Faith in Public Life
Seeing as how the national debate over nearly every issue in the land is becoming distinctly flavored by Religious overtones, I feel it necessary to clarify my position on such influence. This issue, perhaps, is what allows me to use the moniker "centrist" more than almost any other. I grew up in a deeply religious setting, but unlike some of the more famous denominations of the day, my particular sect did not believe that it was a Christian’s place to be involved in public life (a position that eventually led me away from that group), let alone a church’s. My background growing up with God very much a part of my life, but without the weekly exposure to the political wing of modern American churches has led me to the following beliefs.
I believe that the Constitution was not written in deference to Judeo-Christian principles, but that those same principles are still represented in that document due to their influence in the lives of its authors.
I do not believe that all public venues need be divested of every faith-inspired object – be it a monument, painting, or motto.
I despise the term “Happy Holidays.”
I believe that groups of public school students have a Constitutional right to pray together within school grounds, but that the school itself should not endorse or recognize these groups at public events as a matter of respect to students of different faiths.
I do not believe that elected representatives of this diverse American landscape have any place in insisting that their particular positions legislation and policy is the only way to please God, or that by inference their political opponents are evil-doers.
I believe that legislators should put all of the lessons and values learned through their faith into their service to our country, but I do not believe they should try to mold their country into the service of their faith.
I believe that the First Amendment protects government from undue influence of religion, and that it also protects the rights of expression for people of faith.
So how do all these principles translate into practical matters on the issue? We’ll be addressing the specific issues as they find their way into the headlines.