Sunday, December 09, 2007

Church and State...

I left the comment at Stern's Rantings that he had illustrated exactly why I believe Church and State should never mix.

Well, I am not going to lie down.

Yesterday, Mitt Romney delivered a speech that artfully blended the centrist Meacham and the conservative Neuhaus.

From Meacham, whose book he has read twice, Romney borrowed the language of America’s political religion. He argued that beneath the differences among America’s denominations there is a common creed, a conception of a moral order described in the Declaration of Independence, and lived out during the high points in the nation’s history. He recounted Sam Adams’s plea for unity in a time of crisis, and how his own father’s commitment to the basic American creed caused him to march with Martin Luther King Jr.

From Neuhaus, Romney borrowed the conviction that faith is under assault in America — which is the unifying glue of social conservatism. He argued that the religious have a common enemy: the counter-religion of secularism.

He insisted that the faithful should stick stubbornly to their religions, as he himself sticks to the faith of his fathers. He insisted that God-talk should remain a vibrant force in the public square and that judges should be guided by the foundations of their faith. He lamented the faithlessness of Europe and linked the pro-life movement to abolition and civil rights, just as evangelicals do.

And yet it might...
The Destiny Church-backed Family Party begins its play for the Mangere electorate today.

The party says the seat, which is currently held by embattled MP Taito Phillip Field, is crucial to its 2008 election campaign.


T. F. Stern said...

The idea of a separation of church and state has, as Mitt Romney mentioned, gone beyond the intent of the founding fathers of our nation. It was never meant to remove those of faith from entering public service or elected office; far from that, it was nearly assumed that each qualified representative had a fundamental spiritual character based on Christian values. Perhaps that assumption should have been included in writing from the onset rather to more properly give credit to our Creator, Jesus Christ.

I do not propose that other nations abandon their own imperfect governments, however, I will also state that the United States of America stands head and shoulders above anything else because of the foundation which was laid by our Creator and then written into our founding documents by imperfect men willing to follow the guidance of that light which comes from Christ.

The probligo said...

Without TF's agreement, I am going to drop in here the conclusion to my comment and his response.

"But what you are saying, and the hint dropped by Mataconis, is that an American who is a Bhuddist can forget about becoming President of his nation?
probligo | Homepage | 12.09.07 - 11:41 am | #



On that I would hope you are correct. While I believe in being tolerant of other's beliefs, let each follow the dictates of their heart and mind, I also believe that to lead the US it would be prerequisite to be a Christian, not just by membership in a Christian denomination; but as pertain to character and actions. I do not imply that perfection is part of that equation, only that progression toward that end is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in scripture. If that is part of the character of our leaders then the business of performing the duties associated with government will take care of itself."

I wanted to tack that in here TF because it nicely rounds out the comment you have made.

I have no problem with having a Christian as the leader of NZ. It is fair to say that there probably would be only one or two who would privately profess to not following the Christian faith.

I also have no problem with having an MP (or leader for that matter) who is Muslim.

The primary "qualifications" that I would expect from any political representative or office holder is that of high moral and ethical standing, and the ability to do the job for which they are standing.

I am sorry TF, but being Christian is not an automatic pass on either count. Far from it in fact. A small number of the politicians I have met were totally unprincipled in their everyday dealings by my measures, and they included regular (and I mean every Sunday) church-goers. I used to wonder (often with respect to one particular gentleman) just whether he confessed to his god his verbal and written dishonesty, and the true nature of some of his private financial dealings.

It is not difficult to point toward the ethical, moral and political misdeeds of quite a number of Presidents; in fact that seems to have become a popular debating point throughout the blogiverse in recent times and it is not part of this debate.

I could add my suspicions regarding a few of the Prime Ministers of the past but there is nothing concrete on which to base those statements as there has never been any judicial consideration of those acts. Certainly there has been only the very occasional whiff of criminal liability relating to any politician in this country until Taito Phillip Field, and in his case I can take it no further than the statement that he is in the judicial process and the charges sub judice.

TF, there is a cultural gulf here which we are not going to bridge. The difference in our comments with which I opened clearly show that.

Your pride and patriotism does you credit. I would defend my own as strenuously if the position were reversed.

At the same time I can admit that the government of NZ is imperfect. That imperfection comes not from the system but from the people who use - and abuse - it to their own purposes.

It is my responsibility, and that of every NZer, to ensure that those people are stopped from destrying the fabric of this little and great nation of ours.

I think that you would claim the same responsibility in respect of your own nation.