Faith plays a vital role in American politics. We can’t ignore this

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A cursory review of American history shows the central role that God and religion have played and continue to play in our politics.

From Revolutionary War in the formation and drafting of our most sacred national documents, God and religious principles are boldly infused throughout.

The phrase “separation of church and state” is not found in the Constitution. Instead, it prohibits federal and state governments from nationalizing any religion, creating a national church, or favoring one religion over another.

Abuse and hypocrisy come into play with sporadic denials or discriminatory efforts to separate or invoke the use of God and religion to support or defeat one political position or another.

Tensions between the separation of church and state and the roles that God and religion play in shaping public policy are visible in the ongoing debate over issues such as abortion and LGBTQ rights. .

But perhaps the most remarkable example of collaboration between church and state is the role that religious leaders and churches play in our elections.

There’s a reason candidates tailor their messaging to appeal to certain religious doctrines and beliefs in order to garner support and solidify an electoral bloc.

There’s a reason candidates go to black churches to make their case. The support of black worshipers can determine the outcome of an election.

There are blurry lines and porous boundaries between church and state, which are often crossed in our political and daily life in both obvious and subtle ways to gain advantage when promoting an agenda.

So why pretend that the two will never meet, let alone mix – when they meet and mix all the time? Are we hypocrites when we cry foul in one case and close our eyes in another?

Perhaps the confusion lies between the separation of church and state and the role that God and religion play in our institutions, traditions, and daily lives.

the Founders were very clear and deliberate about the centrality of God and religion in the vision, mission and purpose of forming America.

Some of our most endearing patriotic songs invoke God’s presence and blessings, from “America the Beautiful” to “Battle Hymn of the Republic” to “My Country, Tis of Thee.”

Songs and music have a way of reaching our best selves. In these times of division, revisiting them, humming and singing them could go a long way in rekindling a positive and healthy patriotic spirit.

But the integral relationship between God, Church and State does not end there.

Even our motto proudly displays and proclaims: “In God We Trust”.

The role that religion has played in the history of the development of this country is everywhere.

As we watch how our public dialogue has sunk, the increasing inhumane conduct towards one another, and the contrived displays of righteous indication by these same perpetrators, one could conclude that they are signs that America is losing, or has actually lost, his moral compass.

Just as a person’s faith is bound when it comes to defending candidates, legislation, and laws, it could be even more valuable in claiming what is honorable and good for American society as a whole.

A few examples come to mind.

Perhaps following the biblical teaching, “Love your neighbor as yourself” – or as the non-religious would say “treat yourself as we would like to be treated” – would bring civility and respect back into our public discourse.

Perhaps we will ensure that everyone, regardless of race or gender, is treated with the same dignity, the same respect and implicitly believes that they are entitled to all inalienable rights.

Perhaps fighting for the care of the poor and orphaned children among us would have as much priority as protecting the unborn child.

Just maybe.

The foundation is there. God and biblical principles have been embraced and adopted in our most sacred documents, our patriotic songs, our public ceremonies and our traditions honoring our flag and our country.

Religious leaders and their congregations across America have been and continue to be actively engaged in the political process.

There is more to be gained by fully embracing the bond between church and state, when it comes to defining ourselves as Americans, than by continuing the practice of selective separation when appropriate.

The bond between church and state, in many ways, is what determined America’s character and set it apart from the start.

We need not be hypocritical about how this connection could be applied to improve our relationship with our fellow citizens and our country.

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