In The Culture of Disbelief, Stephen L. Carter wrote that religion is a way of denying authority of the rest of the world, while telling fellow human beings we won’t consent to their will. So, do we want the wills of others to determine what we believe? Is “political and social correctness” necessary for us to get along in the world?
Discussing politics in a book about faith might seem distasteful. However, discussions about faith and politics occur in the media, at political debates, and even at the dinner table.
Critical thinking, the process of gathering information from different sources, analyzing the data, and drawing our own conclusions helps us weed out pseudo-religious words and phrases that aren’t faith based. Over time, we establish for ourselves how to apply our faith to politics, and often in unexpected ways. We should never assume that a conservative Christian will always vote Republican or a liberal Christian will always vote Democrat. It’s a simplistic view of a very complex issue. Let’s remember that political rhetoric concerning faith is just that, rhetoric. In addition, when we hear “God bless America” at the end of a political speech, let’s not assume that the speaker has authentic faith, nor is faith the impetus for the sign-off.
Mixing faith with philosophies, political affiliations, and other peoples’ mindsets is risky because it diminishes our faith and makes us uncomfortable when others disagree. With the ugliness of twenty-first century politics, why are we so inclined to remain silent rather than voice a different opinion?
The Apostle Paul says:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Romans 12:2-3)
Next time: Made In God’s Image