Sunday, January 08, 2012

 

Sunday Reflection: Religion and Politics

One thing I find dispiriting about the Republican primaries is the way that the candidates talk about their faith. I'm not one of those, though, who thinks that politicians should not talk about their faith-- rather, I think they should talk about it more.

Here is what I mean by that: When Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann talk about gay marriage as a threat to Christianity, they lay it out as if that is an obvious conclusion. It isn't. Many Christians, including me, have come to the conclusion that state-sanctioned marriage for same-sex couples would be a good thing.

They should talk about this more-- specifically, they should describe how they get to such a position from the Gospels, which so often counsel love and tolerance between us, as judgment is left to God. Second, they should describe why this faith belief of theirs should be imposed on others who may or may not be Christians.

In the same way, Barack Obama needs to talk about his faith more. It's not enough to assert that he isn't a Muslim. Rather, he should talk openly and actively about his faith life, and how it informs his work. I also wish that Mitt Romney would speak plainly about his own faith. Being a Mormon is nothing to be ashamed of, and he needs to assert the primacy of that part of his life.

Sadly, I think religion is too often used as a prop, or something to attack. In reality, though, to people of faith, it is something that infuses all that we do with meaning. Leaving that color out of the picture they present of themselves is untrue and distorted, and we are owed the truth.

Comments:
From what I have seen, Santorum generally speaks out against gay marriage as a detriment to society not necessarily as a threat to Christianity.

Can you provide a few more specifics to illustrate your objection?
 
Sadly, when I saw him talk about this it was on television, addressing a religious group in Iowa, and he very clearly was talkiing about it in faith terms. Damn you, decline of print media!
 
Why can't we just accept that President Obama is not Muslim and that he is not a man of any faith? He has shown that to be true; yet, those who oppose him insist he is Muslim and his supporters claim he is Christian.
 
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