A gentleman named Marv Knox, wrote an opinion column in the Associated Baptist Press entitled:Opinion: Baptists and the role of faith in public policy.
I think this paragraph of his sums up what he is trying to say:
Extremists stake out opposite ends of the spectrum, with some saying religious perspectives have no place in public policy and others claiming religious views should trump all others. But most citizens come down in the middle. We realize faith is integral to people’s lives and cannot be banished. We also recognize no religious tenet or organization has the right to dominate others. The tension between the extremes holds up a tightrope we must walk as we balance competing perspectives.
I liked what he had to say and encourage my readers to read his opinion piece. I wrote this as a comment on his writing.
There are many competing forces in the United States that figure in the debate over right and wrong. The Christian religion because of its long historical experience and great learning has much to contribute. I perceive that Christianity prospers in the free arena of ideas. The dangers of exclusionary polices against other religions and of active proselytizing have to be defended against. If the truth sets us free, what kind of Christians are those who demand that their message be the only one? Let us struggle forward seeking what is right but always remembering the dignity and trust we place in our fellow citizens.
My comment was answered by another comment who was critical of my point of view. This is what was said:
We can only hope Huckabee’s presidential hopes are dashed. It was Huckabee who took votes away from Romney which got us (Republicans) stuck with McCain! McCain couldn’t beat Obama but Romney could have won.
My thoughts concerning proselytizing are this. If someone has found Almighty God, the very essence of good in the universe, and does not feel burdened to share then full of bull is the only phrase that is properly descriptive. To know God, maker of heaven and earth, is to share Him.
And I responded with this:
There are appropriate and inappropriate places for proselytizing your religion. There are an enormous number of places where one can advocate for their religion. Using teaching jobs, supervisory positions and government offices for such purposes is wrong. People have a right to work without being told they should be a Christian, a Moslem, a Buddhist, an atheist or a deist.
One of the primary obstacles to the use of Christian principles in teaching morals and ethics is the belief, in my experience justified, that some teachers will use it as an opportunity to push for converts. I teach with Christian principles as one of the alternative ways of thinking about business ethics. I think that it is important to use these teachings. Society needs ethical principles. Business needs ethical principles. But if an advocate of Christianity is compelled to witness at all times and in particular through his job, the absence of Christian principles in all teaching might be a better alternative to putting children and adults in multi week conversion class.
Currently this is where the discussion stands. I realize that this is my forum and I have an advantage in my wordiness. If you would like to comment, I will add them directly to this posting.
(This is a repost of a essay written on this blog, December 11, 2009. I thought it was time to revisit the issue.)