Religion & Politics

May 22, 2006

CNN has a piece about former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her recent book The Mighty and the Almighty. She makes a couple good comments in the article about the need for politicians to be careful how they use religious language to justify their policies. She argues:

Some of [Bush's] language is really quite over the top. ... When he says 'God is on our side', it's very different from (former U.S. President Abraham) Lincoln saying 'We have to be on God's side.'
Having read through the book, I find that she has some good observations about the relationship between religion and public policy (and some not so good ideas). My favorite comment comes early in the book when she argues:

We are not above the law, nor do we have a divine calling to spread democracy any more than we have a national mission to spread Christianity. We have in short, the right to ask—but never to insist or blithely assume—that God bless America.
Amen! Faith is important and should influence what we believe and do, but we must be careful not to overstate our case. We should pray for God's blessings and not demand or claim them.

And we must allow for others to disagree with us on political issues and still be considered faithful. After all, we might be the ones who are actually in the wrong. We must remember that not only are we not the Almighty, but in reality we are not even mighty.