DENVER, Colorado, AUG. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Not only does religion have a place in the public square, a democracy needs the input of religious morals and convictions to remain healthy and strong, says the archbishop of Denver.
Taking religion out of play, adds Archbishop Charles Chaput, author of "Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life," is the fastest way to destroy a democracy.
Separating Church and state does not mean separating faith and political issues. Real pluralism requires a healthy conflict of ideas. In fact, the best way to kill a democracy is for people to remove their religious and moral convictions from their political decision-making. If people really believe something, they’ll always act on it as a matter of conscience. Otherwise they’re just lying to themselves. So the idea of forcing religion out of public policy debates is not only unwise, it’s anti-democratic.
On John F. Kennedy:
Unfortunately, in easing those Protestant fears, he created a new and very flawed Catholic model of separating public service from private conviction. He was acting in good will, and of course he couldn’t see the future -- but he did a great deal of damage. Over the past 40 years, his example has guided every Catholic public official who is “personally opposed” to some grave evil, but won’t do anything about it. We’re still suffering the effects.
The same could be said of Pierre Trudeau!
No matter how much we want to cover it over with talk about “wider social issues,” the abortion struggle remains the foundational social issue of our time. There’s no way of wriggling around the profits, the brutality and the injustice of abortion with pious language or theatrical gestures. Abortion is legalized homicide. It has to stop. Every other right depends on the right to life.
The debate is not settled, folks.
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