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Fri, August 12, 2011
America Needs Religious Politicians
By Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
America needs religious politicians. With a few notable exceptions, it doesn't have any.
Our country is not lacking in political opportunists who exploit religion for their own purposes. On both the right and left, candidates and elected officials see religion as a tool intended to attract voter support or as a prop intended to add weight to a campaign brochure. The result is that references to religion in a political campaign are more likely to generate contempt than respect.
When I say that I would like to see some religious politicians, what I have in mind are politicians who do the following:
- Are religiously observant in their personal lives.
- Are prepared to discuss religion thoughtfully in the public square and to share how their personal religious beliefs have shaped their values and political positions. (It is a misunderstanding of the First Amendment to suggest that we are prohibited from referring to religion in conversations on public policy; failing to do so impoverishes the debate and is a disservice to our democracy.)
- Understand the need to articulate positions in the language of American civic values, even when religion was a significant factor in determining those positions. (It is surely appropriate for theology to influence political thinking, but in our pluralistic democracy one should not expect others to accept arguments made primarily on theological grounds. One who cannot translate his beliefs into the common parlance of American democracy should not be serving in public life.)
- Are firm in their religious convictions while avoiding the extremist rhetoric of the right and the moral self-righteousness of the left. (Think Rick Santorum in the first category and Jimmy Carter in the second.)
Please click HERE to read the entire article...
And from The Urantia Book:
99:3.15 Religionists, as a group, must never concern themselves with anything but religion, albeit any one such religionist, as an individual citizen, may become the outstanding leader of some social, economic, or political reconstruction movement.
99:3.3 The religionist is not unsympathetic with social suffering, not unmindful of civil injustice, not insulated from economic thinking, neither insensible to political tyranny. Religion influences social reconstruction directly because it spiritualizes and idealizes the individual citizen. Indirectly, cultural civilization is influenced by the attitude of these individual religionists as they become active and influential members of various social, moral, economic, and political groups.
195:8.11 The inherent weakness of secularism is that it discards ethics and religion for politics and power. You simply cannot establish the brotherhood of men while ignoring or denying the fatherhood of God.
195:9.4 Religion does need new leaders, spiritual men and women who will dare to depend solely on Jesus and his incomparable teachings. If Christianity persists in neglecting its spiritual mission while it continues to busy itself with social and material problems, the spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new teachers of Jesus’ religion who will be exclusively devoted to the spiritual regeneration of men. And then will these spirit-born souls quickly supply the leadership and inspiration requisite for the social, moral, economic, and political reorganization of the world.
Link to External Source Article
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