Is There Too Much God in Politics?

by Tami Winfrey Harris

President Thomas Jefferson once said, “Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.”

According to a Pew Research Center study released last week, one in four Americans likely agree with our Founding Father. Thirty-eight percent of Americans say there has been too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders–more than any number since Pew began asking this question a decade ago. Slightly more than half of respondents believe that churches should stay out of politics.

Race, political affiliation and religion proved to have some impact on whether respondents saw too much or too little religion in politics. For instance, only 14 percent of white evangelicals see too much God talk in the politics, compared with 44 percent of white mainline Christians, 40 percent of white Catholics and 30 percent of black Protestants. Democrats were more likely to believe houses of worship should stay out of politics.

I want national leaders who are, among other things, smart, curious, tough, compassionate, savvy in domestic and international affairs, economically astute, believers in social justice and fighting for the marginalized. I want my leaders to be moral, too. A candidate’s public displays of religiosity tell me nothing about any of these things.

It seems to me that we require political candidates to perform religiosity. They wear their professed faiths like billboards, stumping at churches, shaking hands with high-profile preachers and giving shout outs to God. Call me cynical, while I don’t doubt most politicians have some sort of spiritual belief, I suspect most of this religious grandstanding is for show. Believing that “my leader must worship my God” encourages the pandering and hypocrisy we say we deplore in government. I yearn for a political arena where public servants can have their private spirituality or none at all and be judged by what they do, rather than who or what they pray to.

What do you think? Is there too much religion in politics or not enough?

  • LemonNLime

    YES. When people are using the Bible to form their foreign policy *cough, cough aligning with Israel on EVERYTHING* and make public policy decisions we become no different from Islamic theocracies we claim to supposedly be against. The problem is these dense people don’t have a problem pushing their religious beliefs on others because theirs are “right”, it only becomes a problem when the beliefs are different from their own.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    Politics and religion should be two separate entities. Taking a religious route, is a cop out strategy used in politics.

  • Dalili

    Way too much I think! The problem with religion is that it’s based on such personal beliefs which leave room for ambiguious interpretation. For centuries, some segements of society have managed to lord it over others by declaring supriority based on some religious principal. Politics functions best under the letter of the law.

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com Perverted Alchemist

    Absolutely! I live in the South and it’s very prevalent around these parts. Try to hint at wanting to seperate Church and State down here and see what happens!

  • MissMoj

    As African Mami expressed, religion should be a separate entity from polotics, but unfortunately in the US it is not. We have a long way to go if we truly want to have a true separation between “church and state”.

  • MissMoj

    *politics

  • http://www.jessicasimien.com Jessica

    I agree that the two should be separate.

  • pink

    Yes……..waaay to much when it come to politics

  • Guest

    Ypu they all should read Moliere’s “Tartuffe”

  • BeautifulBlackMind

    No, there’s too much Satan.

  • http://Hiphopconsultants.com BryghtB

    Christ is NOT in Politics, in fact it is solely the Devil’s working. There are ways that the Devil operates including destruction, deception, distraction, and delusion. Politics is just another way that he operates to have people focus on Everything other than Christ. What “religious” (and I use quotations because there is a distinct difference between the Elect of God who believe the Gospel and religious people that take passages from the Bible and twist and manipulate them to accomplish their own agenda) individuals do is try to use their “belief” as a way to gain more support but in all actuality do not deem Christ or Father God to be a priority in their lives, the lives of their families or their supporters. God has been removed from this corrupt system for a very long time and if people took the time to discipline themselves in an understanding of how the Son of Perdition works they would see that he is in every aspect of the life we live that doesn’t glorify Christ. They use “religion” as another hot topic but are carnal pagans leading other hell-bound sinners down the path of destruction.

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