A co-worker made the statement the other day that she was tired of religion having any part of politics and that she wished there was a true separation of church and state. My response was that someone’s morals were more important to me than their religion as to whether or not I would vote for them. As is often the case with table talk and talking without thinking, my response was inaccurate.
Morals are based on what you believe is right and wrong. My morals as a believer in Jesus as my Lord and Savior are going to be different than the morals of someone who believes differently. A person’s religion is also a statement about what they believe. If my morals are based on what I believe and I am qualifying a candidate based on his or her morals then I am qualifying that person based on what they believe and ultimately on their religion.
I am not judging one candidate as a better person than another because of their beliefs. I’m judging if their values are the same as mine which means their decisions will line up more closely with what I believe is best for our country.
Am I wrong to bring my Christian faith into my political decisions? Not if I really believe what I say I believe. If I really believe that Jesus is the only hope for me, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my country, and my world then I am going to choose leaders that believe this as well over leaders that do not.
Everyone votes based on their beliefs. You vote on a candidate because their belief on what is best for the country is the same as yours. If my belief is that the hope I have in Jesus is the only hope for our country then I am going to vote my convictions. If you believe God is not relevant to politics and the most important qualification is a candidate’s belief on economic and environmental issues then you will vote your convictions accordingly.
Do I believe that economics, environmental and foreign policy are important? Absolutely, I should understand a candidate’s beliefs on how to address these issues. However, it is important to me that the thought process on dealing with these issues starts with the candidate’s beliefs in God which shapes their ultimate beliefs on right and wrong.
Do I believe in separation of church and state? Again absolutely, the government should not dictate or pass laws that force a particular religion on anyone. However, religion or church is just a belief system. If someone chooses not to believe in God, that is a belief and their religion of unbelief should not be forced upon me.
As long as we live in a free country, religion will always be part of politics because we will all always vote based on what we truly believe. The question we have to ask ourselves is, “What do I really believe?”