*Posted by Winston Hottman
In an article from the Texas Faith Blog of the Dallas Morning News, Wayne Slater poses the following questions to several Texas ministers and religious leaders:
Is our electoral process better off without the polarizing issues of faith-based politics at center stage? Or does the absence of explicit moral and religious expression impoverish our political debate?
Most of the answers are thought-provoking and worth a read. Several that stood out to me include the following:
Matthew Wilson – While not all public discussion of faith and values issues is elevated and edifying, the relative absence of moral discussion in the current campaign does reflect an impoverished political discourse. Both candidates, for different reasons, have shied away from articulating the moral underpinnings of their policy proposals (and often from articulating any real policy proposals at all, though that’s a different subject). As a result, we are deprived of any deep discussion of the real ethical choices that we face as a society.
Jim Denison – What are the moral and spiritual implications of medical care for the uninsured? The treatment of illegal immigrants? Gay marriage? When America stops the spiritual schizophrenia that separates religion from the “real world,” we will be able to access our most powerful resources in resolving our greatest challenges.
Larry Bethune - Healthcare, employment, taxation, civil rights, poverty, an end to war, and access to power are all matters addressed by the core values of our religious systems. Because they have not been primary concerns to the politic-preachers before now, these issues have not yet been associated with the specific religious jargon that usually galvanizes their base.
You can check out the rest of the answers here. It seems to me that the distinction between “faith-based” issues and other issues is not helpful, or even legitimate. Couldn’t it be argued that all issues are faith-based since they must be considered within some religious framework?