Good and Bad Ways to Think About Religion and Politics

by Robert Benne

Robert Benne Source: https://www.luther.edu/

Robert Benne
Source: https://www.luther.edu/

Could anyone imagine an American government ordering Martin Luther King, Jr. not to use Christian rhetoric to inspire the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s?  Precisely this is what some militant atheists, secularists, and even a few religious leaders would like to happen today.  These folks are what I call “separationists,” those who believe religiously-based moral values ought not have a place in public discourse or policy-making.  While most of them merely disapprove of the interaction of religion and politics, others are so hostile to religion—especially conservative Christianity—that they would formally prohibit it.

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