The above hyperlink goes to an image that is accompanied by a recording of Ann Coulter talking to Sean Hannity. The recording plays automatically.]
Coulter claims to be a Christian, but if she had bothered to study the New Testament, then she would know that, from a Christian perspective, there are no good Republicans and no good conservatives, either.
Anyway, applying faith to politics should also include an acknowledgement of the limitations of the government. Some problems can only be solved by a change of heart, but the government cannot change hearts.
People of faith can politely debate among themselves additional ways to apply faith to politics. This writer simply wants to get such a conversation started.