Religion and politics - my Priest sounds off

Some thinking from my priest on his blog, Byzantine Ramblings, where he sounds off on what he believes should be the proper role of clergy in the realm of politics. We certainly find ourselves confronted with these questions with the religious leaders, such as James Dobson and Pat Robertson, who have announced their support for various GOP Presidential candidates:

I would certainly agree that it is highly improper for a religious leader to endorse or oppose particular candidates. Even when such opinions are expressed as personal opinions there remains potential for a perception of an institutional endorsement. What's more, taking such specific public positions risks linking the religious institution to one or the other party or candidate, and thus potentially alienating members of its own flock who might support the other side.

However, it is irrational to suppose that religious institutions and religious leaders should be silent regarding all things political. Indeed, it is impossible. While it would be immoral (if not illegal) for a religious institution to endorse particular candidates or parties, it would be hypocritical for a religion to proclaim certain values and then remain silent in the face of political issues that directly relate to those values. This is decidedly different from supporting or opposing candidates and political parties. To argue otherwise is ipso facto to deny to religion the right to a voice in the public sphere and the right to integrity in what it proclaims.

There's a lot more on this subject over on his blog, so I encourage all of you to go check it out. If you've got something to say, I encourage you to take a minute to go over to his blog and say it.

3 Response to "Religion and politics - my Priest sounds off"

  1. The Byzantine Rambler 11/2/08 05:28
    Dear Earl:

    Thanks for the Ref. I particularly like the balanced tone of your post that neither supports nor rejects the substance of my piece. I will be very interested to read any comments it generates.

    Fr T
  2. columbia (cae) airport moye 11/2/08 06:35
    i will
  3. west_rhino 11/2/08 15:46
    Eloquently stated, particularly in the face of some threats levelled to pastors in early caucus and primary states by an Ohio congress critter. We seem to have a selective memory as to the meaning of "Congress shall make no laws concerning the establishment of religion" and eschew the original intent, instead relying on an out of context comment from a President that was not involved in either drafting the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

    As there were pharisees 2000 years ago, the titles have been changed, but they're still willfully perverting the intentions of teh law.

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