Polarization, public witness and the moral minority [excerpt]

© 2014 George RedgraveFlickr | CC-BY-ND
Many denominations have a solid history of adding a prophetic voice to moral and ethical issues of the day. This includes my own denomination, American Baptist Churches USA, which can claim Martin Luther King Jr. as one of its own. Our domestic arm, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, has a number of initiatives including children in poverty, prisoner re-entry, and immigration and refugee services. The Roman Catholic Church, as another example, also has a long history of social teaching, including the primacy of the family, the value of life from conception to death, and care for God’s creation.

The preceding paragraph mentioned at least a half-dozen issues that politicians and their ideological camps are currently fighting about. Imagine what a large part of the church’s historic public witness would be silenced if it were concluded that we could not speak on anything about which there is current political disagreement.

Some confuse the separation of church and state with the separation of religion and politics. The former is absolutely necessary for a free society; the latter is impossible. Churches and their leaders absolutely have a right and a responsibility to speak to moral and ethical issues, especially where suffering is happening or human dignity is at stake... [Read more at Baptist News Global]

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