July 27, 2007

"You Can't Run God Out of the Public Square"

Presidential candidate Senator Sam Brownback distances himself from those who say government and religion should have close ties.

“I want to have a nation where you can say ‘In God We Trust.’ You can’t run God out of the public square,” he said. “But I think it would be bad for us to have a theocracy. I think it would be bad for government. I think it would be bad for religion.”

In that very small statement, I think Brownback says something so much bigger. It is impossible, untenable, to believe that any worldview can be run out of the public square, let alone the Christian worldview. But his statement does beg the question, what are Christians wanting to achieve as they work to participate and make residence in the public square? Are we seeking a theocracy? (I personally don't think so.) Are we trying to change behaviors? Hearts?

Having a nation where we can say "In God We Trust" means having a nation where the gospel is making a difference in the lives of individuals. But as equal members of society (other members of many differing worldviews) we have a responsibility to issues of social justice including addressing the wrongs committed against others. This means engaging the legislative process to ban such things as exploitation of the poor, women, and children, protecting the unborn and those who are in vulnerable stages of health, helping the widows and single parents, etc. Christians must continue to address these issues and work with mechanisms that are in place within a society to help address these issues. As such, Christianity should have never left the public square, and if Christianity is not a welcomed member of the public square today, there is little hope for those who are in need because little reason is provided by other worldviews to even care about those who are in need.

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