Saturday, August 25, 2007

Religion and politics, left, right, and centre

For some odd reason, many commentators assume that religious involvement in politics means, by definition, support for conservative causes. It’s obvious that the commentators need to get out more. Here’s an overview of the increasingly active religious left. Author Horowitz is hardly a sympathetic source, but he links to some players worth knowing about. Here’s a link to Christian greens, and here and here to articles about them - and one to something I wrote recently on Christian greens.

Incidentally, I’ve never understood the view expressed by some that religion should play no role in politics. The only possible outcome would be to fill elected offices with clinical sociopaths. They are the only sort of people I can think of whose behaviour is never governed by ethical considerations - and ethical considerations necessarily arise from worldviews, usually religious in origin. Happily, most commonly held worldviews are compatible in principle with providing government in the public interest.

Thus, I would not vote for a politician who told me that his religion would play no role at all in how he governs. If he belongs to a religion that provides him with no insights at all, he is not likely to bring much social wealth to his office. The critical question is, what does he think his religion has taught him?

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