Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Interfaith Alliance Critical of Palin

Well, I can't avoid it any longer. I'm about to get political. I think voting is an act of faith, a way to live out what I believe in. That doesn't mean that I want or expect candidates to flaunt their faith, or to espouse faith they don't really have in order to appease me, or to try to be my religious leader. I look for religious leadership at church, not in politics.

It's fair for politicians to explain what informs their decision making process, but they ought not impose their religious beliefs upon others. In fact, the Constitution forbids it. Unfortunately, the Republican vice presidential candidate disagrees with this.

The Interfaith Alliance has posted a press release about Governor Palin's statements on politics and religion.

The Huffington Post obtained a video of Gov. Palin speaking to the Wasilla Assembly of God, her one time church, on June 8, 2008. During the speech Gov. Palin stated that it is God’s will to build a natural gas pipeline across Alaska. She also stated American soldiers have been sent to Iraq “on a task that is from God.” Finally, she said that she is working hard to build new roads and schools for her state, but that her work in government may be irrelevant without religion. “I can do my job…but really all of that stuff doesn’t do any good if the people of Alaska’s heart [sic] isn’t right with God,” she told the church audience.

“This is the same kind of divisive theocratic rhetoric that President Bush has employed for eight years,” said Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Welton Gaddy. “Governor Palin is suggesting that people of faith must agree with her energy policy or they risk incurring God’s wrath. Good and faithful people hold differing points of view in this the most religiously diverse nation in the world.

I would expect that like mine, Gov. Palin's political views are shaped by her faith. That's fine. It's not fine, however, for an elected official to seek to impose those views on others. And aside from my disagreement with her political use of faith, as a Christian I disagree with her condemning language of others who disagree with her. I don't think that's what Jesus would do. And I'm certain that it's not the Constitutional role of government. I'm concerned that Palin's theocratic views would make it very difficult for her to "support and defend" the Constitution of the United States which guarantees the right of all people to practice their own religion and to hold their own views.

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