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NewsReader's View: Leave religion out of politics

Reader’s View: Leave religion out of politics

The European Times News aims to cover news that matter to increase the awareness of citizens all around geographical Europe.

The News Tribune has published letters recently asserting that Christianity provides the yardstick and measure for what is good government policy. Phrases used have included “a Christian nation” and “God-given rights.”

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                    <p>This whole approach is wrong on two counts.</p>                            <p>First, we are not a Christian nation. We are a nation founded on the principle of church-and-state separation, commonly phrased as “freedom of religion.” This means the government cannot impose (establish) a national religion, be it Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, or any other. Invoking Christian arguments for government policy is not only incorrect, it is a departure from or violation of the intentions of our Founders.</p>                            <p>The invocation of Christian principles in secular policy is wrong on a second count. We can all agree that one of the great woes of our current political landscape is extreme partisanship. We should reflect on the roots of this partisanship. In large part, it is due to the use of a good-versus-evil dichotomy in our political discourse. We are encouraged by cable news (read “Fox News”) to vilify, demonize, and fear our adversaries. We are told, directly or indirectly, that we do not just disagree with our adversaries, they are actually evil. Therefore, we cannot negotiate or compromise with them. This is religious thinking and religious language.</p>                            <p>In fact, our political disagreements are not, by and large, matters of good and evil. They are matters of emphasis. We all value family, security, prosperity, and a healthy environment. While some emphasize lower taxes and the decreased regulation of business, others emphasize compassion and support for the least fortunate of our fellows. These are matters of emphasis, not matters of good and evil.</p>    
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</div>                        <p>We will do well to dispense with religious language and imagery in our political discourse.</p>                            <p><b>Charles Gessert</b></p>                            <p><b>Duluth</b></p>                                </div>

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