Friday, February 1, 2008

Politics and religion

Two topics you should never discuss in bars and at family reunions. But on a blog -- they're in open season. In this presidential election cycle, I've seen more discussion of the role religion plays in politics. Here's a few of my thoughts:

Most say you shouldn't mix politics and religion. If you are talking about basing political decisions on religous affliation, I would agree. The conflict in Northern Ireland is an example of that. When it comes to political positions based on religous beliefs, how can you keep those separated?

Too many people try to make Jesus into some kind of a social or political revolutionary. Sure, He talked about taking care of the poor. But He never said anything about government doing that. He did say we would always have poor people among us. Why do some then try to eliminate poverty by political or government means? I often hear people say the government shouldn't spend money on the space program, the war on drugs, military defense, etc., that the money should be spent on the poor. Yet I never hear anyone say that candidates for political office shouldn't spend millions on TV ads, that that money should go to the poor. (I will probably add another post later, on whether Jesus is a conservative or a liberal, and go more in depth.)

Many of my fellow evangelical Christians are reluctant to vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. I do see most Mormon beliefs as false, so I would nver encourage any one to become a Mormon. But does that disqualify him as President? IIRC, President Taft in the early 20th cetnury was a Unitarian. Unitarians' basic beliefs differ from those of most who call themselves Christian. While Taft might not be regarded as a great or outstanding president, he is not considered to be a bad president either. He also served on the Supreme Court after his presidency, and his record as a justice is comparable to his record as president. In light of this, and considering Romney's record, his experience in government and business, and the way he conducts himself, I would have no problems with him as president. Of the candidates left in the race, he appears the most presidential to me.

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