by Kavin Carter
With the upcoming election this November more questions have been raised than ever before about the morality and integrity of the three presidential candidates: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump.
Though these are important questions a greater question has been presented to the Christian community. Can we separate our beliefs from from a government which is intended to represent more than just our interest but the interest of all Americans?
Now the inherent answer, of course, and possibly the most common is, no. As Americans we are strong-willed in our beliefs and do not back down easily but allow me to offer an observation. It seems that we identify our religious identity as going hand in hand with our political views. For this reason I believe the political party we identify with is part of our faith.
Whether you are a conservative Republican who believes that the federal government should not play a big role in people’s lives or a Democrat who believes that we’re greater together than we are on our own. That fact remains that we are bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our faith is important but we are forgetting one thing.
Our faith is not our government. This country was founded on religious freedom; the belief that an individual or community, in public or private, can hold to whatever religion or belief they want.
So I ask, what gives us the right to infringe upon other’s beliefs? If we call for Muslim communities to be put under surveillance, are we any better than the Nazi’s who made Jews wear yellow stars and homosexuals wear pink triangles? The reasons they used are the very same reasons we use today to justify this blatant disregard for a personal right to privacy. Some think “they may be dangerous, they will ruin our economy, their faith is different from us”. God calls us to love our neighbors. He does not say “only love the people who think like you”. We are all made in God’s image, even those who do not believe in him.
For example many “right-wing” Christians think that the supreme court should overturn the gay marriage equality bill. They say that it is an abomination on the sanctity of the institution of marriage. They continue to lobby against the bill even after it has been passed, going so far as to bar men and women from receiving marriage licenses. The government doesn’t and shouldn’t dictate what is morally right or wrong in the eyes of god! What would Jesus say to us if he saw how we acted toward our fellow man? Should Christians expect others to follow the teachings in the bible if they don’t believe in them?
Yes, we should stand up for our rights, but it is not for our government to dictate what is right or wrong in the eyes of God. Government must remain neutral in matters of faith. It is for us as Christians to spread that message ourselves, to teach our children the truth and to show them what is right.