The recent death of Jerry Falwell reminded me of the discussions that have taken place regarding the role of religion in the public square, especially the reactions to his efforts to mobilize voters with “traditional values.” Let me make a few points on the subject for your consideration:
(1) People vote their values. What’s wrong with voting values that are informed by a person’s religion?
(2) Some people make the ridiculous statement that “you can’t legislate morality.” Think about it. Every law is a reflection of someone’s concept of morality, ethics, or fairness. So of course we can and do legislate morality with every law we pass.
(3) In Western society, laws have been traditionally based on the Bible’s concept of morality, ethics, or fairness. Why eliminate biblical thinking now?
(4) Many secularists invoke the separation of church and state erroneously. This is a large topic, but let me just say that the current interpretation of the First Amendment is far from what the Founders had in mind. This revisionist interpretation of the Constitution is being used to suppress a segment of the population from expressing their opinions, misusing one part of the Constitution in an attempt to restrain the constitutional rights of a segment of the population.
(5) There are many different voting blocs and lobbying groups representing every kind of special interest, including gambling interests and pornography. Why shouldn’t people of faith have a voting bloc and lobbying groups so that what they feel is important can be discussed in the public square?
Before you start believing some of the idiotic statements made in an effort to suppress people of faith from expressing their views, think about the intent of the Constitution and the document upon which it was based, our founding document, The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution was never intended to be used to limit what people of faith could do or say. Instead, it was intended to protect people of all faiths from an oppressive government that might try to silence them or outlaw the practice of their particular faith.