God and Caesar: Is Peaceful Coexistence Possible?
Have we ever stopped to wonder why too often religion sets people apart from each other when, at its foundation, religion is about peace and reconciliation? Is it because ungodly forces–atheism, agnosticism, secularism–seek to undermine the faithful who in turn retaliate? Or is it rather because of the zealous attitudes of the faithful trying to take over politics and culture?
Actually, it’s both, and then, a bit more. Other than private prayer, religion is supposed to be, mostly, a public activity, meaning that believers tend to act out their beliefs and values. In a society such as ours, in which religious freedom is constitutionally guaranteed, religion may not only question secular values, it will also seek to confront other religious beliefs and manifestations, including those of different denominations within the same faith.
Any discussion about religion and politics in America revolves around individual freedom. If all of us were to worship the same God in the same manner, we would not mind living in a theocracy, and religion would hardly become an issue. The problem arises when we fail to understand that, in a society that allows religious freedom, there might be more than one way to follow God’s commandments–or not to follow them at all.
This section deals with a multitude of issues including illegal immigration, the role of God in formulating war policy, the public display of religious symbols and practices, the politicization of faith, the public imposition of religious values, and yes, Intelligent Design, too.