Should Politicians Talk About God In The Public Arena?
By Mike Edwards
Spiritual leaders and politicians say we must turn to God as a nation. But believers and unbelievers in God don’t share their understanding of truth and God. Moral truths can be pursued through one’s understanding of natural law or God, depending on their beliefs. Natural law truths are inherent in nature. Godly truths are inherent by understanding God. Truths are not based on one’s personal feelings or one’s understanding of God through a Book such as the Bible. Truths can be pursued by open debate and common moral sense, not canceling different opinions.
Believers in God must appreciate that God doesn’t force beliefs on others
If God imposes beliefs on others, why doesn’t God annihilate immediately those who oppose God by choosing evil? God hasn’t. Why would God’s love be any different than human parenting love. Parents bring children into the world hoping their children freely reciprocate their love for authentic relationships. God doesn’t assume or seek to impose beliefs. I am convinced that is how politicians must communicate who choose to represent all their constituents. They may share their personal beliefs but not communicate to imply God commanded a new world order.
Don’t natural and godly principles have commonality?
Do you know any rational being who doesn’t accept we should treat others like we want to be treated? Certain behaviors are universally immoral to all rational beings such as physical or sexual abuse. Criminals often deny not justify their actions. We seem to have an inborn sense of good and evil, whether believing in a God or not. Political views such as health care, taxes, immigration, etc. are often not black and white and demand questioning. Those who don’t believe in God must stop demonizing by moralizing their personal opinions. God-followers must stop claiming their view is morally superior according to their personal interpretation of a Book such as the Bible.
Assumptions God believing folks make for all
Well-meaning people passionate about God say in the public arena “we need a biblical worldview.” Are they unaware that their understanding is according to their interpretation of a Book? See here. Those with different interpretations or doubts about God aren’t rejecting morality. Politicians and citizens can speak of God in their personal lives without implying God forces beliefs on others.
It is often said God blessed the United States as opposed to other nations, implying God withheld blessings from others. One who claims to be God can’t bless arbitrarily. For Bible folks God blessing Israel was an act to bless all nations (Gen. 12:3). Maybe God’s blessings result from accepting God’s influence personally or by striving to treat others like you want to be treated. See here.
How can God-believers speak of their faith?
In a free country, as opposed to a dictatorship, people should be able to talk about their personal beliefs openly. If you believe your personal view of climate change is natural law, reconsider. If you believe those who don’t agree with your interpretation of the Bible are wrong, reconsider. Open discussions are vital to strive for the greatest good. Politicians represent both God-folks and non-God folks. I am the former but I am offended by all this God and Bible talk by politicians as if the public arena is their private church. Talking about God collectively than your own personal experience fails to represent those who don’t believe in God or may not share your views on God.
Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like He can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org