The Common Good

Call to "Tone Down Religious Rhetoric"

In an op-ed published in the Charlotte Observer, Mike Daisley calls for Christians to "tone down the religious rhetoric."

Of course, the influence of religious belief on political discourse is nothing new. In the Bill of Rights, the very first phrase of the First Amendment contemplates the delicate balance of church and state. It has been challenging us ever since.

The issue of school prayer is but one example. Never mind that the Supreme Court on numerous occasions has ruled that only government-coerced prayer or state-sponsored prayer is unconstitutional. This fact has failed to dissuade numerous conservative groups from raising millions by suggesting that little Johnny could be taken away in handcuffs if the godless secularists who "outlawed prayer in schools" aren't stopped.

How else might Christians reflect Jesus' love politically in this season leading to Christ's Passion and Easter Resurrection?

Perhaps during these 40 days, Catholic bishops can express dismay at a government mandate that conflicts with their theological mandate without claiming that the administration has "declared war on Christianity." After all, there is real persecution of Christianity on this planet, with real torture and death and personal destruction. To use terms like "war" and "persecution" to criticize a public policy that attempts to balance private religious leanings with the public health needs diminishes the real suffering of Jesus' followers in places like Nigeria and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Read the full op-ed via the Charlotte Observer

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