Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Long Holiday Weekend…

Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:13 am, September 4th 2009     —    1 Comment »

…so the pace of stuff to read has slowed waaaaaay down.  But, I want clear the decks so I can enjoy the weekend too.

A serious debate

 ”On Faith” wonders about teaching religion in public schools.   Interesting question.  Let’s look at it another way.  Can democracy truly survive without religion?  For freedom to be as free as it is in the United States, moral authority and government authority have to separate, but strong.  If either grows weak, the other will begin to usurp its authority and freedom will begin to be limited.  Consider the overtly religious language used in this video, but related to the president.

We can enjoy religious plurality because most religion shares a common essential morality.  Yes, they vary at the fringes, particularly when it comes to sexual practice, but if you think about it, that really is the fringe of morality when stacked up against the taking of a life, thievery, etc.  We fight a lot about sexual practice in this country precisely because we take the other moral issues pretty much for granted.

Does this say that the fight over things like Prop 8 is in vain?  To the contrary – that is a fight about a social institution, not a sexual practice.  Few people in this day and age want to argue over what goes on in the bedroom, just in the halls of the local registrar’s office.   But that also says the argument is essentially political/governmental, not religious.

Should we teach religion in schools?  Absolutely – and we need to teach especially about the role of religion in society.   As a “true believer” at a fairly young age, I remember being angry when taught that religion somehow “served” society in this role – as if it were some mere construct, not revealed truth.  But now I see that it is such an approach that has allowed me to continue to worship in the fashion I see fit, and allowed me the opportunity to try and convince people that my religion really is revealed truth.  Think about it, in a society where the government dictates religious practice, such an opportunity for debate could not exist.

The Real Enemy…

…Is, without a doubt the left.   As we have noted, talk of Mitt Romney’s religion is practically non-existent on our side of the aisle.  Not so the left.  This little excuse for a post from the Huffiington Post on the role of Twitter in the next cycles contains this gem:

A curious thought, sir, but can you imagine Mitt Romney twittering about his magic underpants in 2012? Hmm.

Were it not for the importance of simple Christian charity in my life, I would be unable to resist the temptation to respond with a direct insult.

Politically, that is very smart, but it is decidedly below the belt.  Why is it smart?  Well, we are working on our summaries of Campaign ’08 here (I know, it has been since October that we published anything, but we have not forgotten) and we will argue that it was the press forcing Romney’s religious affiliation down the public’s throat that created the opportunity for Mike Huckabee to act the jerk he did.  The left wants to keep that up as it will give them the same wedge in the future should Romney run again.  All the more reason the right has to get its act together on the issue and not help them.

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