"You are the light of the world.... let your good deeds shine before men, that they may see your deeds and praise your father in heaven." Matthew 5:14,16 (NIV)
The fact that the secular media does not understand or agree with the fundamental principles of biblical Christianity should not inhibit Christians from engaging in the public square. Our Constitution declares that "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office..." America's Founders sought to ensure that every person seeking office had a right to their own religious beliefs. Forcing them to hide those beliefs in a closet would be the real violation of America's founding principles. Furthermore, advancing legislation that is consonant with one's faith does not necessarily run afoul of the First Amendment's proscription of the establishment of religion. In Harris v. McRae, the Supreme Court rightly observed, "It does not follow that a statute violates the Establishment Clause because it happens to coincide or harmonize with the tenets of some or all religions. That the Judeo-Christian religions opposed stealing does not mean that a... government may not, consistent with the Establishment Clause, enact laws prohibiting larceny."
Christianity is not incompatible with a republican form of government. It is the foundation of republican government. Our Founders recognized this. John Jay, President of the Continental Congress and America's first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, declared, "No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom, both cohesiveness and liberty apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion applied and accepted by all the classes. Should our Republic ere forget this fundamental precept of governance, men are certain to shed their responsibilities for licentiousness and this great experiment will then surely be doomed." Jay, who co-wrote The Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, knew whereof he spoke.
Ken Connor is a lawyer and author of "Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty" He is also Chairman of the Center for a Just Society. For more articles and resources from Mr. Connor and the Center for a Just Society, go to http://centerforajustsociety.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0db039e3edbc5b05468ca4446&id=a1685f1ae9&e=e06de1074a
This article originally appeared on September 15, 2008