Yesterday the Democratic party put God back in politics.
After initially excluding God from the original platform, they pushed him right back in yesterday by a really iffy vote.
I’m sure God is really happy to be shoe-horned back into politics.
I want to be really clear. My faith informs my political choices. I expect this is the case for most people of faith, even faiths outside of Christianity. What we believe tends to affect all areas our of lives, at least in some way.
However, I also want to be very clear that saying that my faith informs my political leanings is not the same thing as saying God informs my political leanings.
All too often I think we make that mistake in our language.
Faith is an individual, personal thing. When I say personal, I don’t mean shameful. I don’t think that one needs to hide their faith. My faith is a part of who I am, and as such, there’s no escaping it. Even if I’m not speaking explicitly about my beliefs, they permeate my thoughts and will always come through in some fashion. I’m not demanding a kind of personal faith that is silent.
But no matter how much we might feel that what we believe is The Truth, it’s still personal. I think that’s okay; beautiful, even. Various perspectives give us a mosaic by which we are able to see more aspects of God’s nature. I love that.
What I don’t love, however, is when folks start speaking for God. When we move from “I believe” or “my faith teaches” or even “the Bible says” to the more broad “God says,” we begin speaking not only for God (which I always find a little bit dicey), but for others who may share our title, but who do not share our beliefs. Not to mention what it says to those who practice a completely different faith or who are without faith.
I am thankful that we live in a country where religious freedom is a part of our every day life. As a person of faith and a writer, this is something that I hold dear.
But God is not something that I want to use as a prop or worse, as a weapon. And as long as we live in a society where a high school student can be called an “evil little thing” and receive death threats from people speaking for God simply because she’s irreligious, I’m perfectly fine leaving God out of politics.
What do you think? Should the DNC have included God language back into their platform? What place do you think that God has in politics?