Don’t Mix Religion and Politics?

Don’t Mix Religion and Politics?

A reader made a comment on the About page of this site:

Honestly, religion and politics should never mix. Government is there to provide services for the people not to convert people to Christianity. I hope politicians will never be voted into office based on their faith rather than their morals or goals.

Here is my response:

Hello Austin, welcome to The Thirst for Freedom!

You made a pretty strong, dogmatic, and absolute statement (or series of statements) without providing any reasoning. I would like to hear your reasons for your assertions.

Your currently undefended statements (with my responses/questions):

  1. “Religion and Politics should never mix.” Why do you say that? What do you mean by “religion” and what do you mean by “politics?”
  2. “Government is there to provide services for people.” What do you base that assertion on?
  3. “Government is there … not to convert people to Christianity.” Well, I agree with that one. I don’t know anyone and haven’t heard of anyone in contemporary times who believes that “government” is for the purpose of converting people to anything.
  4. “politicians voted into office based on their faith rather than their morals or goals.” How is it possible to have morals outside of a religious worldview? Where do the morals come from? Is it possible to NOT have a religious worldview of some kind? Even atheists choose a religious worldview. They sometimes choose a system of beliefs based on naturalism that is in every way “religious” and then don’t allow their worldview to be analyzed “religiously” by insisting that their religious belief system is not “religious” because they do not believe in God.

Some thoughts: When you say “religion and politics should never mix” you imply that any ideas about God/Truth/Worldview/Etc. should not be included in our reasonings about how to implement a civil government. This is IMPOSSIBLE. I think if you say “government does not exist to force people to believe in a certain religious system” we can agree, but it is impossible for a religious worldview to not influence what principles of civil government we live out.

One reason that we do NOT want your view of government but instead would prefer a Christian system of government is this: In a Biblical Christian Worldview civil government exists to defend life, liberty and property by punishing those who would violate these things. The result is a system where men are free to pursue there own destinies. Ironically, an Atheist or a Muslim or a Jew, or any other kind of belief would be more free under a Christian system of government!

Now just to clarify, by “Christian system of government” I do NOT mean a system of government run by a church organization or by “religious authorities.” I mean a system of government based on Christian principles as revealed in the Bible.

Finally, your attempt to separate “faith” from “morals and goals” is futile. Everyone derives their morals and goals based on their core worldview beliefs. Everyone’s core worldview beliefs are derived from “religion” or whatever it is they choose to believe about God. While I would agree with the idea that it is an over simplification to decide who to vote for based on what faith they profess or what religion they identify with, to deny those things as real factors in “what makes the man” would be unwise.

So, hopefully Austin, you will come back and offer some reasons for your bold and dogmatic assertions. They are very empty without some explanation.

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