Thursday, June 14, 2012

Church and Politics

I just got off the phone with a very polite, and I'm sure nice, woman who wanted to bring petitions by the church building for people to sign.  The change this group is trying to bring about is one I don't happen to agree with ~ but that's not what kept me from going along with her request.  (I've been known to sign petitions that I don't agree with because I believe the issue should be on the ballot.)

When I told her 'no', she couldn't believe that I didn't want those petitions at church.  Further, she seemed astounded that I didn't want my congregation to appear to support one side of an issue on which people of tremendous faith disagree. 

She tried to convince me that Jesus would have been on her side.  She also tried to convince me that Jesus would have (and certainly did) take on the political leaders, and that because he did, we should also.

Well, Jesus certainly did confront the political and religious leaders of his day.  I'm pretty sure, though, that he never tried to pass legislation to impose his religious beliefs on someone else.

I pointed out to my phone-caller that scripture talks way more about poverty than it does about her issue.  I wish I would have thought to say that I'd love to support her cause just as soon as we legislated away hunger, homelessness, and poverty.

I also wish I would have thought to say that I find it dangerous, in a nation that professes freedom of religion, to legislate beliefs.  In fact, imposing religious beliefs on those who aren't part of that religious tradition borders on abuse.

I don't know if that would have helped, though, since I have a feeling she would be comfortable with (her version of) a Christian Theocracy.



  1. ... not much that can be objectively evaluated here, since you don't mention the specific issue being addressed by the petitions ... it makes your post come across unfortunately pious and self-righteous ...

    1. Thanks for your evaluation, Anonymous. I did not intend to be either pious or self-righteous, and I apologize that that's how you experienced this post. I was attempting to stay away from politically charged issues in this particular post, but I can see your point. I'll try to write something better for you ~ check back later.