Why Americans want more religion in their politics (COMMENTARY)

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Chad Connelly is director of faith engagement for the Republican National Committee and oversees its new digital outreach initiative to conservative believers, GOPfaith.com.

Photo courtesy of the Republican National Committee

Chad Connelly is director of faith engagement for the Republican National Committee and oversees its new digital outreach initiative to conservative believers, GOPfaith.com.

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(RNS) People wonder what happened to religious liberty in America, and are calling on their religious leaders to speak out against the growing state encroachment on their ability to legally live out their faith.

  • Larry

    “Why Americans want more religion in their politics ”

    Because “they” [being conservative Christians] are self-interested little tribalists who want to hack out parts of our civil society for their personal aggrandizement.

    Its amazing how much someone has to lie to pretend Christians are somehow being attacked under color of law in our country.

    Earlier this year, the General Accounting Office verified that, despite promises to the contrary, the Obama administration is indeed allowing abortion coverage in Obamacare exchange health plans.

    With exceptions for religious entities, as passed in the Healthcare act by Congress. If they had spent more time contributing to the bill rather than fighting it on general principles, such objections would mean something.

    And of course we are all familiar with the cases involving Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor or various other Catholic charities, with the Obama administration trying to use the heavy hand of government to force them to violate their rights of conscience.

    It is not an act of conscience to make decisions for employees and violate their privacy in exercising their healthcare benefits. Evidently the charity believes giving substandard healthcare is God’s will.

    The government doesn’t just stop in singling out businesses; they also attack our first amendment right to freedom of religion. Just this fall, the Houston mayor’s office subpoenaed church sermons in response to a lawsuit many of the churches had nothing to do with.

    Those pastors being material fact witnesses to the political activity which formed the basis of the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

    The government is not attacking religious freedom here. We have alleged Christians who are being denied the ability to exercise privileges over the rest of society. The author’s examples are gross exaggerations of the facts and in one case outright fiction (the pastors in Houston).

    Religious freedom is a term which has been thoroughly abused by conservatives to mean license to attack others without a hint of accountability. To claim “God tells me I don’t have to follow these rules or treat others with respect”. Please note these are the same people who would deny rights and accommodation to members of minority faiths under the guise of “laws of general applicability”.

    What we have is proof that the GOP is fast becoming the party of wannabe theocrats.

  • Jon

    Wow, when did RNS become at political mouthpiece for the tea party?

  • Jim

    freedom of speech is certainly a cornerstone …..but so are taxes. If you want a voice in the political system, then fill out the tax forms.

  • Elledra

    RNS, what’s going on? Is Connelly now an RNS commentator representing a certain view? Was this supposed to be a “news” report of some sort? Does someone from the DMC get to write a piece here next? In any case, won’t there be some sort of introduction by one of the regular staff?

  • Elledra

    Correction: that should DNC (not DMC).

  • Mary B

    The fact that many “church” services look, feel, and sound like a Republican (or worse, Tea Party) political rally is a factor driving many Christians away from established religion.
    Speak out, pastors! Speak out! Warn against pandering to the rich! Preach that strangers are to be welcomed! Preach that the the sick need healing! Notice that the person who will not work should not be fed, but acknowledge that persons who cannot work need help. Be kind! Remember to preach, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you!”
    And behave yourselves, first.

  • Frank

    Speak up boldly and often Christians. Christian religious liberties are the new civil rights of our day.

  • The Great God Pan

    “Why Americans want more religion in their politics”

    Let’s be real: it’s mostly because they don’t like gay people.

    And they mostly want Christianity, not “religion” in general. Try asking them if they want Islam in their politics and see how big they are on “religious liberty” then. Some of them have even been known to resort to the novel argument that Islam is not a religion and is not covered by the First Amendment. Their concept of “liberty” has lottle in common with the real thing.

  • Karla

    It’s because they want this country to return to the God the Bible/foundation
    and Truth. 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists many sins right along with homosexuals
    so all sin is bad not just gay marriage/abortion which so many people want
    to focus on so they don’t have to face their own sin. Ephesians 5:18 says
    don’t get drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all drunkards go to hell
    which also includes people who get drunk with strong wine cause the wine
    Jesus made was from fruit of the vine/new wine/diluted plus the Bible says
    don’t get drunk on strong wine/don’t get drunk with wine it’s debauchery!
    The people who still get drunk with strong wine are also wrong/go to hell.
    Many people try to justify drinking by only drinkin wine but they’re wrong!
    Jesus said you are one of Mine only if you follow Me/many will say to Me
    Lord,Lord and not enter heaven! If you say you love Jesus and then don’t
    follow the Bible/religion no Truth is in you! We all must Repent/follow Him!

  • Shelama

    Our only hope is cooperation, the values of secular humanism, and science. Period.

    “Religious values” are fine as long as they are consistent with or overlap with secular humanism. Everything else about religion is dispensable. And in the end, all triumphalist religion (including Christianity) is doomed to massive disappointment and failure.

    More people all the time – including our young people – recognize the Bible for what it is (man-made) and what it isn’t (the word of a god or reliable history). That process is, rightly, irreversible. The mandatory STUDY – not the “teaching” – of the Bible in public schools would both expedite the process as well as increase their appreciation of the Bible as a historical, cultural, literary and religious artifact that is meant to be understood and not believed.

    The sooner we rid ourselves of the nonsense of “divine American exceptionalism” the better off we’ll be. There is just simply no god that either blesses or condemns or curses America, and there is no way that interjecting more Bronze- and Iron Age religion and myth into American politics is going to help America’s problems.

  • Larry M

    Preach it, girl!

  • Fran

    Religion should be completely free of politics since Jesus and his followers, as well as the first-century Christians did not get involved in it.

    Instead, they supported, preached and taught about God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44) as the only hope of government for mankind (Matthew 4:17; 25:14).

    That government is the only theocracy or rule by God since it will soon rule over the entire earth after putting an end to all human governments; its rule will be loving, just and righteous, not the corrupt, greedy and selfish governments of imperfect men today (Isaiah 11:1-9). 😀

  • Fran

    I pay my taxes and follow man’s laws as long as they are not in conflict with God’s laws; then God’s laws take precedence to me.

    I have never voted and never will.. My support and allegiance is to God’s kingdom or heavenly government only, since I am a theocrat.

  • Fran

    Oops… Matthew 24:14 instead of 25:14.

  • Fran

    And preach God’s kingdom or heavenly government as the ONLY hope for mankind on earth (Matthew 4:17:24:14)!!!!!!

  • Fran

    There is no real “liberty” in the entire earth, even tho a multitude of wars have been fought for it!!

  • Fran

    It looks like man and science cannot put an end to ALL his worldwide problems, even old age, sickness and death, on his own.

    God and his kingdom or heavenly government will accomplish all those things because of its intense love for mankind on earth (Revelation 21:1-4). 😀

  • The Great God Pan

    I applaud you for taking your faith seriously enough to refrain from voting. Please spread the word to your fellow Christians! God hates voters!

  • Diogenes

    @Larry; History, constitutional precepts, and other objective data are lost on you. You and your morally bankrupt allies may win out in the short run; but beware, as the prophets of old declared: “God is not mocked.” I make THIS PROPHECY: One day YOU, whether in this life or the life to come, will bend your knee and declare, “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!” I pray in the name of the Almighty God, that this revelation shall come to you before you are translated from this present world. AMEN.

  • Haywood

    We’re gonna party like it’s 1399!!

  • Larry

    Isn’t it a bit too obvious to be taking lessons from Americas first violent theocrats?

  • Larry

    Diogenes, the whole concept of our American democracy and religious freedom is lost on you.

    Religious freedom means I never have to give a flying crap what you think God has to say on any given subject. You can’t compel me under the law to care either.

  • Liz

    LOL…I will dress up appropriately for the stoning of unruly children and burning of witches! Living in this country and listening to the religious fundamentalists and Tea Partiers sometimes makes me feel like I am surrounded by the towns people in the 14th century. Good grief!

  • cal

    You made me laugh Haywood- good post

  • Larry

    “It’s because they want this country to return to the God the Bible/foundation
    and Truth.”

    You mean return to the violent theocratic government of the Puritans. The one Rhode Island and Pennsylvania were founded in direct opposition to.

    Our entire notions of religious freedom come from people who were victims of those who thought governments should be run under Biblical precepts.

    Thank you for acknowledging that to Christians like yourself, religious freedom is just so much of an inconvenience to you. If you can’t claim it to get your way, it has no value to those like you.

  • Religion + Politics = Fascism

    Just. say. NO.

  • @Larry,,

    “Religious freedom means I never have to give a flying crap what you think God has to say on any given subject. You can’t compel me under the law to care either.”


  • Dave V

    Not so. There has been very famous “progressive” people mentioned even in the line of Apostles.

    Judas was very concerned about the poor.

    Look it up.

    And his movement lives on still in the liberal movements around the globe. Watch them sell out Jesus in the same consistent style.

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