Since the San Bernardino tragedy, I have come to a firm conclusion: People who believe that faith/religion is simply a personal matter and not intended for public policy don’t understand history and don’t understand much about human nature. It’s not hard to see this when we evaluate three basic religions and the nations that follow the principles of these belief systems.
The first and most obvious is, of course, Islam. Islamic beliefs are pretty clear when it comes to faith and politics and whether or not to mix the two. They are in fact one and the same. The two cannot be separated given that the ultimate goal of this worldwide religion is to see all nations under Sharia Law. Those that do not conform and convert must be destroyed. How else can you explain the motivation of a person to strap a bomb to themselves and run into a crowd of “unbelievers”? How else do you explain the shootings in California driven by a person’s faith? Faith determines culture.
A second, and not as obvious, example of how religion dominates politics and overall culture is Hinduism. My children and I did a brief study on India and its dominant religion, Hinduism, as a part of our history course. One topic of discussion was that of reincarnation, the law of Karma – a foundational belief of Hinduism. We studied the caste system, a very foreign concept to us here in America, which places people in classes based off of their birthplace and occupation. A person who is born into poverty and is not born into a family of social standing can never change his situation. He is poor, he will always be poor, and there is no way to move outside that poverty. The only hope he has is to be a good person (whatever that means), die, be reincarnated and move up a little in the next life. Oh, wait, there it is. A religious belief shaped the public policy of a nation which in turn has brought great poverty to that nation. Faith and politics mix again!
Finally, let’s talk about the one topic everyone is trying to keep in the closet these days. Let’s talk about the one religion that everyone says is a private matter and not a public one. Dare I say it: Christianity?! Unlike the Middle East and nations like India, America is primarily Christian — a religion that teaches that man is created in the image of God, therefore all life is created equal (uh, sounds like our Declaration of Independence, right?) and all life has value. Each of us has the opportunity, an opportunity that is not forced upon us by God but can be chosen or rejected, to serve a God who has a specific purpose and destiny for them. Therefore, here in America and anywhere that Christianity is the dominant political influence, every individual has the opportunity to become anything they desire. A person can be born into a family living in abject poverty yet can rise to be president if they choose. A person born into extreme wealth can choose to live in abject poverty in order to serve the families in that situation. For that matter, there becomes no distinction for it is only our human nature that says that the president is of greater standing than the trash man. In God’s economy, both are equal. Faith determines everything.
So to all those that say religion and politics don’t mix, I beg to differ. To all those that say we need to remove all influence of our Christian heritage from public policy, and to all those that say we should keep our faith in Jesus, a man/God who seems to offend so many, behind closed doors and in the privacy of our own homes, I beg to differ. It is absolutely impossible. We are incapable as the human race to separate what we believe with the actions we take. And to those that say removing God from the public square doesn’t change things, I don’t think you could be more wrong. What we believe as a people determines the kind of nation we will leave our children. If we hope to have the liberty and freedom that our parents and grandparent and great-grandparents had, then we must make our faith public.