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Faith-based voters

"Faith-based voters" Continued...

Issue: "States' rights," Oct. 27, 2007

Other groups exist between these two categories, such as parents of graduating seniors. Such groups should be viewed as civil society that is not bound strictly by the constitutional limits on what the government is permitted to do. Thus, parents should be free to work out acceptable expressions of faith for a graduation program.

WORLD: Why can those who believe in God's judgment not be "indifferent to the conduct of the nonbelieving others" in their society?

LEDEWITZ: I do not claim to be a theologian, but as I read the Bible, divine judgment operates at the level of a whole people. Thus, all Egyptians suffer in the book of Exodus, whether or not they had anything to do with enslaving the Hebrews. We see the same phenomenon today in regard to the war in Iraq and American foreign and military policy generally, which affect all members of this society. So, although I do not regard the loving relationships of gay couples, for example, as sinful in any way, religious believers who see this behavior as sinful are not necessarily free to take a "live and let live" attitude. Of course, Jesus' teaching on judgment also operates here for the Christian.

WORLD: You state that in 2006 Democratic candidates did not run on a "secular agenda-the separation of Church and State, and government religious neutrality-really anywhere in the country. There was little or no talk about getting God out of public life. . . . For one election at least, the Democratic Party accepted American Religious Democracy." What do you think will happen in the 2008 election?

LEDEWITZ: As the recent testimonies of faith on CNN by Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, and former Sen. John Edwards demonstrated, the 2008 presidential campaign is going to be open to religious expression. Even the remaining constraint expressed last year by Obama that people of faith should express their commitments in secular language in public debate is unlikely to be heard again. Democrats nationally will not run on a secular agenda. I doubt the Democratic Party platform will call for removing the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. On the other hand, the platform won't expressly repudiate the separation of Church and State either. That would be too precipitous a change and too hard for some of the party's base to accept.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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