Thursday, October 23, 2008

Separation of Church and State

I heard Whoopi Goldberg in a John McCain interview rudely demand, "Do you believe in separation of church and state? Do you believe in separation of church and state?" He answered "yes" with a follow-up about faith's inevitable role. Nonetheless, I imagine if McCain were Kabbalah, et al Whoopi would have down-shifted her attack.

Why do some feel "separation of church and state" (which insists the government cannot force religion on its people) means we must divorce our moral worldview from political decision-making? How can I determine what is right, without first considering what is right? Isn't it a first principle of sorts for decision-making? Am I missing something?

I heard someone ask – why does your religion create laws that influence me? That's because my religion is my worldview; I believe it is true. Everyone believes their worldview is true. Those who believe many worldviews are true believe the "many worldviews are true" worldview is true. You see? If you believe something, you have a duty (and right) to act on accordingly. Don't you?

Here's a quote:

"Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King—the majority of great reformers in American history—were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their 'personal morality' into public-policy debates is a practical absurdity."

What do you think of that remarkable quote?

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