The subject of religion and politics has been a much debated question.
Those on the negative side of the issue state that there must be a "separation of church and state." From this premise they argue that religious thought has no place in the political arena.
But how valid is the argument? Does separation of church and government mean the separation of religion and government?
"Thou shalt not murder," "Thou shalt not steal," (Matt. 19:18, Eph. 4:25-28) are two "religious" statements. Would any rational person attempt to remove these principles from our law books, thus legalizing murder and theft?
Our prisons and jails hold individuals who have been convicted of crime. I address this from my own experience as a former chaplain for the Oklahoma State Prison system. Thankfully, our judicial system still recognizes the necessity of following the religious precedents that define "right" and "wrong" conduct. (See Romans 13:1-3 for God's arrangement in all of this.)
"Lying" and "truthfulness" are religious concepts. Yet we appeal to them in our courts of law. All witnesses must promise to be truthful and the perjurer is duly punished. A president received the scorn of the nation a few years ago for his alleged lies and cover-up. Why, if religious principles have no place in government?
Upon close scrutiny it appears that many favor religious influence when it affords protection or benefit but oppose religious principles when they are contrary to their desires. Oh, consistency, thou art indeed a jewel!
That there must be laws that protect the law-abiding and punish the law-breaker is a fact too evident to need argumentation. Such laws find their basis in religious principles. Whether it is termed a moral, ethical or religious code is purely a matter of semantics. The fact is that such a system is not merely advisable, it is necessary for any society to exist.
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